When people think of celebrity homes, images of extravagance and excess come to mind. However, many celebrities are hopping on the green-home train to try to live more sustainable lives. Though many of these home renovations require deep pockets, many of these celebrities tried to restrain their home’s square-footage for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall
Actress, comedian, and producer, Julia Louis Dreyfus, is known for her roles in Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep. She and her husband, Brad Hall, created an eco-friendly second home in Montecito, California.
They completed a green renovation where they incorporated energy-efficient appliances, rooftop photovoltaics, solar water heating, ample natural daylighting, sustainable hardwoods, and a retractable sunroof, also known as a thermal chimney that draws hot air up and out of the home.
The home produces most of its own energy and the bulk of the pre-renovation materials were salvaged or donated.
The “Breaking Bad” star has a net-zero energy residential building project. The ultra-efficient 2,450-square-feet beachfront retreat in Ventura, Calif. replaced the 1940s-era bungalow that was on the property before. He carefully deconstructed it to make sure most of the building materials were salvaged and little demolition waste was sent to the landfill.
Cranston’s new home includes rooftop solar panels, high levels of insulation, rainwater recycling, high-performance doors and windows, and many other energy-saving features. The house targets both LEED platinum certification and recognition from the Passive House Alliance U.S. It has qualified for the highest level of ‘green’ building in the country.
With the help of designer Marco DiMaccio, Lisa Ling and husband Dr. Paul Song built Santa Monica’s first energy neutral home. Ling, acclaimed television journalist who hosted CNN’s 2008 documentary series Planet in Peril built the house to be LEED Platinum certified. She buried a 500-gallon water tank and had over 60 solar panels installed. The yard has no grass, only succulents.
The 4,300-square-feet home boasts passive cooling (no AC), high levels of insulation, LED lighting, radiant heating, zero-VOC paints and finished, an EV-charging station, a heat island effect-reducing white roof, and more.
The existing structure on the property was deconstructed with the project achieving a goal of 100 percent waste diversion (nothing went to the landfill). Building materials not used in the new home were donated to Habitat for Humanity. The luxury features of the home include the conversation pit in front yard covered in faux turf and the giant lamp made from 2,000 upcycled Chinese take-out containers.
The popular 1980s actress, Daryl Hannah, is largely committed to various environmental causes (climate change, animal rights, and mountaintop removal mining protests). She’s even been arrested several times in the process of supporting her causes.
Hannah sold her rustic Malibu compound and has now renovated a stagecoach stop in the Colorado Rockies. Her mountain home incorporates passive and active solar technologies, and has an extensive organic garden, gray water recycling, and a backup biodiesel generator.
From celebrity homes to mainstream practices
When you’re a celebrity, you generally have a wider spectrum of options when it comes to building a home, and deciding on a lifestyle according to the times. These particular people have chosen to embrace sustainability. But, it still remains to be seen how far into the mainstream some of the features of their homes will be in the next ten years.
What are your thoughts on this? Which features listed above (or not listed!) do you feel every home should have, celebrity or not?
Tell us all about it in the comments section!