Friday’s Food for Thought: The Top 10 Coolest Eco-Homes


As humans, we are constantly challenged with being able to enhance environmental sustainability, while also continuing are accustomed lifestyles. For example, does reducing your eco-footprint require moving off of the grid into a cabin deep in the woods? Fortunately, the answer is “no.”

In fact, there’s a new movement where eco-friendly homes minimize environmental impact, while also drive new levels of architectural innovation. In other words, there are plenty of very cool houses that are paving the way for the future of home building and design, which don’t require you leave behind your creature comforts.

Here’s our definitive list the top 10 eco-homes:

10: Waste House


Built on the University of Brighton campus, this house was made from a wide range of construction industry and household waste, which include toothbrushes and old jeans to VHS cassettes and bicycle inner tubes.

9: Pop-Up House


This home was built in just four days with no more tools than a screwdriver. Thanks to its excellent insulation and near-airtight thermal design, no heating is required for the home.

8: Blooming Bamboo


This prototype home will eventually be mass-sold to Vietnamese people on a low income, and is constructed from bamboo that is clad using locally-sourced materials including bamboo, fiberboard, and coconut leaves. The homes are expected to only cost $2,500.

7: The Slip House


As a template for affordable, sustainable family homes in the UK, the Slip House features a rainwater harvesting tank, solar panels, mechanical ventilation, triple glazing, and a high level of insulation. 

6: The P.A.T.H. Home


This new line of high-end prefab houses called Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes (or P.A.T.H.) offer a  roof-based solar array, roof-based wind turbine, and a rainwater collection and filtration system.

5: The IKAROS House


Built by the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim, this home uses a variety of green technology such as solar panels, vacuum insulation panels, efficient mechanical systems and natural ventilation.

4: Hover House 3


Located in the Venice Canals of Los Angeles, this home offers exterior man-made slate panels, exposed concrete walls and radiant hydronic heating and many of the finishes.

3: Tree Home


This home in Varna, Bulgaria offers glazed fades, solar panels that utilize sunlight, reversed roof channels that use rainwater for irrigation, multilayered veneers for providing insulation, and a multifunctional vertical core that distributes these utilities in an energy efficient way.

2: Santa Fe Home


Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this home offers roof gardens irrigated by rainwater, a gray-water system that filters and re-circulates water from showers and sinks to underground cisterns, and solar panels.

1: The Ecopod


Made from a shipping container, this home has floors made from recycled car tires, walls with birch paneling (over closed-cell soya foam insulation), and glass windows that are double paned to slow heat transfer.

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