Celebrities Who Try to Build Green
In addition to a privileged zip code, the ultimate expression of success may now include a commitment to “building green.”
The smart-celeb- set including Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, and Johnny Depp insist on the use of recycled materials and “off the grid” energy solutions. The rich and famous now compete to achieve the coolest eco-friendly environments while addressing major pollutants such as asphalt-shingle waste in roof replacements and grey-water waste.
Green building improvements are rapidly challenging traditional ostentation and decor as a new hallmark of power and prosperity. Home renovation advocates compete to build sustainable mansions for eco-friendly stars with features like living roofs and radiant geo-thermal heating. Eco-friendly values and resource-efficient building methods have come to define design, construction, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction of new and existing structures.
Who’s Who Among Hollywood Green-Listers
Celebs who have proudly reported going green by adding eco-friendly updates to their luxury properties include Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Woody Harrelson, Ashton Kutcher, Jay Leno, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, and Scarlett Johansson.
Brad Pitt, twice named “Sexiest Man Alive,” is also a major architecture buff, hot on the trail of the emerging green-building movement. Pitt has helped to rebuild New Orleans in an eco-friendly way, and has narrated a sustainable design TV series, also supporting Ed Norton’s Solar Neighbors Program.
Adding in Advocacy
Tom Hanks takes his green seriously, going the extra mile to support the Nature Conservatory, speaking out frequently in his media appearances on green issues and building.
For Will Ferrell, going green is no laughing matter in his environmental advocacy and support of the Natural Resource Defense Council.
What is Chic “Green” Construction?
These Hollywood stars through example are inspiring ordinary Americans to create comfortable yet environmentally sustainable family homes through intelligent uses of technology, design, and the integration of natural elements into construction, proving that luxury and sustainability are no longer at odds.
Celebrity green homes often include luxury lifestyle features and appointments that ultimately save homeowners or residents money on water and electric bills while still keeping up the chic.
In practice, the concept of green building touches on several aspects of a structure’s impact on the environment including its energy efficiency, water efficiency, solid waste reduction, toxic material reduction, indoor air quality, and use of sustainable materials.
A green building has characteristics that reduce its environmental impact and carbon footprint during its life cycle – from construction to the end of the building’s useful life.
Three main criteria establish how “green” is defined:
- Environmental impact a building has now and in the future considering factors such as energy use, efficient use of space, recyclability, and material used for construction, all in an effort to conserve natural resources.
- Economic impact such as lowering operating costs, enhancing asset value, improving productivity, and optimizing lifecycle performance.
- Health and community, through the improvement of air quality, occupant comfort, and overall health conditions.
Long-term savings derived from installing top-of-the-line green building materials might cost more on the front end, but pay off big time in the long run - not only economically and morally, but let’s face it – who would not want to live just like a Hollywood star if given the choice!
Sarah Boisvert is a business writer covering the building industry including roof replacement and green construction. She also writes about 3D Printing and other Digital Manufacturing topics.
Photo #1 Caption: Brad Pitt’s “Project Make It Right” Brings Green Housing to Rebuild New Orleans after Katrina.
Photo Credit: via Project Make It Right, non-profit organization.