Sunset’s 2005 Idea House event features two side-by-side “zero energy” demonstration homes that show how much can be done with green as the guideline.

The homes open this Friday, October 7, in Menlo Park, CA, and will be available for viewing until January 22, 2006. One home has a fully decorated interior with contemporary furnishings, and the other is empty, with cutaway segments that allow viewers to see the inner workings of the eco-friendly home, which include formaldehyde-free insulation and radiant roof barriers.

Among the more visible green details are recycled glass kitchen tiles, low VOC paint, wheatboard cabinetry and flourescent lighting with fixtures that do not accomodate incandescents. There are auto-shutoff light sensors, composting and worm bin setups, water-efficient landscaping, and the list goes on. Some really beautiful photos of the more innovative green interior design work, such as Fireclay’s Debris tiles and 3form’s resin encased thatch cabinet panels, are available on the Sunset site (see link below).

These Idea Houses are slated to become the groudwork for a 47-home development in Menlo Park, including “affordable” homes for under $375,000. I’ve never particularly smiled upon cookiecutter housing developments in the suburbs, but if they’re going to keep popping up, at least they’ll be growing a little greener.

Via: San Jose Mercury News


Link: Detail Features from Sunset

(Top Photo: Rick E. Martin, San Jose Mercury News
Lower Photo: Thomas J. Story, Sunset)