You can have an “Eco Freak McMansion”!

I’ve asked before whether one could have an acceptable green McMansion or if no McMansion could ever be considered truly green. I recently ran across this story of a man who has a 3,000 square foot “Eco Freak McMansion”:

Bill Newman’s kayak buddies love to tease him about his new house in Brooklyn Center. It’s too big for just one person, they say. It’s a McMansion. And it’s way too nice for him.

Newman just laughs. He erased his guilt about the home’s size (more than 3,000 square feet spread over three levels) by packing it with sustainable features, including solar panels, geothermal heating, super-insulated walls and rainwater collection systems…

His house, which he nicknamed the Eco Freak McMansion, is bigger, better and, yes, way nicer than what he’s used to. Even though he’s lived in his new house for several months, “I feel like I’m house-sitting for some rich guy,” he said…

The new house has three times the finished square footage as the cabin, but it’s three to four times more energy-efficient, Newman said.

It’s also a lot more stylish, thanks in part to designer and kayak buddy Jackie Kanthak, who helped him pick out finishes, fixtures and colors, aiming for locally sourced and green materials whenever possible.

Interesting. No mention of how much this all cost but it sounds like Newman no longer feels guilty about his larger than average house. It would be interesting to hear whether his friends are convinced that it really isn’t a McMansion. The house may be efficient and green but doesn’t it still have a large land footprint? Does Newman really need multiple great rooms?

If this house meets with the approval of his friends and others, could this be the wave of the future where Americans get their cake and eat it too, getting a big yet efficient house?

0 thoughts on “You can have an “Eco Freak McMansion”!

  1. It’s a 3-bedroom house with an easy option to convert the “upper great room” into a master (4th) bedroom. Finished s.f. is more like 2500 s.f. The McMansion label is more of an inside jab at the former house, an 1100 s.f. badly-constructed and very leaky former cabin. Your basic question is sound – “does efficiency warrant ‘overconsumption’ of space and materials?”, but the article didn’t flesh out the stats of the house. It’s more house than one person needs, but its capacity is more of a family house.


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