10 Noteworthy Sustainable Homes

written by:
October 14, 2013
From solar power and recycled materials to thermal energy and rooftop gardens, these 10 homes are both inspiring and functional models for sustainable living.
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  Scrap steel and reclaimed wood clad the three-story triangular tower, which hovers over a small deck and outdoor space. Photo by Paul Orenstein

    Scrap steel and reclaimed wood clad the three-story triangular tower, which hovers over a small deck and outdoor space. Photo by Paul Orenstein

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  To integrate the Shade House into its surroundings, the exterior features a combination of raw concrete and exposed wood (reclaimed lumber) that complements the existing concrete structures of the neighborhood. Photo by Jack Thompson.

    To integrate the Shade House into its surroundings, the exterior features a combination of raw concrete and exposed wood (reclaimed lumber) that complements the existing concrete structures of the neighborhood. Photo by Jack Thompson.

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  On New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island, two architects designed a petite holiday home that takes care of its own water, electricity, and sewage needs.

    On New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island, two architects designed a petite holiday home that takes care of its own water, electricity, and sewage needs.

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  Four tanks collect rainwater, while the southern wall of broken-face concrete blocks keeps the house appropriately cool or warm, depending on the time of year. Photo by Brett Boardman.

    Four tanks collect rainwater, while the southern wall of broken-face concrete blocks keeps the house appropriately cool or warm, depending on the time of year. Photo by Brett Boardman.

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  In the land of large mountain lodge wannabes, two California natives tuck Utah’s first LEED for Homes–rated house onto the side of Emigration Canyon. Photo by Dustin Aksland

    In the land of large mountain lodge wannabes, two California natives tuck Utah’s first LEED for Homes–rated house onto the side of Emigration Canyon. Photo by Dustin Aksland

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  By putting solar power and recycled materials to use, Eric Garcetti and his partner transformed a mid-century house on a cozy hillside plot into a sustainable home with garden terraces and panoramic views. Photo by Misha Gravenor.

    By putting solar power and recycled materials to use, Eric Garcetti and his partner transformed a mid-century house on a cozy hillside plot into a sustainable home with garden terraces and panoramic views. Photo by Misha Gravenor.

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  An architect and artist flee Dublin for the countryside to build a biodegradable house and raise their children. Photo by Cornelius Scriba.

    An architect and artist flee Dublin for the countryside to build a biodegradable house and raise their children. Photo by Cornelius Scriba.

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  Enric Ruiz-Geli’s firm Cloud9 designed the suburban house of the future—it also happens to be sustainable. The concrete volumes of the upper and lower floors are independent to allow expansion and compression. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.

    Enric Ruiz-Geli’s firm Cloud9 designed the suburban house of the future—it also happens to be sustainable. The concrete volumes of the upper and lower floors are independent to allow expansion and compression. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.

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  In Scarpa and Brook' own house, they’ve mounted luminous solar panels in a rusted-steel-beam grid to form a modernist canopy that frames the façade. This imaginative “solar umbrella” hides the household power plant in plain sight, part of an artful composition that includes a hanging screen tied with bristles of industrial brooms. Photo by Marvin Rand.

    In Scarpa and Brook' own house, they’ve mounted luminous solar panels in a rusted-steel-beam grid to form a modernist canopy that frames the façade. This imaginative “solar umbrella” hides the household power plant in plain sight, part of an artful composition that includes a hanging screen tied with bristles of industrial brooms. Photo by Marvin Rand.

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  The Boglis love the self-reliance afforded by generating thermal energy and growing a garden on their roof. Photo by John Clark.

    The Boglis love the self-reliance afforded by generating thermal energy and growing a garden on their roof. Photo by John Clark.

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