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A Tale Of Two Houses

red states rule

Senior Member
May 30, 2006
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House 1:

The four-bedroom home was planned so that "every room has a
relationship with something in the landscape that's different
from the room next door. Each of the rooms feels like a slightly different place."

The resulting single-story house is a paragon of environmental
planning. The passive-solar house is built of honey-colored
native limestone and positioned to absorb winter sunlight,
warming the interior walkways and walls of the
4,000-square-foot residence. Geothermal heat pumps circulate
water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground. These
waters pass through a heat exchange system that keeps the home
warm in winter and cool in summer. A 25,000-gallon underground
cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater
from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground
purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water
from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around
the four-bedroom home, (which) uses indigenous grasses, shrubs, and
flowers to complete the exterior treatment of the home.

In addition to its minimal environmental impact, the look and layout
of the house reflect one of the paramount priorities: relaxation. A
spacious 10-foot porch wraps completely around the residence and beckons
the family outdoors. With few hallways to speak of, family and
guests make their way from room to room either directly or by
way of the porch. "The house doesn't hold you in. Where the
porch ends there is grass. There is no step-up at all."

This house consumes 25% of the energy of an average American
(Source: Cowboys and Indians Magazine, Oct. 2002 and Chicago
Tribune April 2001.)

House 2:

This 20-room, 8-bathroom house consumes more electricity every
month than the average American household uses in an entire year. The
average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per
year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, this house
devoured nearly 221,000 kWh, more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, the house burned through 22,619 kWh,
guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than
an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result
of this energy consumption, the average monthly electric bill topped

Also, natural gas bills for this house and guest house averaged
$1,080 per month last year. In total, this house had nearly
$30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for 2006.

(Source: just about anywhere in the news last month online and
on talk radio, but barely on TV.)

House 1 belongs to George and Laura Bush, and is in Crawford,

House 2 belongs to Al and Tipper Gore, and is in Nashville,

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