The 26-Toilet Mansion: How Much Energy Use is Too Much?
Rich people who live in big houses in
I’d never heard of a house being measured in cubic feet, but I guess it’s a good gauge of vastness and cavernousness: a 625,000-cubic-foot house must have some high ceilings.
I think what’s really galling the neighbors though is the realization of how hard it will be to keep up with the Joneses (irrelevant aside: did you know that the Joneses in the phrase 'keeping up with the Joneses' were Edith Wharton's family, on her mother's side?). The Greenwich Time reports:
Another concern for residents is that the mansion has far more floor space devoted to Turkish baths, Finnish baths and other amenities, than living space normally found in single-family homes, Lee said.
"A single-family doesn't need 26 toilets," he said. "Why are there 26 toilets there?"
The owner, by the way, is a woman named Olga Korgan. Here’s what her lawyer says:
"It's the way people who can afford it like to live," he said.
To me it raises other questions: how much energy does a 26-toilet, 625,000-cubic-foot house use? And isn’t it time for local communities to start changing zoning regulations to make sure houses have as small a carbon footprint as possible?
They already regulate how much paving you can have, how close to the wetlands you can build, how close to the street and neighboring properties you can build, how tall the house can be, etc. All those are more or less important, I guess. But if limiting the affects of climate change requires a million small actions to go along with a few big ones, energy efficiency in houses is a good place to start.