written by:
November 21, 2013
From New York to Los Angeles, these self-sufficient homes prove that you don't have to live in the middle of nowhere to be off-the-grid.
Aerial view of the Cambridge Lofts Penthouse in Edmonton, Alberta

Architect Vivian Manasc rebuilt this 2,500-square-foot loft in Edmonton, Alberta to be energy efficient with solar panels to generate electricity while waste heat emitted by the elevator core warms the Canadian home.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Eco-Friendly Penthouse in Canada
1 / 8
Cambridge Lofts Penthouse Facade

The colorful 19th-story penthouse is designed for near net-zero energy consumption with views of the North Saskatchewan River and city skyline.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Eco-Friendly Penthouse in Canada
2 / 8
Modern stucco facade

When residents of a 100-year-old Brooklyn brownstone wanted a net-zero makeover, the result was Tighthouse, New York’s first certified Passive House. Photo by Hai Zhang.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Sustainable Brownstone Transformation in Brooklyn
3 / 8
Modern kitchen with reclaimed stained maple flooring

Home designer Julie Torres Moskovitz used LED lighting, electric Jenn-Air appliances and solar panels to bring the home up-to-date with modern eco-friendly trends. Photo by Hai Zhang.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Sustainable Brownstone Transformation in Brooklyn
4 / 8
Auburn 7 developer and resident Michael Kyle hangs with his dog Moxy in the front yard of the unit owned by his codeveloper Todd Wexman; he is joined by residents Francisco, Camille, and young Sophia Apple Owens.

Community gardens, tankless water heaters, low-flush toilets and energy-efficient appliances allow this Silver Lake neighborhood in Los Angeles to yield energy bills of $0. Photo by Dave Lauridsen.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Lucky 7
5 / 8
All but one homeowner at Auburn chose to install solar panels supplied by Buel Solar on the “solar-ready” roofs.

Designed by MASS Architecture and Design, each home features the option for homeowners to hook in solar panels. Photo by Dave Lauridsen.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Lucky 7
6 / 8
solar umbrella house backyard view to living room

This Venice, California home, designed by architects Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa, uses luminous solar panels to generate electricity. Photo by Marvin Rand.

Originally appeared in 10 Noteworthy Sustainable Homes
7 / 8
A steel-beam canopy with solar panels shades the house and provides electricity.

The home's solar panels work double duty by shading the home while providing electricity. Photo by Marvin Rand.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Solar Inspiration
8 / 8
Aerial view of the Cambridge Lofts Penthouse in Edmonton, Alberta

Architect Vivian Manasc rebuilt this 2,500-square-foot loft in Edmonton, Alberta to be energy efficient with solar panels to generate electricity while waste heat emitted by the elevator core warms the Canadian home.

Photo by Garth Crump.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

two of a kind padua italy matching family homes facade green roof doors color
For Dwell's annual issue dedicated to interiors , we visited homes from Haiti to italy. Here, we introduce you to the photographers and writers who made it happen.
April 30, 2016
houseofweek
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
April 30, 2016
W House living room
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 29, 2016
Vineyard house illuminated at night
Rammed-earth construction fuses this Portuguese house to the environment.
April 29, 2016
vintage Scandinavian furniture Kathryn Tyler
In southwest England, interior designer Kathryn Tyler built her home around her ever-expanding furniture collection.
April 29, 2016
steel facade home Seattle
On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents.
April 29, 2016
seperate piece renovated guesthouse eames storage unit cork floor tiles living room
An architect and an interior designer put the tools to the test for this impressive renovation.
April 29, 2016
Ceramics by WrenLab
Manhattan doesn’t get to have all the fun during NYCxDesign. Brooklyn is set for the return of BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few exhibitors we are excited to see this year.
April 29, 2016
n0a6974 dxo
Architect Diego Revollo refreshes an apartment with a standout kitchen.
April 29, 2016
img 8652 1
The city of San Francisco has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of SFMOMA for years—and as the May 14th opening approaches closer everyday, the anticipation continues to build for art enthusiasts both near and far. This morning, we were given the opportunity to explore the newly expanded space before the crowds roll in. After a series of speeches, remarks, and tours, we left the grounds feeling thoroughly inspired and excited to share what we discovered.
April 28, 2016
gramercy 1 ar53319
A family doesn’t have to travel far for a private oasis away from the busy city.
April 28, 2016
Renovation of 1967 Hamburg apartment with Vipp kitchen.
In our April issue, we showcased an apartment in Hamburg, Germany, with a striking, matte-black kitchen from Vipp. The 77-year-old company became famous for its iconic pedal trash can before venturing into kitchens and other tools for the home. This isn't the first time that the Danish company's products have graced our pages, and here we've gathered additional examples from our archive that show how the brand's minimalist black kitchens are always a win in modern interiors.
April 28, 2016
Zafra residence living room.
A man and his wife make an emotional return to an apartment building he loved as a kid.
April 28, 2016
the garden inside concrete dining pavilion indoor outdoor custom cabinets thermador dishwasher refrigerator
A skylit conservatory doubles as a verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California.
April 28, 2016
Details of the Calico collection.
Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope showed us through their home in our March Issue, now step inside their studio.
April 28, 2016
william krisel pow 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
April 27, 2016
Dwell on Design and designjunction at ArtBeam
It's all part of Dwell on Design + designjunction's three-day event, featuring a program of talks chock-full of leading figures in design, architecture, urbanism, and beyond—coming up May 13-15 at ArtBeam in New York.
April 27, 2016
seattles mariners floating house prefab facade exterior fiber cement panels
A prefabricated floating home drops anchor in the Pacific Northwest.
April 27, 2016
royan treatment living room stone fireplace vintage new furnishings
French designer Florence Deau effortlessly mixes the old with the new.
April 27, 2016
modern netherlands 13 noordeinde schoolhouse parquet herringbone floors stove
Take a lesson from this school-turned-home.
April 27, 2016
The sidewalks of Copacabana in Rio De Janero, Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx
The Jewish Museum in New York City takes it outside with a celebration of the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
April 26, 2016
Waterfront home in Belvedere, California
A 1960s home infested with powderpost beetles had to be sacrificed before this this Zen-inspired house could happen.
April 26, 2016
dialogue house
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape.
April 26, 2016
street smarts kitchen full view
A creative couple transforms an old Toronto storefront in Dundas West into a home and studio.
April 26, 2016
hald strand
This architect thinks of everything for his summer escape, pizza oven included.
April 26, 2016
gans turin residence living room
Thanks to a contemporary interior that she’s been updating for a decade, modern architect Abigail Turin has learned to love her traditional 1925 San Francisco home.
April 25, 2016
131
Johannesburg-based design studio Counterspace was founded in 2014 by young architecture graduates Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers, and Amina Kaskar. Their projects are collaborative, research-led investigations into possible futures and ideas of otherness in Johannesburg.
April 25, 2016
through living room
A second-story addition and a new indoor-outdoor focus revive a nondescript house in L.A.
April 25, 2016
Modern living room with Flexform sofa and Jens Fager candelabra
An Antwerp home blurs the boundaries between art and design.
April 25, 2016
hillside haven  1
This backyard is its own modern retreat in the Berkeley Hills.
April 25, 2016