The OC Gets a Luxury Platinum Home


Developer Steve Blanchard set out to build one of the greenest homes in Orange County, and he may just have accomplished that.  In fact, this home, the Costa Mesa Green Home, is the first custom residence in the OC to receive LEED Platinum certification.  Although 5,000 square feet in size, the home exceeds California Energy Code by 40% and isn’t expected to generate an electricity bill outside of standard add-on fees.


Homes of this size have a harder time obtaining Platinum certification, but that didn’t stop Blanchard.  In fact, according to The Orange County Register, the developer is “anxious to go and do another one of these.

The Costa Mesa Green Home was designed by David Gangloff in a “modern interpretation of craftsman” style, according to a statement on the architect’s website.  The project contractor was Gonterman Construction.

Green aspects include optimized orientation and design to take advantage of the elements; use of durable, sustainable, and non-toxic materials; ventilation design to maximize indoor air quality and efficiently cool the home; use of high efficiency HVAC equipment and Energy Star lighting; construction with highly insulated walls and windows; installation of a no-water, native landscape; use of shower gray water recycling for toilet and irrigation reuse; and photovoltaic panels sufficient to power the home’s entire electrical load.

Located at 1811 Gisler Avenue in Costa Mesa, California, this home is now being offered for sale at $2,999,000.  This price will get the purchaser seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms,and a three-car garage.






Photo credits: Brian Egan Photography.

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  • Joe D.

    5,000 sq ft and a price tag of $2.9 million I guess OC just doesn’t get it

  • Jo N.

    I think LEED only measures building material and some home energy efficiency points. To point out that the home is close to place of employment, public infrastructure and transit, while at the same time stating the house has 7 bedrooms 7 bath and 3 car garage is contradicting. I applaud the builder in choosing environmental-in-mind material, but this is California, need they built more house at the time of excess supply of existing ones in foreclosure?

    Heck, if you build a house in CA, unless is in a infill lot in SF or where public transit usage is high, you shouldn’t be getting any LEED at all.

  • Sea Wolf

    Preston, I think you need to think long and hard about why and whether you should continue to post houses such as this one. How could this house possibly be “one of the greenest” in Orange County or anywhere else? Any tiny little two-bit bungalow built in the 1920s close to schools, shops, and places of work is greener by a mile, just for being a) small, b) lasting, and c) proximate. If you took this same bungalow and spent, I don’t know, $75K to trick it out with better windows, tighter, better insulated walls, a cool roof, more efficient appliances, and some PV and DHW panels, this house would be several orders of magnitude greener than your ridiculous $3 million Platinum house in OC. We’re on a planet with 6 billion people and counting. How could any one of us justify a house with a swimming pool and a living room and kitchen the size of a gymnasium as anything to emulate? Go ahead and build it, if you must. It’s a free country. But laud it? Why? There isn’t one green feature on this house that isn’t negated by the sum total of its absurdity, and even if this wasn’t the case, you can readily find these features on much more reasonable homes. Champion these on jetsongreen instead of beasts the likes of this.

    • Preston

      Sea Wolf, you make excellent points and I appreciate it. Earlier in blogging, I would have said something more opinionated about the size of this home. More and more, though, I’m taking a subtle approach and letting readers chime in.

      I will say that we, Jetson Green, try to hit the entire spectrum, whether affordable, new, rehab, tiny, etc. The old home in this case was deconstructed, if that makes any difference.

      Certainly, there should be a discussion of the inherent contradiction between a large home and Platinum certification, but the line is tough to draw. This home was designed with a large inter-generational family in mind. Not sure if that will be the case when it’s sold.

      But would we have such a problem with a large green home if the Duggars lived in it? Or is it the luxury aspects that we have difficulty with? Hopefully others will weigh in.

      • Kevin

        I totally agree with you that 5,000 ft is crazy, and that a smaller house in a walkable area is inherently more sustainable and livable. Yet the reality is that many, many people want very large homes and no number of smaller, inherently more sustainable homes will change that desire. I think it is important that more developers are building smaller and more sustainably. Over time I think that will help change the general attitude/desire of the marketplace. That won’t happen overnight though, and even if it did there would still be many that simply want a big home. If houses like this weren’t built — if architects and developers looked down their noses at them because they are too large for their sustainable tastes — the only option for those that continue to want really excessively large homes would be the energy guzzling junk that has been built for years on this scale. This may not be sustainable perfection, but I give them credit nonetheless.

        • John

          The basic point made by Sarah Susanka and others is that average consumers don’t know how to define the house they want… currently, the major parameter available is simply size: 4000 sf must be better than 3000 sf, period. The corresponding abysmal design and quality are expected side effects, but consumers find this out too late. Better design is the key; a green box is still a box, and although better for the environment, ‘average’ people will not feel compelled to buy one. Well-designed, healthy, and affordable homes are what’s needed to combat the McMansions.

  • Kurt

    That’s an excellent point, Sea Wolf. So many of the LEED Platinum houses I see here are not only much larger than most houses people live in, but way beyond the means of any but the wealthiest homebuyers. I thought the point of greener living was to have a positive impact on people’s lifestyles–not to suggest that if they want to be green they should emulate the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

  • jade

    While this home is clearly bigger and flashier than what any family truly needs, I commend the developer for being mindful of the homes footprint. If you look at housing trends from this decade, the modern McMansion is clearly what most developers created due to market demand. I think building gigantic green mc mansions are a step in the right direction until the market, the consumers, start demanding otherwise. People who grew up in this consumer culture of ours are looking for the “American Dream” home, and for many a 2 bedroom bungalow just isn’t that. I think the focus should be turned on educating consumers to demand more of the realistic and truly sustainable kind of “green”, but honestly I don’t believe that’s here yet.

  • mike

    Is costa mesa Spanish for greenwash?

    I don’t really get it. why bother?

  • SLC Urban

    I feel the same as Seav Wolf and can’t say it any better than he did. But if they are going to build a giant home regardless then it is better that they did it green.

  • Preston

    This home was featured on Good Day LA, check it out:

    • Christopher

      The House is Not Nearly Big Enough and Not Enough Stone for My Tastes!!!

      • Christopher

        I have lived in spaces that feel cramped my entire life. The bigger the better. The problem is NOT size. The problem is design aesthetic. Too many houses are on the market that are disgusting aesthetically, partly because of building code. Start making more rammed earth, adobe, and sustainable harvest log homes. Even some prefab construction methods are quite better than on-site stick frame crap with vinyl siding and toxic insulation. Makes me sick.

  • Oneputt

    This house is now the proud tenant of a drug rehab facility!  Sure shows how the architect did not design to the location!  What a wonderful addition to the community!!!!

  • Oneputt

    This home is the proud tenant of a drug rehab facility!  Sure shows that the architect did not design to the location!  What a wonderful addition to the City of Costa Mesa!!!  Go Green…puke green!

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