Green model homes burn near Seattle; arson suspected

Burnedhomes_2As further indication that you can’t please everyone when it comes to green building, four model homes with sustainable features burned today near Seattle and “authorities found a sign purportedly left by eco-terrorists that mocks claims that the homes were environmentally friendly,” according to an article in the L.A. Times.

The spray-painted sign, which bore the initials of Earth Liberation Front, read “Built Green? Nope black!” and “McMansions in RCDs r not green,” which refers to rural cluster developments. In cluster developments, houses are built close together — thus the term cluster — in areas zoned for larger properties, and the remainder of the land is often designated “open space.” The effect is tract-home density in the middle of rural communities.

Still, the houses were termed green. According to the article:

One of the people involved in the project said the homes used “green” techniques such as water-pervious sidewalks, super-insulated walls and windows and products made with recycled materials, such carpet pads. Advertising for last summer’s Street of Dreams show focused on the environmentally friendly aspects of the homes, which were smaller than some of the huge houses featured in years past.

The burned houses were between 4,200 and 4,750 square feet in size, with prices up to nearly $2 million.

(Photo: AP)

5 Comments on Green model homes burn near Seattle; arson suspected

  1. sheila

    yeah, this is a tough one. i think the manifesto could have been better written and maybe the vandalism limited to dumping black paint all over the porch or something — enough to be symbolic and get press, but not enough to create serious threats to firefighters, neighbors, and, frankly, the environment by burning all that toxic stuff!
    i am sick to death of these greenwashers getting away with murdering wilderness unapologetically — they are the eco-terrorists, in my opinion. that doesn’t mean lighting fires is the solution, but dang it, these McMansionizing liars need to be stopped, so a little bad press about the total non-greenness of this type of thing is all good…

  2. Nick

    Idiot. How exactly did they ensure no one was hurt? Were they there ready to help the firman who might broken a leg, inhaled smoke or been killed by a collapsing wall? Did they have garden hoses ready in case the fire spread to trees, houses and other areas that weren’t “the target”?
    They are terrorists. Cowards that run and hide after throwing a sucker punch. Sooner or later one will die trying…and many will not blink an eye.

  3. ecowarrior

    I’ll give the ELF credit for the fact that they’ve never injured anyone and they’ve always worked to ensure that in their methods of protest and direct action. Every time I hear of one of their actions, I’ll admit, it makes me look into why they focused on that particular place, that particular target — and I always learn something new about what corporations and wealthy individuals are doing to further pollute this planet. There is no such thing as a “green” rural cluster development. I applaud them for not hurting anyone and for raising awareness on important issues and I don’t think they should be branded as “terrorists” of any sorts.

  4. J.M.

    I have to agree with Leroy, I too despise the status quo when it comes to stupid and inefficient building techniques and sprawl ruining rural spaces, but idiotic gestures like arson and leaving signs with questionable grammar behind only taints the cause for the rest of us.
    Activists and protests are a vital part of democracy, but personal accountability and responsibility must be present or else it amounts to no more than vandalism and personal vendetta.

  5. Leroy

    The E.L.F. lacks any pragmatism about the political process. They should be supporting even the smallest “green” measures while saying, “It still isn’t enough!” This kind of childish behavior only taints their cause and polarizes the debate. Instead of seeking mutually beneficial arrangements with developers, governments and the environment, they wish to tear down the establishment from the top and start over. I admit, I’ve indulged in such fantasies before, but at some point, you have to step away from the bong and face the real world.
    The E.L.F. Not helping since 1992!