As the world moves towards becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly, everyone is looking for new ways to make their homes more energy efficient to support their sustainability goals.
In this article, we will explore five innovative house designs that were created with improved energy efficiency methods in mind. Not only do these designs promote becoming more environmentally friendly, but those who reside in these types of properties will also see a reduction in their energy bills.
What Makes A House Energy Efficient?
There are four main factors that can impact the energy efficiency levels of your home. If, after reading this list, there are one or more measures that your house does not utilise, you may wish to consider implementing them in your property. These four factors are:
- Energy efficient appliances and devices.
- Smart home technology.
- The architectural design of your home.
Each of these factors will utilise specific design features in your home like the natural light it receives, the ventilation installed in your home, and the possibility of implementing renewable energy sources, to help reduce your carbon footprint. Additionally, improving your home’s energy efficiency levels can also boost the value of your property.
5 Unique Energy-Efficient House Designs For Your Home
Mediterranean Style Homes: The Tried And Tested Method
Ever since their inception, Mediterranean-style homes have been designed with natural features to help regulate the temperature indoors. Features including thick walls, strategically placed windows, and tiled roofs help to both keep warm air in during the winter months and keep homes cooler during the summer.
Typically, Mediterranean homes are also built with materials that are lightly coloured and are often reflective. Spain, which is considered one of the three main climate zones in the Mediterranean area, will see highs of over 30°C during the months of July and August. In order to minimise the temperature indoors, most residential properties are made with lightly coloured materials. Additionally, they also rely upon outdoor living spaces to reduce the need of artificial cooling systems. As global warming continues to be an issue, countries like the UK may need to consider these features moving forward.
Reduce Energy Loss With Geodesic Dome Homes
Shortly following the conclusion of the First World War, Walther Bauersfeld designed the world’s first-ever geodesic dome structure. The building was characterised by the large interior space it offered, without taking up an overwhelming amount of surface space. Additionally, the dome-like shape of the building was rather eye-catching.
It is this dome-like shape that makes geodesic dome homes so energy efficient. Due to the reduced surface space the property covers, it will require less energy to heat, which would reduce your energy bills. They also offer improved air circulation due to the circular shape with the absence of corners, compared to conventional homes, which would make temperature retention easier to achieve. In addition, due to the unique design of the building, it would be easier to install renewable energy sources like solar panels to the property.
Downsize With Tiny Homes
During the height of the minimalist lifestyle craze, downsizing your home and your belongings was all the rage. However, what you might not have known is that opting for a tiny home compared to a larger property is actually a more energy-efficient way to live.
This is rather self-explanatory, but the smaller your property is, the less energy you will require to heat it. This also works the same for cooling during the summer months as well. In fact, tiny homes have gotten a name for themselves over the years as being the ‘eco-friendly’ housing choice. If you are looking for a permanent way to live a more sustainable lifestyle, relocating to a tiny home may be perfect for you. Making the change will also save you money as well.
ICF Homes Provide A Robust Energy Efficiency Method
Also known as insulated concrete form (ICF) homes, properties designed using this method utilise ICF, which is made of foam blocks filled with concrete. These blocks provide high levels of thermal resistance and prevent air from leaking out of your property. This, in turn, will boost your home’s ability to stabilise its internal temperature all year round.
Additionally, with the concrete material of the ICF, this energy efficiency method has better durability compared to other measures. This is because the blocks are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and natural disasters. ICF homes are also more environmentally friendly to construct compared to traditional residential properties.
Combine Nature And Architecture With Earth Sheltered Homes
Behind the geodesic dome homes, Earth-sheltered homes have the most striking design of any of the property types included on our list. The goal of Earth-sheltered homes is to allow your property to blend into its surroundings rather than altering the landscape of the local area. This trend has grown in popularity in recent years.
However, this type of home design also has energy efficiency benefits. This is because in the places where you cover your home with soil, the material will act as a natural insulation method and help with your home’s temperature regulation. Working as a thermal mass, the soil will absorb and release heat slowly, to help maintain your desired indoor temperature. Similar to the ICF method, Earth-sheltered homes also provide you with additional protection against outside weather conditions.
5 Unique Energy-Efficient House Designs For Your Home Summary
While a large span of the UK public would have heard all about the specific measures that they can take in order to improve their home’s energy efficiency levels, there are even more possibilities available to help you improve your home. Below, we have included a table that briefly summarises the unique home designs detailed in this article, and who might benefit from them the most:
|Energy-efficient home design
|Mediterranean style homes
|Perfect for those that live in warmer climates or are looking for ways to make their home naturally cooler.
|Geodesic dome homes
|Perfect for those looking for something different or have a smaller amount of land to live on.
|Perfect for minimalists and those wanting to live more sustainably.
|Perfect for those that live in locations prone to poor weather conditions.
|Perfect for those looking for natural ways to improve the energy efficiency levels of their home.
If you believe that making energy efficiency improvements to your home is outside of your budget, and therefore, cannot apply to you, then there are a variety of grants available. The ECO4 scheme set out by the UK government is there to provide financial support for low-income households to improve their property’s energy efficiency levels, and websites like Free Insulation Scheme can help you find the perfect installers.
Through the scheme, you could receive a variety of types of insulation, a new heating system, or a new boiler. Not only will this help your home become more environmentally friendly, but you will also see a reduction in your energy bills.