Spectacular things are happening to conserve energy in homes around the world. Some homeowners have raised the bar considerably by making their house as efficient with energy as possible. Here are three of the most energy efficient homes to be found anywhere in the world.
According to the World Record Academy, the “tightest” house in the world was built by Dr. Tom Marsik and Kristin Donaldson in Dillingham, Alaska. Tests done in March 2013 showed that the 600 square foot structure had extremely little air leakage. The air exchange efficiency came in at 0.05 air exchanges each hour. The amount of energy needed to heat this home in winter is miniscule compared to how much energy is used in traditional homes.
Garbett Homes, a builder of residential homes, and the Vivint Company, a home security and monitoring business, collaborated to build a 4,300 square foot house in Herriman, Utah. Herriman is located just outside Salt Lake City. The goal was to produce a home in a cold climate that could produce all of its energy from renewable sources located on the property and stay within the cost structure of a conventional home.
The construction exceeded building codes to the efficiencies the builder’s wanted to achieve. Two by four studs were replaced by two by six studs, and the spacing between the studs was expanded by eight inches to better utilize resources. The exterior is covered with a moisture and vapor barrier. Major appliances are rated at least 95 percent energy efficient and a tankless hot water heater is used. Solar energy supplies the power and most of the warmth. Window treatments for bay windows allow the sun to warm an interior space and protect that warmth when the sun sets.
The Domestic Transformer
This apartment is located in the densely packed city of Hong Kong where space is in great need. This apartment has moving walls that can transform the tiny space into 24 different configurations for various occasions and needs. By using reflective surfaces and tinted windows the house eliminates the need for artificial light. This apartment is a perfect use of space and energy.
The Bellwether of Belvedere
This home is so energy efficient that it actually puts energy back on the grid. The house located outside of San Francisco uses solar energy, insulation, and more to keep the use of power to be self-sufficient. The actual house is also made of mostly made of recycled material. This home is the standard for a modern home.
Swiss Solar House
This Swiss house has solar panels lining the entire roof and walls made of heat-retaining glass. This makes this house (like the Bellweather house) actually produce more energy than it uses. The home even has a pool that is filled with water collected from the roof.
The Rotating New Paltz Dome
This house might have one of the coolest features of any green home with its moving dome. The dome rotates to take advantage of the sun’s position. This house also sits on a small portion of land leaving both a small footprint and a huge impression.
This home looks more like a forest than a house. Located in Milan, it is a high rise that’s aim to bring bio diversity to an urban area. It includes 10,00sqm of forest area thus recouping some nature in this city landscape. The apartments are also high energy efficient and the trees protect the residents from pollution.
One of the most self-reliant homes was built by Dennis Kaech in 2008 in Olympia, Washington. The home receives its energy from geothermal, solar, wind, and passive heat storage systems to power and warm the home in Olympia’s moist and cool environment. The concrete floors are lined with heating tubes warmed by the earth’s internal temperature and the structure is filled with R-31 insulation to retain the passive and active heat that gets generated inside.
High-level energy efficient homes are growing in demand. Larger segments of consumers are looking for ways to decrease the impact their life and behaviors have on the environment. People are seemingly making more advances every day that will meet the growing demand to change how we use energy.