Eco-friendly and environmental consciousness are gaining traction as more individuals are looking to embrace a greener way of life. Lowering an individual carbon footprint also can extend to the dwelling chosen by the homeowner.
There are many options for building an energy-efficient home. While a home design might include environmental-friendly building materials and a design that conserves energy, the home also can feature energy-efficient appliances, solar panels and many other energy-saving amenities. Some homeowners might even include a garden where they grow their own produce, a chicken coop for eggs and even a wind turbine.
Energy-efficient homes can be as unique as the individual who builds them. Homeowners can find all types of energy-efficient home designs on the internet. There are companies that even specialize in designing and building these homes.
However, there are also unique homes that don’t fit into the typical box of what an individual might think of as a standard home. Younger generations might be embracing alternative home designs and alternative home options.
Beyond investing in a modern, newly built eco-friendly dream home, what are the other energy-efficient home options? Some are on wheels, others are tiny…and some are round. Here are five unique options for building (or establishing!) an energy-efficient home.
The Tiny Home
Some people define a small home as less than 1,000 square feet. A tiny home really is tiny. Business Insider explains that these homes are usually between 100 to 400 square feet. So, yes, they are very small.
What makes these homes ideal for those looking to diminish their carbon footprint is their diminutive size. A smaller square footage takes less effort to heat and cool. There are less lights. Less space also means that homeowners will need to make do with less ‘stuff.’ This could mean fewer dishes to wash.
A tiny home also could be equipped with energy efficient appliances, too. And some of these homes might be on wheels.
The downside of tiny homes, however, is that not all cities will allow them. Interested in downsizing to a tiny home? Check out the laws in the state to find out if this home is an option. States that are friendly to tiny homes: Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Maine (and several others, too!).
The Van Life
Like a tiny home, living in a van means living in a very confined space. However, van life is about moving around the country freely. Many embrace this nomadic lifestyle to see and explore different states and parks, too. Of course, the van could be a residence for a longer period of time. And vans have very little needs beyond fuel.
But is living in a van energy-efficient? Most vans require fuel. So van lovers will still leave a footprint. However, they won’t use electricity. And water might only be used sparingly…there is no bathtub! Tri-State Co-op offers advice on how to increase the energy-efficiency of the van while living the roaming life!
Going Off the Grid
Build a cabin out on a vast piece of property and live off the grid! Is it possible? Perhaps. Some homeowners might take on the challenge to build their own small home (not tiny). Maybe they build their own water pump and use solar panels for electricity.
However, these off the grid homes don’t have to be cabins…they can also be shipping container homes or tiny homes, too. But they can be incredibly sustainable and energy-efficient. There are even companies that specialize in helping those who want to live off the grid find homes to meet their needs. Check out SurvivorRealty.com and United Country Real Estate, too!
Geodesic Dome Home
The geodesic dome home is a very energy-efficient design. Homeowners can piece a home together as a DIY project or hire someone to build the home. These homes also can be found on the secondary real estate market, but they don’t pop up often in most areas. Geodesic dome homes can be small or any size. Plus, they look really cool!
Opting for a Traditional Energy-Efficient Home
Some homeowners want to build a new home with a comfortable amount of square footage. However, they also might want their home to be more sustainable and energy efficient. There are many companies that specialize in building energy-efficient homes. Check out the Zero Energy Project to find builders that specialize in energy-efficient home building and/or designs. The site also can help homeowners who are looking to remodel their current home.
Individuals and families interested in embracing an energy-efficient and greener lifestyle may be interested in finding or building a home that complements this lifestyle. There are many unique designs and options for energy-efficient homes. Build a traditional energy-efficient home with the help of a builder that specializes in this type of building design or opt for a tiny home, the van life or even an off-the-grid home created from a shipping container! Geodesic dome homes are one of the most energy-efficient home designs, and these round residences also offer a unique design structure that can appeal to a homeowner that wants a non-traditional style home.