Can a 4-Car Garage be Green?

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The recent arson job by ELF on the Street of Dreams homes in Maltby, WA certainly has accomplished one of the goals of the eco-terrorist organization. The conversations regarding green construction have propagated well beyond the realm of homebuilders, realtors and would-be home buyers.

The developers can talk themselves green in the face (poor pun alert!) but for all of the cork floors and Leed certified practices incorporated into these houses, I would speculate that the houses’ carbon footprint over their lifetime would not be that much different than similar houses built using conventional means.  The equalizers in this equation would of course be the multiple fossil-fuel burning machines that would occupy the 4-car garage that adjoined each of the 4,000 square foot McMansions. After all, these houses were 20 miles from Bellevue (30 from Seattle) and were likely to house one, if not two, single occupancy commuter vehicles.

When considering whether new residences deserve the moniker “Green” the housing industry needs to stop kidding themselves and look at the big picture that includes the location of the house and the likely lifestyle of its inhabitants.

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