Earth Day is fast approaching – which means now is the perfect time to consider the importance of incorporating eco-friendly architecture and interior design into our daily lives. Whether that means generating compost, sourcing recycled decor and materials, eliminating the use of plastic and everything in between, there are numerous ways to make the world a more sustainable place through your design choices. Here are eight examples of eco-friendly homes, along with insights from the designers and architects who created them.
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Kevin Lenhart, Yardzen Design Director, reveals that “85 percent of our customers say they want low water level plants in their garden. While “low water” can evoke images of succulents and heavy gravel, we’re seeing increasing requests for unique water-smart designs that integrate pollinator-loving plants and climate-adapted plants with a softer, more romantic feel.”
He adds that “requests to reduce or replace lawns are up 66 percent year over year. clever, habitat-supporting plants.”
This home, made possible by Pulled, is built into the side of a hill offering natural isolation from the earth. This sustainable trend refers to homes built into the ground with one or more walls covered by the ground to protect and insulate it. Because of this, earth sheltered homes are less sensitive to outside air temperature and visually blend directly into the landscape rather than disrupting it. They are generally south facing, leaving the front of the structure exposed so that it receives the best possible light.
Consider the local environment
“There is greater demand for sustainable homes and more opportunities than ever before. And there are so many ways homeowners can make eco-friendly improvements with minimal effort or cost,” says Jessica Sommer, vice president at Wedgewood Homes & Maverick Design.
“We design the landscape with respect to the local environment, using native plants that grow with low water consumption. Other approaches that we are taking and that homeowners can emulate themselves are using sustainable and environmentally conscious materials such as low VOC or Greenguard certified paints, LED/low energy use lights and recycled materials, using lighter roofing/cool roofing materials, to reduce heat gain and cooling costs in states with warmer average temperatures, install water-saving lights and double-glazed windows, and source local materials.
Located in Placerville, Colorado, Hidden Rocks Ranch features air conditioning powered by “a state-of-the-art solar power plant” with two large Kohler diesel backup generators. Agent Bill Fandel has the listing and it’s still on the market if you’re looking for a move!
Watch your materials
Sarit Marcus, an interior designer and founder of Minted Space, reveals that this house “features organic textures like reclaimed wood, raffia and natural fibers, [which] are balanced with clean lines and sophisticated accents of marble, velvet and brass to showcase the versatility of upscale sustainable home design.” He adds that “the house itself was fully renovated using sustainable construction prior to the design project.
The home has been rejuvenated with environmental stewardship in mind and features Lauzon Pure Genius smart flooring, the world’s first Smart Wood Flooring, as well as digitized smart shower systems, a smart irrigation system that uses reclaimed well water and much more.”
Reduce your carbon footprint at home
Spacial Homes CEO Cory Halbardier tells house beautiful, “After spending eight years in the solar industry, I have seen how our carbon footprint is rapidly affecting our climate. This does not negate solving the challenges we have here such as: B. housing; but it changes the means by which we solve these challenges.”
One such example can be seen in California, which “topped the Green Building Codes in the US, and our Spacial ADUs take it a step further by meeting the design requirements for LEED Platinum and many of the Passive House requirements. Spacial homes have superior energy efficiency, and the low energy consumption is compensated by the photovoltaic system on the roof.”
Don’t sacrifice great design
Explaining the design of the apartment pictured, Duan HM Tran, a partner at KAA Design, states: “Our Tower Grove residence is so much about living sustainably with the land and ensuring we embrace the inherent possibilities that flow from it resulting from the thoughtful location, planning the home for more natural daylight, passive airflow through cross ventilation and the optimized orientation to support our photovoltaic butterfly roof maximize.”
value water conservation
Dan Bridleman, SVP of Sustainability at KB Home, says: “There is growing interest from homebuyers in water-saving features that reduce utility bills and help ease the burden on local communities. One way to help protect water is to install EPA-approved WaterSense faucets like Moen faucets and Kohler toilets.”
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