Crossfield Street House wildflower roof

20 Homes That Are Habitats

12 of 21

With few desirable housing lots left on the market in central London, architect Jonathan Pile decided to take his chances on an irregular walled site that developers had written off as unviable. Tucked behind a row of buildings that front Deptford High Street, the awkwardly shaped lot had been used as a car repair yard for decades, and it still retained the remains of a small two-horse stable from the late 19th century. Impressively, the house they designed meets level four of the UK Code for Sustainable Homes and exceeds UK Building Regulations for energy performance and carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 20 percent. The airtight build is constructed with naturally finished, low-embodied-energy materials, and it features efficient water systems (including solar hot water heaters), a living roof rich with native wildflowers, and an integrated bat box and sparrow terrace.