Building your dream home can be an exciting process, but is it exciting for the earth, as well? Construction can cause huge environmental impacts that take a great deal of time to reverse. Consider constructing a building that is not only functional and beautiful but also cuts down on energy, material and land waste. Certifiably earth-friendly homes are held to the LEED standard of green-building. Included here are a few of the most earth-friendly designed homes from around the world.
The Dome Home
Popular in Japan, the dome home is constructed from expanded polystyrene. Due to the high content of hydrogen and carbon, this method of construction is extremely clean. Dome homes take a mere seven days to build when worked on by 3-4 builders. The Japanese have begun to take clean, minimalist living to the max by turning it into an artform.
De Maria Design Redondo Beach House
If you read The BoxCar Children, you probably have heard of people living in old storage shipping containers in the past. In recent years, recycled shipping containers have become a popular, earth-friendly method of constructing a sturdy home. The De Maria designed home was constructed from eight steel shipping containers and is resistant to termites, mold and fire. Additionally, 70% of the structure was created in a shop, saving money and time.
Crawford Winter White House
While you may be surprised to see former president George Bush’s name on this list, his winter home in Crawford was exceptionally eco-friendly. Bush’s property used no fossil fuels and used 75% less energy on heating and cooling than conventional homes. Additionally, the stones used on the home were from a scrap pile and all water is drawn from a 25,000 gallon rainwater storage tank.
In Bulgaria, Ignatov Architects pursued a dream of creating a home that was free-standing like a tree, and similarly earth-friendly. This tree home was created with solar panels, rainwater recycling, and a multifunctional vertical core. The open feel of the home, created by glass paneling, utilizes natural light and is insulated via multilayered veneers.
The ultimate in “reuse and recycle,” the Ecopod is constructed from a single shipping container. Every other aspect of the home utilizes recycling as well from the birch wall paneling to repurposed car tire floors. All glass windows in the home are double paneled to slow the heat transfer and the winch controlling the deck door is run via solar panels.
The first LEED certified home in Illinois, Wis Tavern is a tribute to the green movement. Utilizing day lighting, solar panels atop a green roof and energy efficient appliances, the tavern is making as little mark as possible with 92% of the waste created during construction being recycled. Wis Tavern also utilizes a geothermal heating and cooling system and sports remarkably unique glass terrazzo floors created from broken pieces of old vinyl records.