Aesthetically pleasing and constructed with the environment in mind, these beautifully designed homes include such energy, water, and cost-cutting features as solar panels, geothermal systems, and rainwater collection used for irrigation. These extraordinary estates have been built with future generations in mind and many more Earth Days to come.
Rocky Mountain–Inspired Idyll
New Canaan, ConnecticutThis unique LEED Platinum-certified home in the upscale town of New Canaan, Connecticut, was inspired by the log-style homes of Aspen, Colorado. Custom designed and conscientiously built, this beautiful three-story log and stone home was purposefully integrated into its 4.6-acre environment—rich with native flora, water features, and stone.
Inside, four bedrooms and comfortable living spaces are decorated with rich wood and stone finishes, including fireplaces and soaring wood-beamed ceilings, which give every room its own distinct feel. Outside, wide verandas overlook the relaxing pool and spa terrace and the lush landscaped grounds, complete with boulders and towering evergreens, which lend to the Rocky Mountain feel.
St. James, Barbados
Cutting-edge environmental design meets Caribbean chic at this estate overlooking the third fairway of the Apes Hill golf club in St. James, Barbados. Sugar Water is an energy- and water-efficient net-zero villa which incorporates sustainably sourced materials into its intelligent, sophisticated layout.
This stunning 4,634-square-foot villa, with an additional 3,225-square-foot lower level, features four en suite bedrooms, an open-concept kitchen, stylish living and dining areas, as well as a covered outdoor sitting area. LED lighting throughout creates ambience while ensuring energy efficiency. Designed to the same environmental standards, the grounds have been landscaped with edible plants and organic materials, and include such amenities as a large heated pool and a wine cave built into the cliff face.
LEED-Certified Hamptons Haven
Water Mill, New YorkBehind the traditional façade of this Hamptons Shingle-style in the hamlet of Water Mill lies a LEED-certified home designed for 21st-century coastal living. The elegant 9,000-square-foot house is ultra-energy efficient, complete with earth-friendly finishes and smart-home technologies throughout.
There are seven en suite bedrooms and eight and one half bathrooms. The splendid array of entertaining spaces includes a lower-level recreation space with a 1,300-bottle wine cellar and wet bar. The exterior promises summer resort living at its finest: 1,600 square feet of cedar decking (comprising a roof deck, master bedroom terrace, and wraparound porch), 1,500 square feet of bluestone patios, and expertly landscaped grounds with mature plantings, a pool house, and a heated gunite pool with fountains and a spa.
Swede Hill House
Block Island, Rhode IslandOne of Block Island’s finest properties, Swede Hill House offers more than four acres and 3,600 square feet of living space designed by award-winning architectural firm Estes Twombly. Built to the U.S Green Building Council’s LEED Gold standards, the residence won the 2013 AIAri Honor Award for outstanding achievement in architectural design.
This idyllic hilltop retreat is set on one of the island’s highest elevations offering panoramic views of the Atlantic. There are countless spaces to relax and entertain. The deck doubles as a breakfast and grilling area, there’s also an infinity pool and beautiful manicured lawns and gardens. The island itself is a nature-lover’s paradise, and was recently named one of the “Last Greatest Places” by The Nature Conservancy.
Madonna di Campiglio, ItalyThis enchanting chalet outside Madonna di Campiglio is a celebration of the beauty of nature, in both its environmentally conscious design and its picturesque location—overlooking the Brenta Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Clad in Swiss pine and reclaimed wood, this traditional chalet boasts 5,300 square feet of living space across four levels, with picture-postcard views of the Dolomites from nearly every room. There are nine bedrooms (six en suite bedrooms on the first floor and a three-bedroom guest apartment on the second floor). In addition to its sustainable features, such as solar panels, an energy-saving biomass boiler, and rainwater collection system, the residence is chock full of luxurious touches. For those seeking the ultimate in après-ski relaxation, the home’s wellness center provides respite with a Turkish bath, sauna, multi-sensory showers, and ice fountain.
Gulf Coast Green
This one-acre estate on Florida’s Gulf Coast has been reimagined with green living in mind. The 4,000-square-foot residence’s eco-friendly and designer features range from hardwood flooring throughout to new LED light fixtures, an eight-camera security system, impact windows and doors, a new roof with foam insulation, and an innovative irrigation system.
The amenities are truly world class: two professional, lighted tennis courts—a hard court and a double red-clay court with self-regulating irrigation—as well as a heated pool, spa, and travertine lanai. A few minutes away, boating and kayaking opportunities await, as do Florida’s top-rated beaches and golf courses.