Interested in minimizing your environmental impact with sustainable living? A house with passive design, renewable energy, eco-friendly materials, and water conservation techniques is the future of eco-friendly homes. Today in this guide to the best eco friendly house designs you will get to know about houses with innovative solutions prioritizing energy efficiency with harmonious integration.

7 Best Eco Friendly House Designs

Eco-friendly homes range from solar-powered houses to tiny homes with more environmentally friendly features. The architecture of these houses is focused on making them eco-friendly and primarily uses sustainably sourced construction materials. But you do not have to compromise on aesthetics though.

Now that you are looking for eco friendly house designs here is a long list of designs that you can incorporate in your house.

1. California Modern Home

JAN 23 best eco friendly house designs
Designer: Baran Studio Architecture Location: Los Angeles, California

This project is known for its reduced water and energy consumption. According to Matt Baran of Baran Studio, this house meets the highly sustainable regulations of California Title 24 and Cal Green. The project has a water retention system that assists in limiting runoff and recharging groundwater levels. A drip irrigation system and drought-tolerant local vegetation system are also incorporated into the house. An EV charging station powered by solar rooftop panels is another attractive feature of this house.

2. CDLR House in a Tropical Forest

JAN 23 best eco friendly house designs
Location: Valle de Bravo, Mexico Designer: Cadaval & Sol× -Morales

Each corner of this Casa de la Roca house has its unique landscape. The house with a rustic lookout is hidden in the hills towards the west of Mexico City. Handpicked fallen trees are repurposed for their beams, and the green roof accurately absorbs rainwater and provides insulation. Also, the architecture creates a beautiful habitat for wildlife.

3. The Dune House

JAN 23 best eco friendly house designs
Location: Nijmegen, Netherlands Designer: Marc Koehler Architects

The house is designed by Marc Koehler Architects to ideally blend into the seaside landscape. Sustainability has been the priority for building this Dune house. With passive heating, double-glazed windows, a biomass fireplace, and solar panels this house is designed to heat store, and distribute warmth as per required. These features of the house make it more energy efficient.

The house’s openings were designed to provide distinctive views of the surrounding landscape. Every detail of this home has been meticulously designed to complement its natural environment, from the shape to the colors, textures, and materials used. The result is a seamless integration that creates a truly harmonious living space.

4. Hill House in Forest

JAN 23 best eco friendly house designs
Location: Moscow, Russia Designer: Snegiri Architects, 2019 (Kapiturov Nikita)

This stunning house from Snegiri Architects is among the best eco friendly house designs and was constructed with a focus on seamlessly blending in with its natural forest surroundings. Rather than clearing out habitats to accommodate the structure, the design was thoughtfully planned around preserving the existing trees. The house was built with natural materials and features eco-friendly elements such as a living plant roof and energy-saving windows facing the sun.

Also Read: Unsecured Solar Loan: Empowering Homeowners to Go Green

5. Passive House

JAN 23 Passive House
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut Designer: Trillium Architects

Principal Architect Elizabeth DiSalvo from Trillium Architects said that this outdated 1930s home has been turned into a beautiful modern passive house for a young family from New York City. According to her, this house is all electric and Net Zero. It will only cost around $18 per month to power the whole house, including heating and cooling. This gorgeous house showcases that being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to mean giving up aesthetics.

6. MeMo House Garden Oasis

JAN 23 MeMo House Garden Oasis
Location: San Isidro, Buenos Aires Designer: BAM! Arquitectura

The MeMo House is a home from BAM! Arquitectura. It prioritizes health and aims to achieve net-zero utility bills. It demonstrates that you don’t need to live in a forest to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. The house uses local materials and wastewater technology to save water. Solar panels with state-of-the-art insulation keep the home warm for less energy usage. The MeMo House has a three-dimensional garden aiming at reducing its impact on the natural landscape.

7. SuperAdobes in the Desert

JAN 23 SuperAdobes in the Desert
Location: Oman Designer: Nader Khalili of CalEarth

Nader Khalili’s SuperAdobe adopts age-old construction techniques to build highly durable and affordable housing solutions. These homes are made with natural materials such as earth, sandbags, and barbed wire. They are meant to be a durable and eco-friendly option for people who have been forced to leave their homes due to climate change.

This one of the best eco-friendly house designs can withstand even the toughest nature challenges: fire, hurricane-force winds, and earthquakes. Additionally, they are powered 100% by solar energy, making them not only resilient but environmentally friendly as well. Now, let’s also see what is the most eco-friendly shape of a house.

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What is the Most Eco-Friendly Shape of a House?

After learning about the best eco friendly house designs, let us learn about the houses with the most eco-friendly shapes. Though a number of factors are responsible for predicting house shape, fundamentally a simple shape is much more sustainable than a complex one. A circle-shaped house that uses the least number of materials comes first. Igloos, African mud brick huts, British & European roundhouses, yurts, and teepees fall into this category.

Such shaped houses are strong, energy efficient, provide good ventilation, and are less vulnerable to strong winds. After the circle, the most efficient house shape is square and then rectangles.

What are the Best Eco Friendly House Ideas?

There are numerous ways to add eco-friendly elements to your house. Some of the best eco-friendly house ideas are discussed below-

1. Wall Materials

Choosing the right wall materials for a green home is essential. They offer a variety of benefits that help make the home eco-friendly. They not only create the building structure but also take into account insulation and sustainability concerns.

A) Cob: It is a natural material made from clay, sand, and straw. This building material consolidates all the loose debris and solidifies it into a sturdy structure. It protects the walls from excess moisture plus it is insect resistant and non-flammable. A raised stone foundation will keep water away from the base of cob walls.

B) Straw Bales: It is locally available and can cut down construction time and costs. Houses with straw bale construction material have stone foundations and there are two types of construction with this material. These are load-bearing and non-load-bearing techniques.

Also Read: Warm White vs Cool White: Which Should Be Used in Your Home?

2. Roofing Material

Selecting the right material for the roof of your eco-friendly house is equally important. This influences the insulation and ventilation of your house along with heat and light energy entering the house.

A) Earth-sheltered: Another aspect of the best eco friendly house designs is adding living vegetation to the roof. This is becoming a popular trend in eco-friendly home design, ranging from underground homes to rooftop gardens. They are basically 3 types.

  • Intensive green roof: These are the thickest options and can support a large variety of vegetation, ranging from simple grass to trees. This type of roof is mostly ideal for underground or hill houses.
  • Extensive designs: They support a small plant variety including grass, small bushes, and flowers. These are thin and lighter than the first one and are ideally common for commercial buildings.
  • Tray-style green roof: This roof has containers or trays acting as planters. These are non-permanent fixtures and the least expensive option of all. It is ideal if you want to add another layer of sustainability to your house without doing a complete renovation.

B) Solar Rooftops: It has two roofing designs: solar panels and solar shingles. The former are long panels that are mostly used with solar panel roofing, also known as traditional solar panels. The latter are smaller panels that are more flexible with a shape similar to regular roofing tiles.

Also See: 6 Best Roof Material For Solar Panels

3. Flooring Material

Talking about environmentally friendly flooring material does not mean walking on mud or dirt. Here are some cool options with easily available materials for the same.

A) Bamboo Flooring: This is a popular budget-friendly renovation option, and it has a lot of benefits too. Bamboo flooring is low maintenance and water-resistant, plus it comes in two different colors: sandy blonde and caramel.

The former is a lighter wood with a bright ambiance that gives a modern look to the house. The Latter has a richer wood tone to give a classic look. This type of flooring is best for living rooms and kitchens. But with heavy moisture, it can either bend, stretch, or shrink.

B) Cork Flooring: This is an extremely durable flooring material, making it ideal for family and living rooms. Plus, cork flooring is rot-resistant and is a natural insulator. This means you are cutting down on extra utilities with the right materials. Other than bathrooms, this flooring goes well everywhere because it cannot stand up to standing water.

C) Natural Fiber Carpeting: Another aspect of the best eco friendly house designs is these carpets that are available in different materials.

  • The first and most common is the woven wool fabric carpet. Wool is a natural stain-repellant and insulator.
  • Seagrass carpeting is the second option with natural fiber flooring.
  • Coir carpet is the most unconventional natural fiber carpet option made from coconut husks and is ideal for cottages and rustic log cabins.
  • Jute carpets are made from plant fibers and offer a soft flooring option.
  • Sisal carpets are soft and durable but the most expensive of all.

4. Structural Features

Adding various features to your home can help you generate energy and heat, thereby reducing your reliance on conventional power sources. These structural features can also help reduce your construction expenses. Eco-friendly design is not only about helping the environment but also about minimizing your impact on it.

Follow an open concept like an open floor plan to allow the free flow of light and air throughout the house. Pay attention to the insulation and ventilation requirements for individual rooms.

  • Place a room near a tree if you want it to be cooler as tree shade will prevent heat and excess sunlight from reaching the room.
  • For a warmer room, place large windows in the room to allow maximum sunlight and heat to enter.

Moreover, your eco-friendly house should have as many large windows as possible to reduce your dependency on electricity during the day. With the right materials, you can almost entirely eliminate the need for extra cooling and heating systems.

Also See: 5 Types of Solar PV Modules Mounting Structure

What are Some Eco-friendly Design Ideas for House Interiors?

JAN 23 living room

Some of the best eco friendly design ideas for the interiors are as follows.

1. Add Houseplants

Houseplants are great for improving indoor air quality by eliminating toxins and other pollutants. Plants absorb VOCs from various chemical cleaners and household products. Formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde are all VOCs.

Also Read: 4 Disadvantages of Energy Efficient Appliances

2. Create Your Compost

Composting is a natural way of recycling where you put organic kitchen waste into compost to decompose. This waste transforms into a chemical-free natural fertilizer for the garden. Consider the available space when buying a composter. This way you will be reducing your environmental impact and improving soil quality at the same time.

3. Natural Light and Cross Ventilation

For the best eco-friendly house designs, it is important for the house to be strategically oriented in a direction where it could take maximum advantage of sun and wind. There should be enough windows for good ventilation. A west-facing house is not considered in this context because it absorbs too much heat.

4. Passive Cooling

The technique to naturally cool the house for a comfortable indoor environment is termed passive cooling. During construction, you can add up some features like external shading with roof overhangs and shady plants to prevent indoor heating. For outdoor cooling, you can add up a pool, waterfall, or fountain that can cool down the outdoor air by evaporation. Additional methods for indoor passive cooling are a cool roof (white or light-colored roof), a green roof, and reflective building materials.

5. Rainwater Harvesting and Low-Flow Water Fixture

With outdoor rainwater harvesting, you can replenish the groundwater. You can install rainwater barrels for collecting rainwater from your rooftop. Permeable pavers in the driveway can be used to percolate water into the ground.

Install low-flow water fixtures in your bathroom and kitchen to reduce water consumption. This will help you save water and lower your bills while being environmentally friendly. Install a dual flush for the washroom to restrict water use and avoid wastage. Leaks in pipelines must be fixed promptly, both in the exterior and interior.

Also See: 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Green Building

6. Reduce Indoor Heat Loss

Air enters through cracks between windows, doors, walls, and air ducts. Weatherproofing your house with sealing, caulking, and weather stripping is necessary to prevent leakage. Use double-glazed windows in low E-glass because it will limit heat transfer through insulated frames.

You can use curtains and blinds as thick curtains to keep your room cooler and darker. Plus, it is a good way to cut down heat transfer between indoors and outdoors.

7. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

The 3 Rs are the foundation of an eco-friendly house. Reduce buying products you do not need and specifically, the ones that are not eco-friendly. Make it a habit to reuse and repurpose old things. Use recycled glass, wood, and aluminum materials.

Go for natural materials like cork, bamboo, linoleum, and other sustainably certified materials from wood waste. Instead of kitchen paper rolls you should switch to cloth mops. Use reusable bags to reduce plastic consumption.

8. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances and Switch to LED Lights

It is a wise option to invest in energy-efficient appliances to save cost and energy. Choose the appliance with the Energy Star label and go for a 4 or 5-star rating, even above if available. Remember, the more the rating, the less energy it will consume. These appliances include energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. Also, for non-energy-efficient gadgets, remember to unplug them after use.

For incorporating the best eco friendly house designs, use LED lights for good illumination instead of traditional incandescent light bulbs. LED lights have multiple benefits, including energy efficiency, low heat emission, long life, and less need for frequent replacement.

9. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products, Organic Materials, and Paints

Replace harmful cleaning products made from chlorine and ammonia with natural ones made of essential oils. Avoid chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine that emit VOCs. Toxic chemicals enter the earth’s ecosystem and harm the environment and to avoid this use steam cleaners as they effectively disinfect and clean bacteria. Vinegar, baking soda, lime juice, and hydrogen peroxide are cost-effective ingredients to prepare homemade cleaning liquids.

When purchasing new home furnishings or fabrics, consider products made from natural plant or animal fibers like linen, wool, and cotton. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon. Use non-toxic organic or water-based paints for indoor walls that do not emit toxic gases. Prefer paints that are odorless, lead-free, and chemical-free with low levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

10. Use a Smart Thermostat

To save energy and money, consider installing a smart programmable thermostat to monitor and control the temperature in your home. This will help minimize energy waste and conserve resources. The HVAC system can be controlled with a smartphone and starts working when the desired temperature is reached.

The demand for eco-friendly house designs is steadily increasing as individuals and communities recognize the importance of sustainable living. The best eco friendly house designs showcased in this article are innovative and creative approaches to reduce environmental impact while maximizing energy efficiency and comfort. By incorporating the best eco friendly house ideas you can also enjoy a green and clean life.

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Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet's long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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