Top Five Super Green Modern Homes

A home doesn’t need to be modern to be green, but I like the modern ones.  I’d love to see entire neighborhoods of modern green homes.  I like the idea of changing the way we perceive the single-family home, too.  Denser neighborhoods?  Sure.  Residential wind turbines?  Definitely.  Solar on the roof?  You bet.  But right now, we’re still in the early stages of recognizing legitimate green homes.

As far as certified green homes are concerned, there’s only SEVEN LEED Platinum homes right now.  That’s changing though.  I think it’s important to study green homes and their lighter footprint, so I’ve put together my list of the Top 5 Super Green Modern Homes.  They’re ultra-stylish and ultra-green.  Two have obtained the Platinum certification, two are aiming for it, and one is super green — no certifications needed.  They’re listed below in no particular order.  Any thoughts?

PROJECT7TEN – Venice, CA (under construction)


This home was designed by Melinda Gray, founder of GRAYmatter Architecture, and is currently under construction.  Upon completion in the fall, there will be an open house for everyone to take a peek.  You may even be able to buy it, if you’re interested.  Located at 710 Milwood Avenue in Venice, California, this home is shooting for LEED Platinum certification.  Some planned green features include a rainwater reclamation system and grey water recycling, locally-sourced sustainable materials, recycled content countertops and insulation, FSC-certified lumber, rooftop solar panels, native landscaping for shading, Energy Star appliances, and Kohler water-efficient fixtures.  Visit the Project7ten website.

MKLOTUS – San Francisco, CA (under construction)


Designed by Michelle Kaufmann Designs and built by ExtremeHomes, mkLotus will be unveiled at West Coast Green in San Francisco from September 20-22, 2007.  Some planned green features include a green living roof, rooftop solar power (100% powered by solar), rain and groundwater catchment system, grey water system, FSC-certified wood for framing, SIP wall assembly, open cell foam insulation by Icynene, Noritz on-demand water heater, folding glass door walls by Nanawall, bamboo flooring, no-VOC paints by Yolo, LED lighting throughout, EcoResin interior sliding door panels by 3form, Energy Star appliances, countertops by Concreteworks, FSC-certified cabinets over Roseburg Skyblend particleboard, floor and wall recycled glass tiles by Terra Green, and water-efficient fixtures by Kohler.  Visit the mkLotus website.

5IVE – Minneapolis, MN (under construction)


John Dwyer, professor at University of Minnesota and founder of Shelter Architecture, designed this home for Jeff and Saleno Gallo.  5IVE is built with precast concrete walls with an r-value in the 30s, has one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems on the market, and will use the greenest possible materials, products, appliances, and fixtures.  I like reading 5IVE’s blog called “Diary of a LEED Platinum Home,” which shares with us decisions, events, and thoughts en route to completion.  Visit the 5IVE website.

LIVINGHOMES RK1 – Santa Monica, CA (completed)


This is the first residential building to receive the USGBC’s Platinum LEED-H rating, and due to the media frenzy associated with this home, it has raised the bar for what’s possible in residential construction: zero energy, zero water, zero waste, zero carbon, and zero emissions. LivingHomes received a total of 91 out of a total possible 108 points required to obtain the Platinum rating. It will be 80% more efficient than similar sized home and was constructed with 75% less waste than a traditional one.  Some green features of this house include a rooftop photovoltaic system, radiant heating system within the floor, grey water system for irrigation, LED lighting, EnviroGlas recycled glass countertops, and the use of low-VOC paints and FSC-certified lumber.  Visit the LivingHomes website.

HEATHER’S HOME – Weatherford, TX (completed)


Designed by Gary Olp of GGO Architects, this home is the first home in Texas to receive LEED-H Platinum certification.  Heather’s Home is 2,038 sf and was built for about $117 psf.  But what’s more incredible is the heating and cooling bill, which averages from $20-30 per month — pretty incredible for Texas!  Some green features of this house include a rainwater collection system with 3,000 gallon holding tank, low-flush toilets, native landscaping, 20 SEER Daikin HVAC system, tankless water heater powered by rooftop solar panels, Green Guard certified Formica kitchen counters, and InterFLOR modular carpet.  Visit the Heather’s Home website.