These green aficionados go further than recycling, solar panels, and planting a vegetable garden. These green homes will make you green with envy! From the Discovery Channel Planet Green TV show called “World’s Greenest Homes,” here are five memorable homes designed to be environmentally friendly. They don’t look weird either; these are some sweet “home sweet homes”.
- The Dome Home: north branch, mn. 50 acre wooded lot. Bear creek dome, based on the 1950s geodesic dome. 49 foot diameter dome. With the cupola on top for ventilation about 33 feet high. Spherical design provides strength because all the points of strength share the stress equally. Can withstand earthquakes, high winds, and several tons of snow—just gets stronger. Dome shape uses 60 percent less structural material than a traditional box home natural and chemical free as possible. Domes are self supporting so the interior has no walls, just large inner space. Heat efficient. Floors heated. Windows are triple paned, ¼” tempered glass. Dome walls are 18 inches thick with 16 inches of insulation. Home is the same temperature at any point. Heat rises, but in a dome hot air rises and cold air drops so air flow stays natural. Central fireplace radiates heat evenly. Energy efficient. Most amount of space for the least amount of material. Check out the video on it here.
- Solar Dream Home: Outside Lake Tahoe in Gardnerville, Nevada. On a hilsside, 3,400 superhome makes the most of the desert sun. downstairs is open plan from kitchen, dining room, living room. Light filled. Solar-heated indoor poor in master bedroom. House blends in with locale and takes advantage of the sun. wood fireplace super-efficient clean burning. Burn a fire warmth radiates for a long time afterwards. Everything is recycled and natural. Straw insulation. Non toxic and highly sustainable. Double the insulation value of square frame homes. Straw bale homes. Insulates . less expensive than wood frame. Water, cement and dirt equals mud and looks like dirt. Solar panels generate most energy needs and off set any power she pulls off the grid on cloudly days and at night. Check it out.
- Down Under Steel House: Aukland, New Zealand. Urban living at nature’s doorstep. 2006, modern, 2 story home. 2 bed, 2 bath. Exterior is 90% recycled steel that can withstand the salty ocean. Double paned windows. Low carbon footprint. Emphasize natural resources. Eco-efficient windows extend to the top floor saves energy and the double pains retains the passive heat. Thick concrete floor is solar passive as well. Heats in winter, cools in summer. Recycled, sustainable wool insulates the home. Plenty of it in new Zealand. Energy and water efficient appliances in kitchen. Rain water catching sustains the garden. Maintained existing vegetation and disrupted it as little as possible. Deck timber is plantation pine. See it here.
- Tiny Apartment Transforms: Hon Kong is one of the most densly populated place in the world. Gary chang, “domestic transformer.” Demonstrates the green principal that using the most of a small space can have infinite eco-possibilities. Achitect gary chang had green philosophy. Learn how to cope with the tight space. Utilizes every inch of usuable space. Tiny tenement apartment. Unique eco friendly residence. Ultra hip. Only 330 square feet, small area means efficiency and user-friendly does not sacrifice livability. Futuristic sliding wall system. 24 different room possibilties including a guest bedroom, kitchen, linen closet, and bathroom. Three floor to ceiling tinted windows keeps house always sunny even during cloudy weather. Hardly ever has to turn on lights. Tracks on ceiling, mirros hide the tracks and illusion of space. Reflective surface utilizes the light in the apartment, eco-friendly. Technological marvel.
- Blacksmith Shop to Eco Home: In Toronto, Canada. A shack transforms into an eco home. Elegant. Architect kept metal panels. Reuse and recycle and build something that already exists. Black matte finish is a plywood mahogany linseed oil, dish soap mixed together to make paint. Enivornmentally friendly. Footprint makes them build up. Added four feet to building on the second floor. Courtyard on second floor. Clean lines, unstained ceder. Minimal. Let the wood do what it naturally does. To the roof terrace about 22 feet up. Green roof garden in the sky. Endless benefits to a gree roof retains storm water, cools the roof and cools enivornment around it. More green roofs, cooler city, good to look at.
See more at planetgreen.discovery.com for more eco-friendly houses, bungalows, apartments, and offices from Chicago to Hamburg to the desert. Living off the earth is possible, no matter your address.