New Designs for Sustainable Homes


Today, kind readers, I would like to share two remarkable designs that I came across recently.  The first (pictured above) is a “net-zero neighborhood” just breaking ground in Boulder, CO.  Inhabitat reports that this will be the first development of it’s kind in the U.S.  It utilizes a geothermal heat pump system, large photovoltaic systems, and claims to bring sustainable design to “the masses” by pushing costs way down.  The price of construction per square foot is certainly low ($200) but I’d be interested to learn what the price tag will look like for home buyers when it comes time to populate the development.

The second design (pictured below) comes from a very different project–Rural Studio, a key component Auburn University’s Architecture Program.  The project has been running since 1993 and is “conceived as a strategy to improve the living conditions in rural Alabama while imparting practical experience to architecture students.”  While there is not a clearly stated mission of sustainability, a great deal of their projects do amazing things with recycled materials and energy efficient designs.  Spend some time navigating their website and checking out each year’s projects.  These homes are being built exclusively in rural areas, but the program and the structures could provide an excellent model increasing affordable, green housing in urban contexts as well.  There’s no doubt here that the final products are being geared toward “the masses.”



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Comments (1)


  1. Great ideas, I love anything that will make green building more affordable. Once it becomes more affordable, everyone will do it to realize the savings. It is hard to sell a premium product in the current market unless there are some obvious financial benefits.


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