David Gottfried probably knows more about building green than practically anyone. He speaks around the world about eco-friendly construction and founded the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). His organization, in fact, developed the LEED rating system, considered the gold standard for certifying eco-conscious buildings and homes

However, living in a big house that was not environmentally friendly, Gottfried wasn't really practicing the life he preached. So, in 2008, he and his wife bought a 1,440 square-foot Craftsman home in Oakland and turned it into what was considered the first “greenest home in America.” After extensive renovations, Gottfried’s home posted the highest score of 106.5 in the LEED certification program at that time. Since then, other homes have achieved higher scores but not by much

His first job in remodeling the house was to stop all the energy loss. So he caulked and closed every crack then drilled holes in the walls and blew in cellulose insulation. He then replaced the windows with dual panes designed to resemble the home’s original 1915 style. Also, Gottfried used recycled wood in both the inside and outside of the house

For heating, he put in eco-friendly radiators above the baseboards in each room, which are powered by solar panels on the roof. Further, each room has its own thermostat. That way, energy isn't wasted heating unoccupied areas. Also, all of the electricity in the house is solar-powered, and the home’s water heater is partially heated by solar power as well

As impressive as Gottfried’s house is on the inside, the outside may have the best technology of all. Around the house are nine, fifty-gallon, water storage tanks. Seven are hooked up to the home's downspouts to capture rainwater. These tanks then connect to the bathroom toilet so it can be flushed without wasting any tap water. He also pipes excess rainwater into his garden. The other two tanks collect gray water from the sinks and showers. This water is then piped into a below-ground filtration system, which cleans it to use in the family’s garden

Gottfried also planted drought-resistant trees and shrubs in the remaining part of the garden. In addition, he installed permeable pavers on the driveway on top of gravel which allow rainwater to soak into the ground, thereby reducing runoff

He also founded the World Green Building Council, reported to be the world's fastest-growing nonprofit organization. He believes homes around the country can be modeled after his. Of course, many homeowners can’t afford all of the upgrades that Gottfried implemented. But they can make their homes much more energy efficient just by utilizing a few of his ideas. Many of the smaller upgrades that he incorporated are not mentioned here but are completely doable for homeowners that have a smaller budget

Regarding President Obama's promise to spend $150 billion over the next ten years on renewable energy technology, Gottfried thinks it’s definitely a step in the right direction. He also believes that the most efficient use of the initial part of the funds is to install rainwater storage tanks and solar panels on homes and buildings throughout the country

In 2011, Gottfried put his house on the market for $1,295,000, which is nearly $900 per square foot! It’s unclear as to why he is selling his high-profile, award-winning home. But always the inventor of more sustainable home living ideas, it won’t be a surprise if he embarks on another challenging home renovation project in the near future