Eco Friendly Houses With Real Curb Appeal

Eco Friendly House
Image by andrewmalone via Flickr

Architecture has long been a major influence on our lives and in more ways than we may realize. Designing and building the perfect living space is just one part of the package, but what about the efficiency and performance of the property? The way a renovation or new build fits in with the modern desire for eco-friendly houses and living environments is an important consideration, and while we read of such ideals all the time, far too few of us actually put it into practice.

A new breed of architects is recognizing that there is a need for appealing and affordable eco-friendly housing, rather than the many high-tech offerings that tend to showcase green technology. But one of the classic problems with eco-friendly houses is that many people find them unattractive, both to look at and to live in. That said there are an increasing number of ‘Green Houses’ that deliver stunning design and eco-friendly elements in a perfect package.

Here are a few favourite eco friendly houses:

  •  Mi.Loft, USA: This superbly innovative design from the RMJM studios is designed to offer affordable housing with high quality innovation, using body heat and the excess from electrical appliances as heating.
  • Portable Martin House-to-go, USA: A clever design that offers exactly what it says – a house that can be transported to wherever you want it to be. Fully weatherproofed and offering ecological touches such as bamboo floors, it takes the eco-friendly ideal to another level.
  • The Zerohouse, USA: A more traditional idea that uses solar power and water catching technology to enhance the green potential. It’s been lauded as a very practical design and has won many plaudits.
  • Honingham Social Housing Scheme, Norfolk, UK: This is one of the most advanced pioneering green housing developments in the UK and promises zero carbon emissions and very cheap running costs thanks to attention to detail.
  • BowZed, East London, UK: Situated in the UK capital are these stunning and very inventive eco-friendly fossil-free flats, a group of four that offer green living of a high standard and use an array of energy systems for power.
  • The Dome House, Japan: This clever Styrofoam expandable dome shaped property is designed to be rot proof, earthquake proof and constructed in a matter of days.
  • The Orchid House, UK: Located in the Cotswolds in the UK is this admittedly expensive but extremely innovative house, which uses advanced geothermal energy for power. The development is home to a number of properties that have impressive credentials.

Despite all of these excellent examples, it’s still difficult to envisage a time when eco-friendly houses and attractive homes are built on mass by developers. But as with any innovation, these pioneers and the attention they receive prove that the will for such schemes is out there. A catalyst for the move towards cheaper, greener dwellings may well come in many forms, be it the sharp increase in utility costs, the hike in insurance premiums after the mortgage PPI claims scandal or simply the global warming argument. Consider this: eco-friendly and low cost design has already found a place in the motor industry and mass produced housing could very easily follow suit.

Would you consider buying an eco friendly house?  Under what conditions?


12 thoughts on “Eco Friendly Houses With Real Curb Appeal

    1. After going through the home purchase we handled last summer I think we’re in this house for a good 20+ years. But we’ll do what we can to save energy and continue to retrofit the house when it makes sense to do so.

  1. I’ve done a lot of research on eco-homes and there are some beautiful alternatives – yet they often cost more than a traditional home. Of course, there’s always a Tumbleweed home! Mobile and less expensive, yet very tiny. ;)

  2. I would definitely consider an eco friendly house. I looked at one at the sustainability exhibit in chicago, and really though the house looked great. Open floor plan, looked nice inside, and aside from a few things, you couldnt tell that it used basically nothing in terms of resources.

  3. We’re building our dream house now. Green homes are definitely more expensive–which seems counter intuitive! What we saw is that we are incorporating as much green and universal design as we could afford. As far as we can tell, our house is the first two-story full ICF (insulated concrete form) home in our city. It’s been quite the neighborhood attraction, especially as the second floor gets started. In addition to saving many trees, ICF houses are much more energy efficient, stronger, quieter, are mold and termite resistant, and keep allergens out. We are doing other things, too, like putting in cork floors, using no-VOC paint, recycled glass tile, etc. When it’s done, it’ll look like any other house in our neighborhood, just stronger, safer, more eco-friendly, and using a lot less energy.

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