What will the sustainable home of the future look like? Solar powered tree-houses? A carbon-zero footprint? Well, you do not have to look much farther, because these innovations are much closer to becoming a reality than you may think!
A House Like a Tree
Architect William McDonough, from McDonough and Partners, imagines a house built like a tree. This forest like abode would come equipped with integrated solar panels that offset the carbon produced in other parts of the house. The outside elements or “bark” would self-clean and self-heal. Self-cleaning glass, for instance, would have a special coating that uses ultraviolet sunlight to break down organic dirt; rainwater would then wash the filth away. Other technological advances in the home include cement that would absorb carbon dioxide as it cures, offsetting the heavy loads of energy used to make the material. Mr. McDonough envisions a building industry in which everything that goes into a house eventually breaks down harmlessly, much as a tree falls and biodegrades on the forest floor. So, in his house, building materials from the cladding to the floors would be easily disassembled and reused, or, as he says, "return to the Earth."
The Lizard House
The futuristic home imagined by architecture firm, Cook + Fox, has a "biomorphic" skin that reacts to the weather, turning dark in the bright sun to insulate the house from heat and turning clear on dark days to absorb as much light and heat as possible. The house also captures rain and condensation to fill the household’s water needs. Cook + Fox imagine an architectural future that uses both nature and technology to problem solve.
The sustainable home by Mouzon Design features a number of pragmatic elements, including roof-integrated photovoltaics, an architectural cistern for water collection, a breeze chimney for natural ventilation, and space sufficient to grow and harvest food. The owners pluck fish from their very own tilapia pool and melons and other vegetables from the living walls.
Home Tree Home
A Danish student of Design and Architecture designed a stunning eco- treehouse project equipped with four different levels, each with a special function. The student also made sure that the treehouse could be self-sufficient, meaning the house could be placed anywhere in the world without disturbing the local environment.