The idea of building a house with zero net carbon emissions was once a fantasy. But experiments in the Denmark appear to indicate that such a feat is closer to reality than many people think. It’s all thanks to their new holistic approach to house building. Rather than just looking at ways to make the existing housing stock more efficient, eco-conscious innovators are using recycled building materials and non-carbon-intensive methods for construction.
The movement is spreading overseas to places like the US. The idea is to create a healthier, simpler world where everybody can have a more comfortable life. Homes being built in the US today have a bunch of features which homes didn’t have in the past. With the cost of a home solar power system falling all the time, many of the buildings come complete with units already installed. On top of that, they have zero VOC paint finishes, energy recovery ventilators, high-efficiency furnaces, triple glazed windows and passive solar orientation. It’s an environmentalist’s dream team for optimal home design.
But is it sexy?
The answer, of course, is “yes.” There are dozens of homes all over the world that are both stylish and have impressive green credentials. Let’s take a look.
Cherry Blossom House
Cherry Blossom House was built by a group of eco-architects from London near the city of Strasbourg. The house makes use of the usual raft of eco-friendly features, including triple glazed windows and walls made from cellulose. But the thing that makes the home really stand out is its fantastic design. Despite the eco-overtures, there’s plenty of decking for entertaining guests outside, and there are additional architectural features, like modernist bay windows.
Russia is making waves at the moment in the world of architecture and disrupting the industry. Just last month, a Russian-based company announced that it had made a house in a day from recycled materials.
The DublDom 2.65 is the brainchild of Russian designers based in one of the country’s eco parks at Yasnapole. The designers wanted to build something in nature that wouldn’t affect nature in any way. The home, therefore, stands on stilts, allowing any wildlife to literally crawl underneath it as if it wasn’t there before. The structure was prefabricated to prevent an impact on the local environment and constructed in just seven days.
Thoreau’s Cabin sounds like something out of the Lord of the Rings. In reality, it’s a sustainably built home nestled away in a rural part of the Netherlands. The entire building is made from wood and aluminum and has no electricity or running water. That might sound like a deal breaker, but there is a stove which uses firewood from the local area.
The architects wanted to create a building where the occupants could feel as close to nature as possible. No cell phones: just the gentle rustling of leaves in the distance.
Despite the absence of running water, there is a kitchen for preparing meals and plenty of seating area inside for family gatherings.