A Tale of Two Houses
A 20 room (not including 8
bathrooms) mansion heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a
separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes
more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill
for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400. In natural gas alone, this
property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home.
This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern 'snow belt' area. It's in
Designed by an architecture
professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every
'green' feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square
feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American southwest. A
central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water
through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground.
The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.
HOUSE #1 is outside of Nashville, Tennessee; it is the abode of the 'environmentalist' Al Gore.
HOUSE #2 is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas; it is the residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
An 'inconvenient truth'?