In the constant race to construct the most energy efficient and cost-saving homes, savvy builders and architects have turned to all types of different building materials and structures. Whether it’s using reclaimed wood to keep the building costs down, installing a green roof to lower the energy bills or converting an old grain silo into a luxury pad, there are many different ways to build the perfect alternative home. The following are 10 of the very best!
You’ve probably lost count of the times you’ve seen wood pallets piled up behind supermarkets and warehouses and never realised that they actually make the perfect building material. They were originally used as a cheap way of building homes for disaster victims but wood pallet structures are so easy to construct and economical to run that they’ve also become popular with the environmentally minded among us as well.
Building a home out of bamboo is not only a cheap alternative to bricks and mortar but it is also a safer one. Bamboo is an incredibly tough and flexible material and bamboo homes are thought to be able to resist the majority of earthquakes and hurricanes.
Canal Boat Homes
If you’re really looking for a home with a difference, then how about trying a canal barge? These narrow boats come in many different sizes and are capable of comfortably sleeping 4, 6 or even 8 people at a time. And best of all, if you don’t like your surroundings, you can just move your home whenever and wherever you choose!
Shipping Container Homes
It may be hard to believe but shipping containers actually make perfect homes. They are considerably cheaper to build than standard homes and their smaller size drastically reduces the energy consumption of the building. It is also possible to easily attach solar panels and insulation to the containers for an even greener and more efficient home. But, most of all, living in a shipping container is unbelievably cool if you ask us!
Green Roof Homes
Having a garden growing out of your roof may not seem like a very clever idea but green roof homes are actually very practical. Unlike a traditional roof, the green roof actually reflects the sunlight, keeping the house cool in the summer, while the soil works as an excellent insulator in the winter, helping to reduce energy costs even further.
Grain Silo Homes
Recycling old products is an excellent way to both save money and help the environment. This idea has certainly caught on in America with a number of savvy designers using old grain silos to create homes. The silos not only look incredibly cool, they also cost a tiny amount to buy and can be converted into a plush and modern pad with just a bit of hard work and imagination.
Hemp Concrete Homes
Hemp concrete is starting to be used more and more as an alternative to traditional concrete in building construction. The mixture is made from limestone, water and hemp and is far more durable than regular concrete. What’s more, hemp concrete is said to be resistant to mould, insects and even fire!
Modular homes have progressed considerably in the 21st century. They are no longer just plain blocks or cubes and can come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. They are also far cheaper and quicker to construct than traditional homes and often come with energy saving advantages such as solar panels and rain-water systems.
Reclaimed Wood Homes
Building a home out of old wood may not sound the most appealing of ideas but reclaimed wood homes can actually look incredibly classy if done right (see the photos above). Recycling the wood is not only excellent for the environment but also drastically reduces the cost of the construction.
Tree House Homes
If you want an alternative home with a real difference then how about living in a tree house home? These incredible structures not only get you closer to nature but also have the added bonus of making you feel like Robin Hood. We guess the only real downside of living in the trees is if you have a problem with heights!