There is much emphasis put on living sustainably nowadays and house-builders are always looking for new and innovative approaches to greener building, whether it be the use of reclaimed construction materials or making the home as self-sufficient as possible. From simple structures to aid developing nations to glamorous millionaire mansions, here are some brilliant examples of the most eco-friendly homes in the world:
#1 The S House
This project is located in Vietnam and is the result of the search for sustainable, useful and ultimately cheap housing for the population of the future. To build, the home only cost $4000 and it’s made from locally-sourced, readily available materials including thatching made from Palm leaves and bamboo. The building can be easily dismantled and transported to another location and features one large open interior space, is rather basic but there are plans to mass market the home.
#2 The Fall House
At the other end of the spectrum, here is a luxury home that boasts solid green credentials and beautiful aesthetics. Along the Californian coastline, the exterior of the property is unusually covered in copper. The salty sea will weather and patina the copper after time which will look amazingly unique but also offers a high level of fire protection. The views over the Pacific are stunning through the energy-efficient windows. The open stack design of the property allows for natural cooling ventilation and reduces the need for air-conditioning. Gray water recycling is also part of the home’s system.
#3 The Slip House
In the UK, a firm of architects have designed a home that could offer the potential for cheap, sustainable family living in the years to come. The London property sits on a brownfield site, which means it is reused land after being used for commercial or industrial use. The design features 3 box shapes stacked at slightly different angles. Eco-friendly measures include rainwater harvesting, mechanical ventilation, high insulation, triple glazed windows and solar panels. Compared to a normal home, this property has reduced its carbon footprint by 1.2 tons of CO2 every year!
#4 The Waste House
At the University of Brighton in the UK, a house made almost entirely of waste has been constructed. You might not like the sound of that but it’s certainly ingenious. Approximately 90% of the construction material is made from DVD cases, toothbrushes and carpet tiles! Nobody lives in the house but it offers an inspiring example of what can be achieved with garbage that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.
#5 Acqua Liana
This is a millionaire’s property but obviously one with a conscience. Its luxurious façade hides some seriously sustainable living. Acqua Liana is located in Florida and could boast being one of the eco-friendliest mansions on the planet. The basketball court is lined with solar panels that generate enough power to keep the entire estate running. The building is made from reclaimed wood, has its own recycled water supply and eco-friendly lighting systems.
#6 The Old Water Tower
Situated in Berkshire, England, this amazing property requires no heating whatsoever. Heat generated from windows, the people living in it and home appliances is captured and circulated around the house to keep a constant temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. Triple glazing and thick wood walls means that no warm air is lost outside. It boasts being 20 times more efficient than a standard-built home and the zinc roof offers ideal insulation and is recyclable. All the electrical appliances run on low electricity technology too which keeps the fuel bills even lower.
#7 Active House
This futuristic-looking property is in Denmark and is described as active because it captures more energy than it uses. It features a huge number of solar panels which provide hot water for underfloor heating. The excess energy that it captures is sold back to the grid for 8 months of the year and this money will eventually offset the cost of building the house. The inside temperature is computer-controlled so it can open and close windows depending on whether it deems the interior too cold or too hot. The goal of this project was to achieve a zero-carbon homestead. There are huge glass windows that let in an incredible amount of light even on the grayest of days.