Green tease

Living in Spanish Springs, you can’t help but notice the new subdivisions being built. And you also can’t help but notice that they’re the S.O.S., cavernous McMansions of 2,600 to 4,000 square feet with enormous three-car garages, built pretty much cluelessly in terms of real energy efficiency.

Yawn, ho-hum, and no wonder there’s a massive slowdown in new home sales.

Who wants to buy these dinosaurs anymore? These behemoths are pterodactyls from yesteryear, Mr. Developer Man, gigantic and excessive throwbacks to a very recent epoch when we didn’t have to pay one whit of attention about what it takes to operate such a jive barn. In case you haven’t noticed, home builders, there are a helluva lot of couples out there these days who aren’t having four, three, or even two kids. In fact, if they have one, it’s because Ashley missed a couple of pills that month. A lot of these new couples, between 25 and 40, have seen the writing on the wall and have noticed that it’s printed in green ink.

They’re not that turned on by all of this 3,500-square-foot nonsense that so intoxicated baby boomers and yuppies. Here are some ideas that will get the new generation’s attention, if only someone would dare to use them.

(1) Get solar panels on the roof. The secret is out, and it’s now well-known that energy, especially in the state of Nevada, literally falls out of the sky. I mean, seriously, THE SHIT FALLS OUT OF THE SKY AND LANDS ON OUR ROOFS AND ALL WE GOTTA DO, ESSENTIALLY, IS BEND OVER AND PICK IT UP! Modern people not only know this, they think it would be rather smart, even cool, to take advantage of it. Give it to them.

(2) Make sure these new homes have a roof line angle that will (a) let sunshine pour into the living space during the winter to facilitate direct solar heating and (b) block the sun’s rays during the summer.

(3) Configure the plumbing to allow all the “gray” water in the house (kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, shower water) to be collected for use on the plants in the surrounding landscape. You know, duh.

(4) Stop it with all this “prestigious” enormity. What horse manure! For one couple, or one person (helluva lot of one-person households these days) a well-designed, efficient house of 1600 square feet is plenty. And living in a modern, energy-intelligent place with a big living room, a big kitchen, a big bathroom, and a nice loft will provide plenty of “prestige.” Because coolness equals prestige, and houses like these will be very cool indeed.

There are lots more innovations that can be used for your “Green Vista Estates,” home builders. My suggestions are but a start. But trust me, you build a spec subdivision of 12 affordable homes with these 21st century features, not only will they come … they will buy.