In order to keep up with the changing world, the green homes of the future will have to be a lot more forward-thinking: renewable energy, compact sizes, mobility and decreased waste are all important factors. These 13 ideas for sustainable residences range from far-out concepts to designs that might resemble sci-fi movie spaceships, but are actually already in production.
Self-Sustaining Pod Home
This self-sustaining pod home can be placed just about anywhere, including atop urban buildings, and can transform rom an office to a lounge to tiny lodgings. Designed by Nau architects, the 28-foot-long Living Roof Capsule generates its own electricity via solar and wind power and can be used as a private mobile penthouse.
Solar-Powered Lake House
This zero-energy, small-scale solar dwelling collects both rainwater and solar energy on a sloping wooden roof that doubles as a terrace. The home has a small footprint and few windows on three sides to cut back on heat gain within, while glass walls on the fourth side look out onto a body of water.
Plantware Eco Architecture
What if you could actually grow your own house? This concept by a team of designers at Tel Aviv University uses a lattice of trees and fast-growing vines to create a base structure around which other materials can be added. A company called Plantware is looking into transforming this concept for commercial applications.
The Gemini House: Extreme Solar
The cylindrical design of the Gemini House, almost entirely covered in solar panels, ensures that maximum rays are caught throughout the day and changing seasons for constant, reliable renewable energy. In addition to 150 meters of solar panels that follow the sun, the home boasts extreme thermal insulation, a heat recovery system and a highly unusual, futuristic look.
When the sun is shining too brightly into your home in summertime, heating it up, you might just close the curtains – but what if you could close off the entire wall instead? The transforming D*Haus can actually turn inside-out, the interior glass walls becoming the exterior walls and vice versa, allowing the home to open up more in milder conditions and close up when the weather is harsh.
Serenity Dream Home
Winners of a multi-million-pound lottery prize in the UK have decided to use that cash to erect a futuristic sustainable residence known as ‘Serenity.’ The sinuous home is definitely cool-looking, with its solar-panel-covered amorphous roofline stretching to shelter various living volumes, but it may not be as green as it seems considering its enormous size.
Floating Eco Home
If worse comes to worse and the seas rise so much that we basically live in Waterworld, we may very well need homes that function as private floating islands. The Waterpod is constructed of recycled materials and runs on solar, wave and wind power for an ultimate water-based off-grid living experience.
This house by Ephraim Henry Pavie Architects and Designs completely does away with the archetypal house shape in favor of a curvaceous biomorphic silhouette that blends in with the natural surroundings. Pavie is known for creating sustainable homes that take advantage of solar energy and are often inspired by Feng Shui.
An interlocking system of prefabricated panels make the ADEX house concept super-adaptable to various locations and needs, capable of being installed virtually anywhere in any configuration. The modular construction means the homeowners can actually pack up their entire house when they’re moving, re-assembling it at a new location.
Sustainable Living, the Caribbean Way
Combining the Caribbean way of living with sustainability, John Allsopp’s Antillean Gothic concept house was designed to protect occupants against natural disasters and endure the local climate in Haiti. Envisioned after the devastating earthquakes that rocked the island nation in 2010, the house is raised above ground level to protect against floodwaters and features cross-ventilation to take advantage of ocean breezes. It’s made of highly renewable, locally grown bamboo as well as recycled local building materials like steel 55-gallon drums.
Portable Power House
While arguably too small for use as an actual home, the concept of the solar-powered portable Power House by A&V could be adapted, taking its spaceship-like aesthetic, mobility and sustainability and making it a bit more livable. Intended for use off-grid, this solar pod is prefabricated, modular and easy to transport.
Floating Green Home
Perhaps the houseboats of the future will look like this design by RAFAA Architecture & Design, a sleek two-story profile with solar panels on the roof. Entitled ‘Last Resort,’ the design implies a future wherein floating homes might be a necessity, but we needn’t wait that long: it’s actually scheduled for mass production.