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U2 Guitarist's Project Raises Questions About LEEDU2 Guitarist's Project Raises Questions About LEED

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Posted: 03/28/11 04:30pm  Reply with quote
U2 Guitarist's Project Raises Questions About LEED

When U2 guitarist The Edge announced plans to build a cluster of mansions overlooking the Pacific Ocean, he promised the homes would look like nothing more than scattered leaves on the ridgeline and boast the country's most sought-after green building seal.

Environmental groups, state and federal officials and even some neighbors have not been sold. The green designs are great, they said, but just don't build your houses in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas in Southern California.

Critics say the proposed project in ocean-front Malibu is an example of how developers can follow the rules, but still violate the spirit of the national green building program called the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED.

The Edge, whose real name is David Evans, and his partners want to build five homes averaging 10,500-square-feet each on a 156-acre site in the Santa Monica Mountains. The homes will feature native landscaping, electric vehicle charging, solar panels and their own wastewater treatment. The plan also calls for an access road up the mountain.

Evans was not available for comment, but his website promoting the project said most of the land will remain untouched and that the "sustainable homes will prevent inappropriate designs from being built on any of these legal home sites in the future."

The commission is expected to take up the matter in April or June. The panel does not have to adopt staff's recommendation.

Commission Chair Sara Wan declined to comment on the project itself but said the LEED system does not make much of a distinction between a project sited in a city as opposed to an important habitat area.
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