6 eco-friendly homes
It doesn't hurt to look!
Hubbardston, Massachusetts. This 2004 four-bedroom home gets electricity from its own solar energy system and heat from a geothermal multizone hydronic system. The open-plan house has high ceilings, a granite fireplace, two sunrooms, and a gourmet kitchen with floor-to-ceiling custom cabinets.
The 15.65-acre property includes fields, gardens, a subterranean greenhouse, an outdoor shower and hot tub, a two-story garage, and a blueberry patch with a 60-pound annual yield. $1,550,000. Linda Bourgeois, Coldwell Banker Realty, (978) 340-5424.
Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. LEED-certified "Sans Souci" has hot-water radiant heat, air filtration, and a cistern for water collection. The five-bedroom house stands on 6.3 acres overlooking the Delaware River canal and features a wood-burning fireplace, chef's kitchen with walk-in pantry and Amish cabinetry, main suite with balcony, child's bedroom with secret entrance, home theater, and four-season sunroom.
Outside are a veranda, a patio with firepit, and a deck. $2,195,000. Douglas Pearson, Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty, (267) 907-2590.
Lahaina, Hawaii. Designed to take advantage of Maui's sunshine, this four-bedroom single-level home uses solar panels for electricity and seven solar tubes for light. The open-plan interior is finished with bamboo and tile floors, stealth ceiling fans, and sliding windows and doors.
The half-acre lot includes lawns, lanai areas, tropical landscaping, and a three-car garage, comes with access to the community's clubhouse, and is minutes from Kaanapali Beach. $3,698,000. Raymond S.F. Chin, Hawaii Life/Luxury Portfolio International, (808) 344-2677.
Napa, California. This passive-solar circular home by architect Craig Henritzy is built with energy-efficient Rastra Block. The three-bedroom house, influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, features reclaimed teak and natural stone, an open-flame fireplace, and a sunken-amphitheater living room.
The 7.75-acre wooded property has walled stone patios and pathways, a fountain-wall entrance, and views of San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. $5,000,000. Sieba Peterson, Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty, (707) 932-1276.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Part of Indigo Park, a Platinum LEED–certified resort community, this five-bedroom home was built with sustainable materials, a standing-seam metal roof, and geothermal heating and cooling.
The house includes a great room with floor-to-ceiling hurricane-rated windows, and a vaulted main suite with a balcony. Outside are a forest-certified garapa-wood porch, a deck with a lap pool, native landscaping, and a garage with electric-car charging capacity; the beach, Sasanqua Spa, and River Course are nearby. $3,200,000. Lisa Berl, Kiawah Island Real Estate, (843) 768-4277.
Hillsborough, North Carolina. This Energy Star/Net Zero two-bedroom home is in a "pocket neighborhood," a cluster of homes designed to promote community. The house has solar panels and eco-friendly metal roof and fiber-cement siding; hardwood floors, vaulted ceiling, and built-ins; an open gourmet kitchen with granite counters; a vaulted living room with fireplace; and a walkout basement.
The lot includes front and back decks and professional garden landscaping with native plants. $425,000. Tina Caul, eXp Realty, (919) 665-8210.
This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.