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The best eco-friendly home designs for 2022: pros, cons, and design considerations

Green living couldn't be more relevant today. With every passing year, the choices of eco-friendly home designs gets bigger.
eco-friendly home designs

Green living couldn’t be more relevant today. With every passing year, the choices of eco-friendly home designs gets bigger. From underground homes to treehouses, each design has a unique appeal. We hope you like the suggestions we put forward here and spark some great ideas for your future renovation project.

Top 7 eco friendly home designs

Rammed Earth Homes

Rammed earth homes have been around for some time. The design revolves around compacting soils like gravel, silt and sand, which are excellent building materials.

The materials create many upsides like energy efficiency. Applied in the appropriate design, the materials conserve heat and retain cold well. Embodied energy for these projects is very low.

Rammed earth projects are also a low maintenance dream. They have a distinctive look that many will like. The soil material prevents fire from being a severe issue. Other advantages include freedom from pest and noise problems.

eco-friendly home designs
image: Aerecura Rammed Earth Builders/ Stone's Throw Design

One of the few known downsides involves the home’s given location. Moderate temperature climates are a must. If you’re in colder locations, you should have more planning before building rammed earth homes. Don’t hesitate to talk to a qualified building designer if you need to renovate your home.

Greenhouse Homes 

Creating a greenhouse home is a great idea for home renovation. You really can’t get much greener from here. Imagine your typical greenhouse structure with the right angle for sunlight and plants. Capturing light and heat will be so much easier. The emphasis on a plant-based space can also help insulation and ventilation. 

Your assigned building designer may recommend something simple like converting a greenhouse. However, they may also opt to building the house first and add a transparent shell to let all the light in.

For those who worry about pests, there are solutions for that. Some structures can have sectioned off rooms. Other designs also use non-living plants to decorate without overcrowding. 

greenhouse home

Running an indoor garden system is another suggestion. You can redirect sources of waste. Bathroom and kitchen drainage can feed your plants directly. Make sure to consult a building designer before you finalize a plan.

Cargotecture 

Cargotecture is a new approach to housing that you might love. It uses shipping containers to create someone’s desired home. This method is very helpful for the environment for several reasons. Shipping containers tend to stack up at ports as waste. Thus, most companies find it cheaper to simply buy new containers instead of reusing old ones.

The benefits to you can be immense. Buying these containers can be cheaper than other building materials. You don’t have to worry about building from the ground up. You just have to stack these containers together to form your desired structure. 

container home

The materials for each container are also pretty sturdy. They’re built to carry heavy materials and weather storms on the seas. You can make modifications and tear down sections more easily. Constructing your ideal home can take as little as two weeks.

Your prime concern with containers will focus on interior insulation. The steel interior tends to absorb outside heat and cold indiscrimately. So this is where you may want to start your home renovation problem-solving first. Don’t hesitate to reach out a nearby building design professional to help you with this matter.

eco-friendly home designs

Tiny Homes 

If you’re not particular about space, maybe tiny homes are for you. But before you get confused, let’s explain what they are. Tiny homes are houses that are around 17sqm. They’re one of several cheap, energy-efficient and eco-friendly home designs. Here’s what you can expect: 

Tiny homes uses a fraction of the energy of a typical home. Your electricity bill will always be meager. Since the space is so small, the smaller appliances will drain less energy. 

Tiny homes are also cheaper to build. They cost about $19,000 minimum to build (please note this is just an estimate – for your tiny home project, get a free detailed quote here). It’s also simpler to oversee their build. Everything within the home you can practically have custom-built in no time.  Home renovation will also be easier to conduct because of how quickly you can change things. 

eco-friendly home designs

These homes also have a fantastic mobility factor. There’s no reason why you can’t simply attach your home to a truck and set off. Feel free to vacation anywhere with all your basic necessities covered. 

eco-friendly home designs

Underground Homes 

Underground homes might be one of the better green home designs today. Have you ever heard of an underground house that wasn’t unique? Usually, underground homes come in three categories. 

There’s the fully recessed home. It’s a complete underground homemade from digging out a hole in the surface. 

There’s the earth berm design. It’s where you create a hill around the house. It’s a design that has more access to light. 

underground home

There’s the in-hill construction version. You build the house into a hill with one side exposed, usually the entryway. 

Besides the cool designs, you will have other benefits as well. The underground nature of the design protects you from severe weather conditions. Tornados and strong winds, for example. 

The natural insulation of the earth can work very well. It never gets too hot underground, and any heat absorbed in the summer can be used in the cold months. 

Some of the risks associated with this design involve flooding and plant root growth. Bituminous seals applied with the help of a building designer are recommended. 

Tree Houses 

Treehouses are one of many dream eco-friendly home designs you can try.  Many tend to like treehouses because of their stylish appeal. Who hasn’t dreamt of having their own backyard treehouse? But they can also be practical for building a permanent home.

Permanent treehouses are usually designed with repurposed and salvaged materials. Locally sourced materials are also recommended. Treehouse builders and designers from around Australia can help you get set up. Just sign up to Dreamspace and we can help match you with the ideal designer who can carry out a challenging project of building a permanent treehouse.

modern tree house
image: Eric Staudenmaier

Passive Homes 

Passive homes are another great choice. These green home renovation options are very efficient. 

The way their system works is simple enough to describe. Passive homes are homes that generate 10 per cent of your typical household’s energy. They are built to provide comfort and energy efficiency. 

eco-friendly home designs

A passive home is more of a construction standard. To get a Passive House certification, the house must meet several criteria, such as creating efficient air and temperature insulation. So the home should be isolated from the temperatures outside. At the same time, the house has to have a standard measure of air quality and interior temperature. 

The appeal for this design centers around several factors. First, owners will save up on energy costs. Second, it’s very comfortable. There’s no worry about the indoor temperature changing wildly. Even a power outage won’t change the temperature that much. 

eco-friendly home designs

You can build a passive house to fit many design types. A home renovation would focus on improving your indoor insulation. 

Conclusion

Making use of eco-friendly home designs can be a great start for the rest of your future. 

Like we’ve pointed out, some designs may be better for different climates or places. A rammed earth home may not be ideal for a colder area. A greenhouse home may need more meticulous planning, especially if you want to create an indoor garden ecosystem. 

Before you make up your mind, you should always consult a building design expert for your home projects to help you figure out what you’d like in a home. They can help put your mind at ease about what projects are possible and what aren’t.

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