The Green, Green Luxury of Home

Published by The Wall Street Journal
on Friday, 7 January 2011 By TARA LOADER WILKINSON
Even in a world where green has become the new black and words like “sustainable” grace everything from food packages to corporate mottos, the notion of building an eco-friendly luxury home can seem like an oxymoron.
“You think of a £30 million mansion built with the finest imported materials, the heated pools, the electrical gadgets, the air conditioning, the six-car garage and of course the private jet journey to get there. That can appear at odds with the environment,” says Peter Mackie, managing director of HSBC-backed Property Vision, a U.K.-based estate agent.

The luxury carbon-neutral home concept—in which properties attain a net zero carbon footprint—has been labeled “a conscience salve,” “greenwashing” and “a complete misnomer” by critics. Despite that skepticism, developers are hoping to turn a seemingly contradictory phrase into a 21st-century success story, laying plans for prime deluxe carbon-neutral property all over Europe. New homes in the U.K, Portugal, Italy, Morocco and Switzerland are being marketed to wealthy individuals around the world, with developers reporting strong demand.

In Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, …

Tags: carbon-neutral, environment, estate agent, green, home, imported materials, luxury, property, sustainable

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