When you imagine living in an eco-house, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you see a cabin in the mountains or perhaps a small house in landscaping?
Let us pop that dream bubble for now as sustainable homes come in different shapes and sizes made of various materials.
You find them in stylish, innovative designs right in the city’s heart. So, if you want to build your eco-home or wish to learn more about making your living space eco-friendly, keep reading.
We have some great inspiration ideas waiting for you here to get started.
What are Eco-Friendly Homes?
Well, a passive house is what it sounds like. The building is designed to create a minor impact on the environment. So, why is this crucial?
The reason is that when you burn fossil fuels to heat your living space, it leads to climate change. So living in eco houses is about using renewable energy sources.
This provides you with energy efficiency as your home is made from recycled materials. Thus, living in an eco-house has a different construction process leaving a lower carbon footprint.
Top Characteristics of Eco-Friendly Houses
So, what makes a home eco-friendly, whether it is a farmhouse in the countryside to a modern city apartment? It all comes down to the features found in the building to make it environmentally friendly.
Still, there are three main features, and that is building your home with sustainable materials, making it energy efficient, and using renewable energy, leading us to the following essential characteristics:
The best feature for eco-house owners is using solar panels to make the living space as energy-efficient as possible.
You can convert the sunlight to electricity with solar panels while reducing possible fuels. Further, it helps to lower your power costs. The same applies to energy-efficient appliances, from heaters to washers to your refrigerator.
These appliances need less power to work.
Using Sustainable Materials for Sustainable Living
When building a home, builders use eco-friendly recyclable materials to use again. Further, these materials create less waste keeping the environment green.
Modern Eco Houses Energy Efficiency
With an eco-friendly home, insulation plays an essential part in presenting you with geothermal heating, a green roof, solar power, etc.
The insulation traps the heat, so you do not need to pay more to use a heating system. Thus, you can reach the correct balance to make your prefab home or tiny homes more efficient.
21st Century Environmentally Friendly Home Lets in Loads of Light
To leave a tremendous environmental footprint, homes built with floor-to-ceiling windows let in more light. So, with more natural light flowing inside, you do not need to use more power.
The same applies to smaller windows placed correctly. You find them in triple-glazed windows to trap the heat. Again, the correct exterior door placement used can control the temperatures.
While adding skylights improves the ventilation, heating, to lighting.
Sustainable Homes Flooring
Another important part of eco-friendly homes is the flooring. Using the correct eco-green developments in the floor can help maintain temperatures without spending extra costs on a heating or cooling system.
Eco-Friendly Modern Homes Framing
Many of your newer luxury sustainable homes you find built with Optimum Value Engineering is a unique technique to make frames for houses. In addition, the manufacturers use less wood in the construction. This is good news as it has a lesser environmental impact and helps reduce the building costs.
Bio Friendly Homes Use Geothermal HVAC Systems
Eco properties can save power costs using geothermal energy to heat the home. Instead of using gas in most other existing homes that releases toxic chemicals into the air.
A green home using this HVAC system can provide hot water, heating, and cooling when installed correctly.
So, you can use it as a conventional boiler, air conditioning and reduce your energy consumption. The system uses the earth’s energy to power the system.
These days you can even create an eco-roof with a waterproofing membrane to use with a growing medium to grow plants on your traditional flat roof.
Using a vegetated roof has many environmental benefits as you can manage rainwater to water your plants and reduce energy and stormwater runoff.
As you can see, the above sustainable features are part of the passive house standards providing improved air quality to lessening the heating bills, but that is not all:
Top Benefits of an Eco-House Design
- It lessens energy use to lower your power builds as you provide your home with your own electricity.
- With a passive house, you have less maintenance work using sustainable building materials.
- The indoor air quality is better as you use active solar systems with lesser carbon emissions.
- Whether you choose prefab construction to build a new house, you get an innovative design.
- Further, building your home with reclaimed materials reduces the strain on the local resources. It also leads to fewer fossil fuels with less energy than carbon homes.
- The best part is your sustainable mansion will get a higher property value if it is part of the eco-friendly housing developments.
How To Make Your Existing Home Eco-Friendly
Building a new eco-friendly home can cost a pretty penny. But with some simple improvements, you can make your home into something precisely what you want but in an eco-friendly way.
- With draught-proofing, you can save big on your power bills. By insulating the home well, you need to break the bank. You can seal the doors to the windows to keep the temperature right without paying too much for heat and cooling costs.
- Invest in a smart meter to help save home energy as it shows you how much power you use.
- Another excellent investment for an eco-friendly home is a smart thermostat. You can cut those heating bills in half while using an app-based control.
- Get rid of that old boiler and improve the carbon footprint to reduce material waste using a low carbon-dioxide heating alternative such as heat pumps.
5 Amazing Eco-friendly Homes
In life today, we need to use what we got, right. But you can still fantasize about living in a place like the following zero carbon homes here:
Zero Utility House in Kent
Yes, the house has zero carbon footprint and has a spacious layout. There is a master and guest bedroom suite found on the top floor. The open ground floor has a study-cum-snug, while the basement also has three bedrooms used as a plant, office, and bedroom.
Further, the living space has smart functionality to use the blinds to light with Alexa voice control. The building has triple glazing, a heat pump, underfloor heating with outstanding insulation. In contrast, the array of solar panels with batteries and LED lights helps them use less power.
The Meera Sky Garden House, Singapore
The eco-friendly house has no dependence on mechanical air conditioning and central void volumes that maximize the cross ventilation. As a result, the home also reduces artificial lighting and energy consumption.
The best feature is the garden found on the roof and other building parts on each level to provide natural shade. In addition, using natural light flowing into the house and more grass areas provides less thermal storage in this passive house than using conventional building materials.
Thus, the natural materials in the construction allow this existing home not to need a cooling system.
Off-Grid Micro Ecocapsule Home
Imagine living off the grid anywhere in the world. You can, with a self-sustainable micro capsule unit. The only thing powering these eco houses is solar and wind energy. You need no building site and only planning permission on where you do place it.
The accommodation is for one or two people to use as you please. You can use it as a mobile office, house, a pop-up motel. You will always have water as the shape helps minimize heat loss while collecting rainwater on the surface into a tank to filter as needed.
Vals House in Switzerland
The eco-house you find nestled in the mountain and is set below the ground. It has a concrete structure with a wide opening you arrive at using a set of stepping stones in the steep incline. You find the patio at the top surrounded by a wide facade of huge window openings.
One thing is for sure it is not your typical bunker once you step inside. Instead, the eco-friendly house has all your amenities from an entertainment area, kitchen, dining area, bedrooms to underground pathways.
The Bridge House in Adelaide, Australia
Is it a home or a bridge? You decide for yourself as once you enter the building, you will be amazed at the net-zero power use of this house. It has a narrow form that spans over the creek with glazing on both sides.
The homeowners have thermal comfort without air conditioning while the winter sun heats the black insulated concrete floor from both sides. The family is kept cool with a steel screen with openable windows and ceiling fans during the summer.
The family collects their water from the rainwater to use inside the home while wastewater is pumped away about 100 meters from the creek disperses into an underground treatment. While the house is powered with cells, and it has hot water solar panels to provide warm water.