Imagine having no or a minimal power bill while saving the world one solar panel at a time. Energy efficient home design combines state-of-the-art construction, energy reducing appliances, and lighting with readily available renewable energy systems, like solar water heating and electricity, and possibly a fatter wallet. Some local climates and geographic conditions allow for easier transitions into an energy efficient lifestyle. The plan is to reduce home energy use as much as possible and to provide energy renewable systems as well. The following are just a few of the amazing, interesting, occasionally odd, but always efficient home designs that use their own resources to save money.
A full view of this home resembles a miniature space needle! The solar panel atop this spinning three paneled glass home provides more than enough energy to provide for itseco-friendly family of five. The roof top panels follow the sun throughout the day and the house turns when needed in order to provide equal amounts of energy for the entire house.
Unique and definitely secluded from the rest of the world, the Hale Pilihonua, which means “home that is one with the land,” was designed by a team from the University of Hawaii to meet the need of the middle income eco-aware family. Unfortunately the team had to withdraw this home as an entry from the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition held annually giving Colleges all over the nation an opportunity to show off their energy efficient home designs. They plan to enter this year and I am sure they will be a fierce competitor. This house has an armored shell of solar panels, aerogel high performance insulation, shading louvers, and interactive LED lighting. Not your traditional Hawaiian homestead but definitely one that will benefit the beautiful environment and family that dwells there.
This home is what energy efficiency gurus call a minimalistic design. It uses optimized openings to generate natural light and air flow throughout the home. It also uses the surrounding soil as insulation and protection. It is built in to the side of a small hill, which not only helps support the structure but also helps keep energy costs down. There is no wasted space, there are no foyers or hallways in this residence either. The flow of traffic follows a room to room progression. Each room serves a practical purpose. No waste, no fuss, just simple energy effective living for any smaller sized family.
Built under the Green Home Guidelines for 2011, this modern, energy aware residence has taken complete advantage of its natural environment by installing large windows and using the sun and weather as its main source of light and heat. The built in solar panels control the climate and water temperature of this home of six in South Florida. It’s beautiful, practical and energy efficient and near the Coast. What more could you ever want? Seriously.
Quiet and quaint are the words that come to mind when looking at this energy home. Another type of home that is trending presently in energy efficient circles is the modular home. GreenPod, a company run by architect and environmentalist designed this sustainable, healthy, and energy efficient home. This company focuses on every detail of construction as well as cost effectiveness. These homes boast TechShield radiant barriers which can save the home owner upwards of 17% on energy bills as well as reduce carbon dioxide. Another cool thing GreenPod offers for existing home owners is a foil product that can be used in attics and offers the same type of benefits as their new construction radiant barrier. Traditional mobile homes are a thing of the past. It is time to upgrade to these unique pre-fab eco-friendly designs.
Although this home reminds me of huge containers stacked on top of each other, this new home built in the Lake Forest area of Los Angeles, California boast more energy than it could possibly consume on the hottest day in July. It has set a trend for other builders and homes in the area. Many Builders are attempting to set themselves apart by constructing Net Zero homes to compete during this period of slow market and the decrease of new home contracts. Many with the means to build are looking to energy effective home designs like this multilevel beauty.
An energy home on the beach? Umm, yes please! This 1250 square foot home nestled in Long Island Beach, New York boasts minimal energy consumption, a plan to reduce and potentially eliminate toxins, a reduction of water waste, and facilitation of 100% water permeability. This beach bungalow is on the high end of expense because of location but is considered a minimalistic style. It is no surprise that beach front property is costly. At least with this humble, yet pricey dwelling you get a break on your power bill and a priceless view.
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