There is a veritable geyser of data tracking housing today. From existing-home sales, to house prices, to new-home permits, to starts—housing metrics abound.
4 cutting-edge green home designs
Professional Builder’s House Review design team presents four green homes geared for today’s buyer markets.
The amount of information available on green building is virtually limitless. Perhaps the most basic definition of a “green” or “sustainable” home is one that can withstand the test of time. This requires that the home not only be soundly constructed, but also efficient enough to operate into the future. And most importantly, future generations must continue to appreciate it, because no matter how efficient and practical a home might be, if people don’t consider it pleasing and valuable, it simply will not survive.
There’s no doubt that the concept of constructing homes that utilize renewable resources, minimize waste, and take advantage of the latest energy-conserving equipment makes perfect sense. But the questions remain: Are our clients seriously interested in such amenities? If so, are they willing to pay extra for them?
While some of our clients might not be interested in hearing about green homes, they certainly understand the concept of energy efficiency when it saves money and makes them more comfortable. It’s always been our job to create homes with the proper scale, proportion, and materials. Isn’t it also our job to incorporate sustainable elements and products that add to the functionality and longevity of the homes we design and build?
The House Review design team addresses the concept of green with a variety of ideas and designs, ranging from innovative framing techniques and efficient floor plans to luxurious custom homes with energy-saving features. However, each home emphasizes the importance of practical ideas such as site orientation, window placement, the use of porches, and extended overhangs.
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1. Plan 30506
Total living area: 1,610 sf
Width: 45 feet, 8 inches
Depth: 59 feet
Constructed as a demonstration home at a recent state fair, the goal of this net-zero energy home was to produce more power than it used. In order to accomplish this, the design incorporated geothermal heating and cooling, solar power, and triple-pane windows, along with open-cell foam insulation and LED lighting.
Billed as the “Home of Tomorrow,” the design intentionally utilized traditional Craftsman-inspired details in order to avoid the look of a “futuristic” home. The target client was the Baby Boomer desiring a functional, flexible, and efficient floor plan that would also be extremely economical to operate and maintain over the years.
A. Deep front porch provides shade, along with an inviting entrance and a place to sit and relax
B. Windows strategically located to provide cross ventilation
C. While the shed dormer above the front door becomes an important design element on both the exterior and interior, it’s also part of the passive ventilation system. Remotely operated casement windows in the vaulted ceiling of the foyer create a “window chimney” that allows warm air to rise and flow out of the house.
D. The flexible dining area with built-in bookcases and a window seat becomes a library when not used for meals.
E. The easily accessible guest bathroom provides unobstructed use for everyone.
F. Open-cell foam insulation in the walls, ceiling, and attic
G. Geothermal heating and cooling, along with radiant-heated flooring
H. Rain barrels for water conservation
I. Conveniently located utility room can be accessed from hall or