Big green ideas in the Mission.

The folks at Sunset magazine do realize that most people – especially people who live in the Mission district of San Francisco – are not likely to install a 40-foot wind turbine into their yard. That’s why they call it an “Idea House.” Their first urban Idea House is now open in San Francisco, attempting to prove that “you don’t have to live off the grid to enjoy the benefits of eco-friendly design.” (Though judging by the house’s accoutrements, you may need to be extraordinarily well-heeled). Standout innovations include the Rain Chain, which hangs in the yard, channeling rainwater into underground reservoirs to be filtered and used in toilets and the washing machine. Atop the Green Roof, native plants have been installed to create natural insulation (this approach, on a much bigger scale, has made big news with the construction of Renzo Piano’s new Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park, which is due to open this fall). Radiant heat throughout the house is provided by heating recycled water through solar panels on the roof. Plus, the house has a ton of gorgeous artwork and lots of landscaping and interior design ideas. Check it out through January 27.