In Sagaponack, a sustainable-building magnate’s live/work Climate Barn provides a model for green construction.
Jeff Tannenbaum may very well be the sustainability movement’s adopter-in-chief. The private investment fund that Tannenbaum founded in 1994 purchased carbon offsets and embraced LEED-accredited workspace design almost immediately after both concepts were developed in the late ’90s.
By 2017, he had created the largest independent utility-scale solar business in the United States. He had also founded a nonprofit that promotes innovative financing for energy-efficient construction and retrofits. “If you show Americans that you can solve sustainability problems profitably, you can solve them much faster,” Jeff says.
Jeff and his wife, Nisa Geller, executive director of a social-justice NGO, share their good fortune with the environmentalist community as well. For the past 15 years, the couple have invited climate research leaders (among them legendary scientist and activist James Hansen, one of the first to raise awareness about global warming) to seasonal residencies at their vacation home in Sagaponack, on Long Island’s East End.
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