Looking to build a new home? Why not make it as sustainable as possible?
By building a sustainable home, you’re not only doing your part to protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint, but you’re also going to save tons of money on your utility bills. It’s a no-brainer.
But knowing where to start can be tough. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of eight impressive sustainable buildings around the world to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing.
Land Port of Entry
This sustainable building, located on the border between the U.S. and Canada, is a great example of locally focused sustainability. The building is located in a heavily wooded area, known for its lumber industry, and so the designers took great pains to use local, sustainably harvested lumber. A full 98% of the building’s wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
In addition, the designers worked to restore the wetlands which surround the building and planted native plants throughout the property
Before you make any decisions about your new home, consider your surroundings.
Rammed Earth House
This house in Hanoi is a great example of how you can use rammed earth in your home design. Rammed earth, which is basically compressed dirt, is a phenomenal building material. It has a high thermal mass which means it absorbs heat during the day, keeping your house cool, and then releases that heat slowly throughout the night.
These architects took the rammed earth concept to the next level by planting trees in the house’s roof. The house is a beautiful extension of its natural surroundings.
Off-Grid Living House
This off-grid house in Scotland is a masterpiece of self-sufficiency. It’s well insulated and has large solar panels, of course, but it also has something most other sustainable buildings on this list don’t: a composting toilet.
A composting toilet is a lot like an outhouse, but once it’s full, you use the contents as compost in your garden. I know that sounds gross, but you’ll be adding a lot of sawdust to the mix so it doesn’t smell. And you let it sit for a year before you use it, so the nasty bits have time to decompose.
If you want to be self-sufficient and are okay with the idea of using your own feces as compost, then a composting toilet is a perfect addition to your new home.
Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building
The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland is loaded with sustainability technology. Its elevators generate power as they descend, and it has smart lighting which reduces light energy by 40%.
But for our purposes, its most exciting feature is its solar water heating system. The sun heats up special water tanks located on the building’s roof, and these tanks are used to provide hot water to the entire building.
Solar water heating is the perfect way to make sure you and your family can have a luxurious hot shower without using any electricity at all.
Recycled Materials-Based House
This house in East Sussex, England uses a variety of recycled, natural materials in impressively creative ways. The roof is made of zinc, the kitchen surfaces are made of recycled glass, the insulation is made of hemp and wood fiber, and the paints are partially made from limes.
The house is also designed to efficiently use the sunlight for heat: a strategy known as passive solar heating. And it employs a smart rainwater harvesting system to cut down on water use.
It goes to show that maximizing your house’s sustainability is all about using a variety of techniques and strategies.
This house, also in England, takes insulation to the next level. The walls are all made of wood and filled with wool. And as anyone who’s into performance clothing knows, wool is an amazing natural insulator.
Just like your wool sweater keeps you warm in the winter, so will the wool insulation around your house. But the insulation innovation doesn’t end there.
The architects used high-performance, vapor-resistant tape to seal off the house’s frame. This airtight seal provides yet another layer of insulation to this marvelously designed house.
High-quality insulation is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save big on your heating bill and conserve energy.
John & Frances Angelo Law Center
The John & Frances Angelos Law Center in Baltimore is a marvel of architectural creativity. Its most innovative feature is a giant empty cavity running from bottom to top in its center.
This cavity provides ventilation for the entire building. Depending on the time of day, the air either circulates due to the heat of the sunlight or due to mechanical fans. There are even indicators in the offices that tell workers when its time to open their windows and increase circulation.
In addition to providing fresh air, this system keeps the building at a comfortable temperature at a relatively low energy cost.
We put the sustainability treehouse, located in West Virginia, on the list to remind you to have fun and be creative with your new home. The treehouse serves as an educational center where people can learn about forestry and sustainability. And, in addition to being fun and educational, it also has a very sustainable design.
It has a rainwater processing and cleaning system along with a large array of solar panels. And, it even has its own set of wind turbines. These technologies provide all of the treehouse’s energy and water needs: no municipal source necessary.
From Sustainable Buildings to Your Sustainable Home
We hope this list of sustainable buildings has inspired you. Building a sustainable house takes time and energy, so get started today.
Are you looking to build a sustainable home? You’ve landed in the right place. Peak One Builders specializes in residential green construction in Scottsdale AZ. Contact us to set up a free consultation so we can discuss all of your options! Call 480-378-0611 today.
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