Everyone seems to be talking about sustainability these days, and when you consider that a sustainable home is likely going to save you in heating costs and will help the earth, it seems like the smart thing to do. The following 10 home designs are excellent options for those considering a new house and want to make sustainability part of their choice.
1: Mini Houses are less than 100 square feet. They are like living in playhouses with lofts. They can come with solar panels and wind power generators. When Tiny Houses showcased them at the Sonoma County Fair last year, they were a big hit and got rave reviews.]
2: Casa No Gere in Portugal is a bar-like structure made with absolutely no trees and only environmentally-friendly materials. It was made to fit in a national park and it succeeded.
3: IKAROS house was unveiled at the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim, Germany. This contemporary-looking house actually produces surplus energy with solar panels, efficient mechanical systems, vacuum insulation panels, and natural ventilation.
4: Crooked House is in the Swiss Countryside, but aims to take up little space with a top floor that is tilted back at a 40 degree angle. It also improves the light collection.
5: Vertical House in Seattle aims to deal with urban sprawl by soaring up instead of spreading out. It is only 25 square feet wide but has 840 square feet of space total. It is made of wood and soars up to a peaked roof. The second story overhangs an outside space a covered porch. It makes the energy needs more sustainable with high-efficiency windows and woven bamboo insulation.
6: The most interesting thing about Biohouse is its hydroponic garden. It is on it’s roof. They are also saving space with a garage that is underneath the C-shaped house. With lights designed to adjust their brightness with the light coming in from the huge energy-efficient windows, the house makes the most of every inch that it can.
7: Green Zero Project in Italy has a feature that does double duty. Exterior poles both hold up the large porch roof, but act as rainwater collectors. The slanted, square house with the big, roofed porch is prefabricated and made of interlocking wooden planks, reducing waste, and the house is powered by solar panels.
8: Piermont House in Australia blends into its surroundings with thee curved wings of concrete that culminate in a glass square in the middle. The design lets in the most sunlight during the winter and uses an overhanging roof to protect it from the heat in the summer. It is a design that conserves both energy and space.
9: CASA is the brainchild of a Mexican design team aiming to address the overpopulation issues of Mexico City. They made a flexible housing system of components that can be added between houses and on abandoned lots. Much like Vertical House in Seattle, they want to tame sprawl by utilizing every inch that they can.
10: zeroHouse is an amazing prefabricated structure with a large solar panel array jutting out the side of the roof, shading the front of this compact house and collecting rainwater at the same time. It is made of blocks of environmentally friendly material, and includes a deck on the second level for shade. This may be the most sound one on the list because of the double-acting features. Nothing says ‘conservation’ like materials that multitask.
These 10 examples are merely the beginning of your options. Just keep looking for prefabricated and compact homes with efficient insulation and ventilation.