With pipedreams for plumbing


The environmentalist who boasted that his new house would be the “greenest home in North America” is running into a few problems. For one thing, Ronald Abramson, the chief executive officer of a renewable energy company called NextGen Energy Partners, chose to build his 13,000-square-foot home in Boulder County, Colo., which prides itself on its green-building code. The BuildSmart rules require Abramson to make sure that his mansion creates almost as much energy as it uses, and that, says the Boulder Daily Camera, means he must install “a sea of solar panels.” But Abramson doesn’t have enough south-facing roof to hold all those panels. And because he has to comply with county regulations protecting open space, he can’t place that sea of panels somewhere on the ground. So the green CEO — the first to test the BuildSmart requirement — is asking Boulder County for “flexibility.” Readers commenting on the building project were quick to accuse Abramson of “enviro-friendly carbon hypocrisy,” but a handful of defenders sprang to the attack. They argued that his wealth does not make Abramson a bad guy or his mega-house a major mistake: “Your idols, Al Gore and John Edwards, live in houses far larger than this,” said one reader. “Edwards is in a 29,000 square-foot home. And Gore only threw up a few solar panels on his roof after an immense public outcry.”

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