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Proof that Green Buildings Don't Have to Be Ugly Or Expensive

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Photos: Sam Oberter/PostGreen Homes

With the green building movement in full swing, it's about time developers turned out some examples that accounted for aesthetics as well as the environment. Then there was the challenge of making an attractive green home that was affordable too. In late 2007, Chad Ludeman, Nic Darling, and Courtney Ludeman founded PostGreen and set out to prove it was possible. By '09, they had constructed the 100K House (above). The simple modern design, set in the East Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, managed to achieve a LEED Platinum rating while costing less than $100-per-square-foot. While the simple floorplan—devoid of interior walls and doors—might not be everyone's idea of a livable house, it is a stunning achievement none-the-less. Which is probably why the U.S. Green Building Council named it the 2010 LEED for Homes Project of the Year.

? On the Presidio, San Francisco's decommissioned military base turned national park, a wave of redevelopment provided a rare opportunity to live within the bounds of a national park with an easy commute to the heart of a major American city. The three-bedroom Presidio Landmark townhouses have been awarded LEED Platinum certification and rent for $6,800-$7,800 per month.

Photos: Mariko Reed, Sam Oberter, and Tim McDonald/ArchDaily

? Back in Philly—which seems to be a hotbed of stylish green design—another set of designers has turned a city staple, the rowhouse, on its head. The funky slatted facades belie simple modern interiors and add some distinctive visual interest to the...you guessed it...LEED Platinum certified structure. All nine units in the Thin Flats development have been sold since completion in 2008.

? The whole LEED thing isn't making such strong headway in NYC, where high land costs and higher standards tend to produce buildings aimed at returning profits instead of reversing climate change. But with the green living trend on the rise, even Manhattanites can be swayed by a green building. One Jackson Square is a rare modern build in the coveted West Village and has been LEED certified. Perhaps that can account for the high prices: this 2,200-square-foot penthouse is asking $6.14M.

? When price goes out the window altogether, the green home can be quite the palace. Remember the $60M spec house A-Rod was talking up back in February? Well it turns out even that 30,000-square-foot Miami mega-manse has somehow obtained LEED certification, despite power-sapping features like a 3D projection movie theater and fingerprint-secured wine cave.
· PostGreen Homes [official site]
· Belles Townhouses - Presidio Landmark [official site]
· All Presidio Landmark coverage [Curbed SF]
· Thin Flats | Onion Flats [ArchDaily]
· 122 Greenwich Avenue [Corcoran]
· Miami's Record-Setting Spec House Behemoth Worth a Second Look [Curbed National]