Over the past few years, environmentally-friendly buildings have become more and more common. Nowadays, the sight of a roof adorned with solar panels is not unusual, and wind turbines are commonplace — in fields, on offshore wind farms, and even in the next-door neighbour’s back garden.
However, there are a few homes which take the idea of eco-friendly to a whole new level. Whether it’s grass roofs or glass bottle floors, these homes are at the forefront of the sustainability revolution, showing that it is indeed possible to blend style with eco-friendliness. Here are five of our favourites:
Redondo Beach container house, California
Created almost entirely from eight old shipping containers, this award-winning home proves that it’s possible to combine recycled building materials with great design.
The house, which is located on California’s Redondo Beach and even features its own outdoor swimming pool (also made from a repurposed container), is oriented towards the sun to ensure it remains at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.
Arched eco-house, Kent
Putting the ‘arch’ in ‘architecture’, this modern home combines striking design with equally striking eco credentials.
The house, which was built in 2009 at a cost of around £800,000, is filled with energy-saving adaptations. For instance, the floor is made of crushed glass bottles to absorb heat, the doors are vacuum-insulated, and the walls are filled with ten tons of recycled newspaper for insulation.
Active House, Denmark
Probably the most eco-looking building on the list, this Denmark home is capable of catching more energy than it uses through a mass of solar panels, along with many other environmentally-friendly features.
The temperature of the inside is computer-controlled by a system which is able to automatically open or close windows depending on whether the home is too hot or too cold.
Casa Iseami, Costa Rica
Situated in an isolated peninsula in southern Costa Rica, this home manages to be 100% self-sufficient.
The building, which includes an enormous covered patio that is suitable for hammocks and barbecues, was constructed in 2010 and includes two hydroelectric turbines which, combined with solar panels on the roof, generate its electricity.
Acqua Liana, Florida
Famed for being the world’s biggest and costliest environmentally-friendly house, this oceanfront masterpiece is priced at $29 million.
However, it’s not just the price that’s impressive — the home also comes fitted with enough solar panels to cover around a quarter of a football pitch. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, the roof also features a system to collect rainwater and use it to water the garden.