Before we gaze into the crystal ball and look at what the future of eco-friendly homes holds, let’s take a look at the humble beginnings of this invention. Believe it or not, the Romans were the first pioneers of the green home. In fact, a study by Oxford University revealed that a traditional Roman villa constructed 2,000 years ago contained environmental invention design ideas that would be considered advanced by even today’s standards. Few examples illustrate this point better than the Roman’s use of efficient underfloor heating to keep their homes warm.
While there is little doubt that the Romans were far ahead of their time, the technological advancements found in today’s Green Homes far exceed anything the Romans could have ever possibly imagined. Take the fully self-sufficient eco-friendly home dubbed “Reboot.”
Conceived by New York architect Victor Vetterlein, this futuristic “eco” sanctuary includes an elliptical glass elevator encircled by a white stairway with glass handrails. Powering the home are wind turbines and batteries, which were implemented due to a projected reduction of fossil fuels. Adding to the eco-friendly design is an in-house water treatment plant which gathers rain-water in a drain above the windows.
One of the most progressive and unique eco-friendly homes can be found in Japan. Simply called, Dome House, this structure was fabricated into the shape of a dome using a cutting edge engineered kind of Styrofoam. This energy efficient house is also designed to fend off natural forces like typhoons and earthquakes. This avant-garde home is being touted as the perfect abode for people residing in areas which experience a high number of earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Few other eco –friendly homes are as the luxurious as the $29 million dollar futuristic mansion designed by architect Frank Mc Kinney. This 15,000 square feet wonder is furnished to the hilt with all the latest eco-friendly inventions one could ask for: air quality purifiers, water recycling system outfitted on the roof, solar panels any many of state-of-the-art eco features. The house is finished with numerous glass water floors, water walls, glass staircases and elevators.
While the eco-friendly homes listed above all speak to the fertile and creative mind of their inventors, perhaps no other eco-friendly home’s design is more ambitious than the Dice House. At first glance, this home looks like part of a Monopoly set that went haywire. The 30-by-30-by 30-foot concept home improves on classic building technology to negate its carbon footprint.
The photovoltaic umbrella dome located at the center of the structure collects nearly 90 percent of the structure’s energy needs. Constructed of traditional plastic, the dome snares heat like a greenhouse. Amazingly, the Dice House produces roughly 33 kilowatt-hours per day, which is enough juice to not only power the house, but also charge a Tesla Roadster.
The homes described above represent only a small fraction of the various eco-friendly homes built or that are currently under development. While green homes are rapidly gaining in popularity, they are plagued with the notion that they are only for the wealthy. Fortunately, as competition amongst eco-friendly home builders increases, home prices will be driven down and should be within the reach of the average middle-class home buyer.