green going overboard

I have been mulling over this subject with a builder friend for a while now and I think I can make my point brief. He is building a very "green" house which is small and pretty and so forth but the cost is astronomical. A simple example of why it is so expensive is that the architect specified clay drain tiles around the foundation instead of PVC. Much more $$. Not that I approve of the use of vinyl - just rent "Blue Vinyl" and you'll see why - My thought is: would the world be better off if they used the pvc and put the price difference into their town's fund to help low income folks winterize and add insulation? That seems to me to be so much more environmentally responsible.