The 21st century has seen a huge rise in the number of people trying to live a more eco friendly lifestyle and one of the first places many people start is in their homes. Small changes, such as having a shower rather than a bath or only boiling as much water as you need for cooking, can help to slowly reduce your carbon footprint, but actually altering the house itself can have a huge effect on energy consumption. The following are 10 incredible houses that have done just that. They are not only incredibly eco friendly, but also pretty impressive to look at as well!
Artificial Hill House – Australia
This rather bizarre looking home was designed by architect Andrew Maynard and can be found on the outskirts of Melbourne in Australia. The structure is built on the top of an artificial hill and is designed to keep heating costs at a minimum. There is also a rooftop garden which also helps to insulate the building, keeping the inside cool during the summer heatwaves and warm during the cold winter months.
The M-House – Korea
The M-House may look more like a futuristic climbing frame but this breathtaking building is actually an eco friendly holiday home. The structure is powered by both wind and solar energy, making the building totally self-sufficient.
zeroHouse – Worldwide
The zeroHouse is a pre-fab home that is easy to assemble and totally self-sufficient. The building is an eco-enthusiasts dream. It uses solar panels to store power in its batteries, collects its own water and even turns waste products into compost! The zeroHouse is also relatively cheap compared to other houses on this list, costing just $350,000 to build (around £240,000).
Lower Mill Estate – England
This incredible looking home is located on a nature reserve in the Cotswolds, England and is famous for being the most expensive eco-home ever sold. The futuristic holiday home was bought for £10m ($14.5m) and boasts its own lake, an underground geothermal heating pump (that promises to produce more energy than the house consumes) and 2,400 sq ft of space.
ACQUA LIANA – America
The word ‘mansion’ and ‘eco friendly’ may not seem to go together but that didn’t stop property tycoon Frank McKinney building a ‘green mansion’ in 2009. The impressive home is located in Palm Beach and comes complete with a waterfall spa, aquarium, bar and floating sun terraces. It certainly has an amazing array of features but the really impressive point about the green mansion is the fact it’s energy self-sufficient.
Suoi Re Village Community House – Vietnam
This beautiful community house may look simple from the outside, but it is bursting with green technology on the inside. The structure is made from simple bamboo and packed earth but features a solar cell system, a geothermal heating installation and a rainwater recycling unit.
The Woodland Home – Wales
The Woodland Home in Wales looks fit for Bilbo Baggins himself but this impressive little house is very far from Middle Earth. The owner created the structure out of reclaimed wood, stone, mud and straw and the building is totally self sufficient. Inside there is a wood burner for heat in the winter, a natural air cooling system for the summer, solar panels for energy, a compost toilet and even a water system that is sourced from a nearby natural spring.
The Underground Vals House – Switzerland
The Underground Vals House is built straight into the side of a Swiss mountain and provides stunning views across the valley and down into the city of Vals. The design of the house keeps the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer, while the huge windows allow the natural light to stream into the property.
The Rotating New Paltz Dome – America
The New Paltz Dome is not only one of the coolest houses in the world, it is also classified as ‘environmentally clean’. The unique building is capable of spinning a full 360 degrees, allowing the solar panels and large windows to follow the sun’s rays throughout the day in the winter and stay in the shade in the summer.
The $4m Mansion – America
This $4m mansion in Colorado may look like an eco-warrior’s nightmare but the building is actually incredibly economically friendly. The structure was built from recycled and organic materials and the wrap-around wall insulation and solar panels dramatically reduce the energy consumption. To put that into perspective: A property of this size usually costs around $2,000 per month to cool and heat, while this $4m ‘green’ mansion costs just $350 per month!