Feeling Inspired: Sustainable Living Homes

A few of our favorite sustainable living homes to inspire your own living.

I used to see sustainable living homes as something from the future. They look like they are from outer space – highly technical, and (if I may be so bold to say) a little sterile. Nothing says futuristic like a roof made of solar panels and walls made of recycled lumber and copper. Well, that was then and this is now.

More sustainable homes and buildings are popping up everywhere, all over the globe. According to Sustainable Architecture and Simulation Modelling by the Dublin Institute of Technology, “Sustainable architecture… seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. Sustainable architecture uses a conscious approach to energy and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment.” The most important goals of sustainable homes is maximizing energy efficiency. Generating renewable energy via solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps and solar water heating are a few ways to improve ventilation efficiency. These homes are also built using sustainable building materials. The supplies are often in the form of recycled materials and lower volatile organic compounds. A house in the UK was actually made from all recycled and reused materials including 20,000 toothbrushes, discarded VHS packaging and denim, among many other things. As they say, “one man’s trash…”

Though I won’t be putting any solar panels on my rented apartment any time soon, I will continue to educate myself on this innovative and necessary “new” way of life. Until I have an abode of my own, the following homes will forever inspire me. Allow them to inspire you as well!

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The three photos above feature the Fall House, located on the Big Sur coastline in California. The home includes energy-efficient windows, a copper facade, and a graywater recycling system that is used for garden beds and toilet composting, helping to altogether reduce sewage. Photos by Joe Fletcher.

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French architect Phillipe Starck collaborated with Slovenia company, Riko, to create the newest in prefab housing, P.A.T.H (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes.) These innovative homes come in an array of sizes and building materials and give the home owner the option of  roof-based solar panels or a roof-based wind turbine and a rainwater collection and filtration system. Photo by Starck with Riko.

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The Blooming Bamboo home in Vietnam is made entirely of local bamboo, fiberboard, and coconut leaves. It costs only $2,500 to construct and soon architect firm, H&P Architects, will mass-produce these flood-proof homes for low income Vietnamese families. Photo by Doan Thanh Ha.

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Remember that home made of 90% waste I was speaking of earlier? Well, this is it. You’re looking at 4,000 DVD cases, 20,000 toothbrushes, 2,000 floppy discs, and 2,000 used carpet tiles. Introducing the Waste House project, made by students at University of Brighton, proving there really is no such thing as garbage. Photo by BBM.

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Can you believe that Tighthouse, pictured above, is over 100 years old? This New York City row house got an energy-efficient makeover and now sports two solar thermal panels for hot water needs, an additional story with an art studio, and solar PV panels (which reduce grid-based electricity.) Photo by Hai Zhang.

+Who else is feeling inspired? How are you participating in sustainable living?

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Comments

  1. If you can’t live in a sustainable home right now (i.e. live in a rented apartment) there is always the option to use community shared solar!

  2. I am always inspired when I see sustainable homes! We are saving up to build a container home right now that is almost completely self sustaining. Thanks for sharing :)

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  4. Thanks for the great share! I also like the idea of Home Energy. The best part I like is this: The reliability and availability of modern energy sources cause people to tend to assume that it will always be accessible. And as for the case of non-renewable energy sources, most people do not know or maybe even refuse to accept that it will eventually run out.

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