Eco houses: 7 most beautiful sustainable builds, from forest dwellings to city homes
One of our greatest preoccupations at Homes & Gardens is shining a light on the world’s most beautiful homes. While many are highlighted for their architecture, their interior design, their location – and perhaps even the fame of their occupants – today’s selection has been chosen for its eco credentials.
These eco houses are beautiful inside and out – and each has an extraordinary location, too. Most, as you would expect, nestle within natural surroundings, but we have chosen one eco house that is in one of the world’s biggest cities, and another that is within easy reach of New York, too. There are links out to the designers, architects or companies involved in their design – we highly recommend visiting their sites to see more of their astounding projects… but only after you have browsed our list.
You can see more of the world’s best homes on our dedicated page.
1. A California modern home
(Image credit: Baran Studio Architecture )
Where: Los Angeles, California
Designed by: Baran Studio Architecture
‘In addition to meeting the highly sustainable California Title 24 and Cal Green regulations, the project goes above and beyond in the reduction of water and energy consumption,’ says Matt Baran of Baran Studio Architecture. ‘The project has a water retention system used to assist in limiting runoff and recharging groundwater. The project also implemented a drip irrigation system and drought tolerant local vegetation. We also included an EV charging station that is powered by the rooftop solar panels.’
2. An eco-friendly farmhouse in Connecticut
(Image credit: Trillium Architects)
Where: Greenwich, Conn.
Designed by: Trillium Architects
‘We turned this outdated 1930s home into a beautiful modern passive house for a young family from New York City,’ says Elizabeth DiSalvo, principal at Trillium Architects. ‘This house is all electric and will be Net Zero. Meaning it will cost only $18 a month to heat, cool and electrify the entire home. ($18 is the hookup fee for the electric company) This house proves that eco-friendly does not mean you have to sacrifice beauty and sophistication.’
3. An eco house in the forest
(Image credit: Snegiri Architects)
Where: Moscow, Russia
Designed by: Kapiturov Nikita (Snegiri Architects, 2019)
Visualized by: Viktoriia Dementieva
Built to fully integrate within the forest environment, this house was designed around existing trees rather than taking away habitats to suit the house. Natural materials were used for the build, and a living plant roof and large energy-saving windows that face the sun are are just a handful of the eco-efficient elements of this build.
4. SuperAdobes in the desert
(Image credit: CalEarth)
Designed by: Nader Khalili of CalEarth
Khalili’s SuperAdobes use ancient building techniques to create resilient, affordable dwellings. Constructed out of locally available earth, sandbags and barbed wire, they are designed as a sustainable housing solution for climate refugees. With this in mind, they are created to be resilient: they are fireproof, hurricane-proof, earthquake-resistant and they also use 100% solar energy.
5. An eco house hidden amongst dunes
(Image credit: Marc Koehler Architects )
Where: Nijmegen, Netherlands
Designed by: Marc Koehler Architects
Designed to blend seamlessly into the seaside landscape, The Dune house has been built with sustainability as a priority. Using passive heating, solar panels, a biomass fireplace, and double glazed windows, the house is designed to heat, store and distribute warmth which leaves it incredibly energy efficient.
Each opening of the house has been shaped and positioned in a specific way to offer a unique perspective of the landscape. From the shape to the colors, textures, and materials, every aspect of the home is thoughtfully integrated into its surroundings.
Photo: Filip Dujardin
6. An eco home deep in a tropical forest
(Image credit: Cadaval & Sola Morales / Sandra Pereznieto)
Where: Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Designed by: Cadaval & Solà-Morales
The Casa de la Roca House celebrates each corner of its unique landscape. Hidden in the hills to the west of Mexico City, this rustic home has lookouts that offer rare views of the tropical forest it is surrounded by. Pieces of the forest compose the house – handpicked fallen trees are repurposed as beautiful beams, while the green roof absorbs rainwater, provides insulation, and creates a habitat for wildlife.
Photo: Sandra Pereznieto
7. A garden oasis in bustling Buenos Aires
(Image credit: BAM Arquitectura / Jeremias Thomah)
Where: San Isidro, Buenos Aires
Designed by: BAM! Arquitectura
Built with health as its motivator and an ambition to have a home with net-zero utility bills, the MeMo House proves that you don’t need to live in a forest to be considered eco-friendly. The home was built using locally sourced materials and has wastewater technology to reduce water consumption. Solar panels are also used and state-of-the-art insulation keeps the home warm for less energy usage.
The MeMo House was also created to have the most minimal impact on the natural landscape; with this in mind, it has a wild three-dimensional garden that you can see here.
Photo: Jeremias Thomas
What are eco-friendly houses?
The term eco-friendly houses actually encompasses a number of house styles and features that reduce a home’s impact on the environment. This can be anything from a home built with sustainably sourced materials, to a home that’s super energy efficient, to a home that’s powered or heated by solar energy.
What type of house is most environmentally friendly?
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly house, you’ve got lots of options. From homes that are powered by solar panels, to tiny homes that are the epitome of efficiency, there’s an eco-friendly home style for everyone.
Here are some of the most common eco house styles.
- Solar-powered homes: These homes use energy harnessed from sunlight to generate the electricity that powers the home. There also also solar options for heating water.
- Passive house: A passive house is a home that’s incredibly energy efficient, thanks to airtight construction, energy efficient appliances, superior insulation and windows, and the way the home is oriented on the building site.
- Tiny homes: Tiny homes are eco-friendly because they’re efficient They require few building materials, and very little energy to power. Plus, their space constraints naturally reduce homeowner consumption.
- Green roofs: Green roofs provide eco benefits in a few ways. For one, they help insulate a home, preventing energy loss. They also increase oxygen levels, and protect a roof from the elements, helping it last longer.
- Eco heating systems: Eco heating systems like geothermal heat or ductless mini splits are eco-friendly alternatives to traditional oil and gas heat.
- Prefabricated homes. Prefab homes cut down on building material waste during construction, and eliminate some of the environmental impact of transporting materials to a build site.
10 Ways to Build A More Eco-Friendly Home [Infographic]
By Chuck Tripp, Donald A. Gardner Architects
Living a natural lifestyle brings so many benefits to body, mind, and spirit — and there are so many things we can do to make the shift. Many are simple, small changes that can be done anywhere, such as switching to natural body care and cleaning products, or using reusable bags and water bottles. But once you’ve made small changes, you’ll likely want to expand your green lifestyle to include your home.
Green home building is no longer just a trend. So many more people these days are interested in building an eco-friendly home that 51 percent of builders expect at least 60 percent of their new homes to qualify as green by 2020. Whether you are thinking about remodeling or building new, here are a few things you should know about eco-friendly home building.
What Exactly Does Building an Eco-Friendly Home Mean?
What makes a home environmentally friendly is open to interpretation. Some people believe that simply adding green features (such as solar panels on the roof) is enough to qualify a standard home as green. Others argue that certification through green building programs such as LEED is the only way to be sure a home meets adequate sustainability standards. Regardless of opinion, most people agree that sustainable home building offers numerous advantages to both homeowners and communities.
Why Build Green?
Green home house plans and green building features offer the following benefits:
- Environmental stewardship. Building green helps ensure minimal damage to the environment, protecting our air, water and wildlife for future generations.
- Economic advantage. Many sustainable home elements pay for themselves many times over in lowered utility bills. Green homes also sell faster and at a premium compared with conventional homes.
- Improved comfort. Many green features, such as air sealing and insulation, make for a cozier, more comfortable home.
- Aesthetic appeal. Today’s home builders and designers can choose from an astonishing selection of sustainable materials and home elements at all price points. Many stand out for their beauty and visual interest, leading to infinite possibilities in design.
10 Practical Ways to Build a More Eco-Friendly Home
There are many ways to incorporate eco-friendly elements into a home. Here are some eco-friendly suggestions to get you started.
- Build a smaller home for a smaller eco-footprint.
- Orient your home to take advantage of sun and wind.
- Install energy- and water-efficient appliances.
- Include alternative water sources such as rain barrels and greywater systems.
- Use recycled, renewable and/or locally sourced building materials.
- Install energy-efficient lighting.
- Properly air seal and insulate your home.
- Consider going solar.
- Make sure your ductwork is properly sized and sealed for efficiency.
- Get solar-ready: Build with solar and/or electric vehicles in mind.
Because green homes are rapidly becoming mainstream, building an eco-friendly home has never been easier. Whether you are planning to do the work yourself or hire a contractor, see how green you can go with your next home-building or remodeling project.
For even more great ideas (23 ways!) for your sustainable home build, click on this infographic.
Author bio: Chuck Tripp has more than 20 years of experience in the residential stock house plan industry. He is currently Sales & Marketing Director of Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc., a house planning company that has been developing floor plans since 1978.
How to build an eco-house.
Basic principles of eco-building – ARTMETALL UKRAINE
Eco-house, for the construction of which new technologies and high-quality materials are used, combines two concepts at once:
- Eco-house is an environmentally friendly house that is safe for people’s health.
- Eco is an economical house that minimizes the need for burned fuel and minimizes energy losses.
How much does it cost to build an energy efficient house
Would you like to know: “How much does an eco-house cost?” Much depends on the area, architectural complexity, materials used, layout, etc. But the main thing is that the cost of the house pays off in the near future.
How does this happen?
Energy efficiency at home solves the main problem – providing the house with heat, hot water and electricity from renewable energy sources. In other words, the house is heated by the energy of the sun, earth, air.
Solar collectors and batteries, ground heat exchangers, heat accumulators – all these devices collect and save energy. In temperate latitudes, including here in Ukraine, thanks to these technologies, traditional home heating can be almost completely abandoned. Do you think all this is fantasy? Eco-house projects have existed for a long time and have been successfully implemented in Europe. In Germany, Austria and other countries there are more than one hundred such houses. In our country, too, a new era of building houses has begun.
According to European experts, the cost of eco-houses is not higher than the cost of traditional brick or stone houses. Even if we are talking about an autonomous house, where there is no need to install a thermal or gas boiler. The price list for the construction of an energy-saving eco-house will help you more clearly understand the cost items.
Where to order the construction of an eco-house
ARTMETALL UKRAINE offers you comfortable and eco-friendly houses in Dnepropetrovsk. These are frame and modular houses, which have a number of signs of environmentally friendly housing.
Stages of building an eco-house from our company
- The house itself is made from materials that are produced without harming the environment.
- Foundations for eco-houses depend on the type of soil, the location of groundwater and the weight of the house itself. Foundations of shallow and deep penetration or non-buried foundations can be used.
- Housing is being built without the use of heavy equipment.
- The terms of building a house are minimal – in just three to four weeks a house is being built, all finishing work is being done.
ARTMETALL UKRAINE performs the entire cycle of work – from design to interior design of houses. Ecological construction is the main direction of our activity.
You can order a turnkey eco-house from us, where only high-quality safe materials are used (photos of our work are presented on the pages of the site).
Contact with questions or to apply for construction. 0567674648, 0504004648
Ekaterinburg, Bazovy Lane 47 (Showroom, entrance Leroy Merlin)
Berezniki, st. Lomonosov 98 (BC Forum), office. 105
Solikamsk, shopping center “Gostiny Dvor”, st. Sovetskaya 56/4, office 314
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Construction Daily Progress Reports On average, the entire building process for
takes between 3 and 8 weeks.
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Daily progress reports
On average, the entire process of building a house takes from 3 to 8 weeks.
Follow construction online
Daily progress reports
On average, the entire process of building house
takes from 3 to 8 weeks.