Seattleites are among the most progressive homeowners in the nation when it comes to green building. I'm particularly proud that we're able to support a locally-grown King County green home certification program, Built Green. I wrote more about that and other home certifications--which can add great value to your house--for Seattle Magazine, here.
One topic I haven't found room for in an article, but which always comes up when I talk to architects and builders about eco-building, is how the size of a house relates to its green-ness. It might be one of the most important things to consider when choosing or building a home you'd like to be able to call eco. But to others in the green home community, saying this amounts to Square Footage Bashing. People who can afford it sometimes commission green-designed homes that are 4,000 or 6,000 or more square feet, and some would argue that that size, in and of itself, disqualifies the home from being truly green. Even if everything in a house is built of sustainable materials, to the highest energy efficiency, the fact remains that a larger home is using more materials than a smaller home: more mercury in those CFLs, more water in those low-flush toilets, more copper for pipes and recycled wood for floors. And that house must go somewhere, which means using more land. The argument I've heard from those who support big green houses is that those houses might be sheltering an extended family of grandparents, or multiple children, or home offices. But that's a big *might*.