Ecological and green design has really taken off in recent years. Now, eco homes are beautifully designed and are wonders of architecture. They are also a rising investment opportunity offering some great returns as people look for more and more unique and stylish homes to live in.
“There is a great modern investment opportunity for property developers with both a green outlook in terms of profit and in terms of helping the planet.” Property Development Finance Company – BridgingLoans.co.uk
The Zen House
The Zen House is not only a testament to creative, green design, it is also beautiful. Located in the heart of the city, it looks like a little bit of heaven in an otherwise urban landscape. Lush and green with exotic and native plants inside and out, the Zen House is a feast for the eyes and the senses. However, it is not just an aesthetically-pleasing home.
The home itself is very well insulated and uses many common green building techniques to improve efficiency and resource usage. Even the beautiful plants serve a purpose as they provide shade for the home, in addition to making it a gorgeous place to live.
Plummerswood stands on a weather-beaten slope overlooking the Tweed Valley. The owners of this £1.25m development, Ian and Ann Nimmo, bought the land from the Forestry Commission and enlisted the expertise of Gaia architects – a firm with an "eco-minimalist" philosophy. The end result is a striking three-bedroom Brettstapel structure.
This innovative technique, conceived in Germany, works by creating prefabricated solid timber panels from softwood timber posts and hardwood timber dowels. The moisture content of the dowels is lower than that of the posts, and over time the dowels expand, locking the posts together and creating a structural load-bearing system without the use of glue or nails.
The property won the Scottish Homes award for Architectural Excellence in 2012. Two years on, the timber cladding has begun to silver, the trees softening the sharp edges. "The house is changing for the better all the time," Ann believes.
Bridge House, is a very unique eco home that is unlike anything you've ever seen before. The house is actually both a house and a bridge, spanning a small water source below. The house was built into the environment in a way that did not disturb the surrounding landscape and would not impede views or functions of the water source below.
The Laura House, in Sydney, is a feat of form and function. Function-wise, the home is built using what is called rammed-earth design which provides natural insulation. It is also built to take advantage of passive solar, using the orientation of the home to provide protection from heat in the summer and get as much sun (and thus heat) as possible during the winter. The home appears to have no demarcations for different living spaces, the house flows seamlessly from end to end. It is one giant open space and even doors are kept from view to keep the clean, open feel throughout the home.
Combining art, science, technology and advanced architecture, they have created stunning, environmentally-friendly living spaces that are more akin to works of art. Those described here are just a tiny sample of fantastic Aussie green homes. Each passing year provides us with more examples of innovation and creativity in design.