Sure, maybe you’ve made a few efforts to create an eco-friendly home—by recycling your paper and plastics or turning down the thermostat. But if you’re really curious about what the cutting edge of ecological home design looks like, check out “New Eco Homes: New Ideas for Sustainable Living,” a new book out this week.
Author Manel Gutiérrez has selected 22 abodes around the world that highlight the latest architectural advancements in conserving energy and resources. And we’re not exactly going out on an (ecologically sound) limb by noting that they manage to look downright stunning at the same time.
Skeptical? Here’s a glimpse at just how gorgeous going green can get.
At more than 100 feet long with a 50-foot overhang, this home in Thorington, England, might look like it’s about to tip like a seesaw (or just collapse) onto the lawn below, but its concrete core makes the structure surprisingly sturdy. It also means that wherever its visitors reside inside, they are surrounded by multiple views of their natural surroundings, which are also reflected off the home’s metallic surface.
No air conditioning necessary
Atenas, Costa Rica, can get plenty hot, but Paravant Architects made sure that the strategic placement of walls and openings in this home provided enough cross-ventilation that no energy-draining air conditioning is needed to keep it cool.
Recycled down to the last straw
Owned by avid surfers and designed by Arkin Tilt Architects, this four-bedroom home in Santa Cruz, CA, was built with refurbished doors, windows, and other recycled materials that also add charm and character. Plus, the walls are insulated with straw bales.
Bye-bye bricks and mortar
Rather than use the usual bricks and mortar, architect firm a21studio built this home in Binh Duong, Vietnam, out of metal sheets. This framework was then filled and covered with plants.
Raise the roof
In South Africa, rainwater can be a particularly precious resource—which is why Thomashoff + Partner Architects built this home in Monaghan Farm with a sloped roof that can collect up to 5,300 gallons of rainwater.
Hip to be square
Designed by Minarc, this home in Reykjavik, Iceland, features a series of interlocking cubes, which cut down on construction costs.
Here comes the sun
In the ZEB Pilot House in Kingston, Tasmania, the sloped roof contains a slew of solar panels, which power the house.