He's been elected vice president of the United States, won an Oscar® and a Nobel Peace Prize and traveled the country teaching millions about the world's environmental crisis. Now, former Vice President Al Gore can add home improvement specialist to his list of accomplishments.
In 2007, Gore and his wife, Tipper, completed massive renovations on their Nashville home. Their goal wasn't to make their home larger or more luxurious—it was to make the space more energy efficient.
Gore's renovations began outdoors. To conserve water on his property, he transformed his driveway into a rainwater collection system.
These eco-friendly improvements aren't all visible to passers by. Underground geothermal wires now help heat and cool Gore's home.
Once the home is at the right temperature, attic spray insulation helps keep the warm or cool air inside. This improvement reduces energy costs over time.
Another way Gore lowered his electricity bill was by replacing all incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
In order to put solar panels on his roof, Gore had to get the zoning laws changed in his neighborhood. Once he got the go-ahead, he had the energy-producing panels installed.
Some panels are used to power a fan on the roof.
Other solar panels produce energy for the rest of the home.
Since completing the renovations, Gore's home has been called one of the nation's most environmentally friendly. "We got a certification from the Green Building Council," he says. "We're very proud of that."