As sustainable building guru Car Seville once said,“If we compare the average house to a car, it would have bald tires, leak and burn oil, and get about four miles to the gallon.” and in times past there is no doubt I’ve driven that car but we are in a new world now where technology has empowered us to make better decisions and care for the earth on a higher level that was once out of reach.
In terms of home living I couldn’t imagine anything more fulfilling than building a home around the needs of your desired lifestyle coupled with a property that is sustainable and eco-friendly. For me, that is a big step towards leading a decentralised life and so, in an attempt to realise this dream I have researched some great companies that are providing affordable, creative and state of the art dwelling solutions which, I would like to share with you in this blog.
Based in New Mexico this innovative company describes their product as ‘Radically Sustainable Buildings’ and for over 40 years have created inspiring habitats and working towards developing a fully sustainable prototype home that has a zero carbon footprint on the planet.
The concept behind these homes is that they are “off-the-grid,” meaning that they attempt to rely as little as possible on public utilities such as gas and electricity from third party companies. The man behind Earthship, Michael Reynolds, came up with the idea back in the 1970s and since then has also launched the Earthship Academy which offers extensive training in Earthship design principles, construction methods and philosophy.
From custom designs to packaged and retrofit solutions they are certainly leaders in the space and are using inventive ways to reuse and recycle materials which extends their sustainability portfolio. Most notably they have constructed a working prototype that harvests its own electricity and water; contains and treats its own sewage; and heats and cools itself without fuel and produces a significant amount of food. To discover more about Earthship Biotecture visit their website here
Tiny House Movement
The tiny house movement is a description for the architectural and social movement that promotes living simply in small homes. Although building a tiny house doesn’t neccesarily constitute sustainability it is generally advocated by those amongst the Minimalist community which in itself is focussed on less waste and improved efficiency. I personally am going to require a bit more space but I think there are some great ideas to take from these units that can be incorporated into a more elaborate space.
This incredible off-the-grid Tiny Home, constructed by boat builder and cabinet maker Jeff Hobbs really has taken Tiny House construction to the next level. It’s packed with clever design features, high quality materials and sustainable technologies.
Now, because I’m only half handy with tools and the thought of building a home from the ground up is a bit of an unrealistic option for me I was blown away when I first started seeing shipping container houses being shared on social. Cladding something like this in solar panels and retrofitting existing sustainability technology would be a great solution for me and the topic of my next article on this research. There are a number of companies providing container dwelling solutions but not all of them have a focus on delivering eco-friendly and sustainable solutions however Rhino Cubed offer a number of ‘Optional Appliances for Off The Grid’ including Solar Generator with solar panels, DC-Refrigerator, De-natured Alcohol-burning Cooktop and a De-natured Alcohol Space Heater.
What if you just want to walk straight into an eco-friendly home of your own without all the heaving lifting? Google is your friend and a quick search for ‘eco-friendly home for sale’ garnered a host of listings across Gumtree and Real Estate sites.
‘Creating Eco Sustainable Homes That Don’t Cost The Earth’ These guys nailed their tagline however I’m still not sure they are in my price range. Aside form price though these guys are building some stunning houses as you can see from the pics below. Modscape is an Australian owned and operated company that utilises the benefits of modular design and prefabrication to create architecturally designed, innovative sustainable homes and commercial projects.