Alternative living: Eco-houses

Luke Riley Luke Riley
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In recent times there has been an improving global awareness and concern for the environment. We have begun to take into consideration not only the health and sustainability of the natural environment, but also become more aware of our environmental footprints in our cities and our homes. As a result, ecological houses are becoming more common and are being explored as genuine alternatives for people to live in. These ecological houses are built in a wide variety of forms and their designs are becoming more and more inventive. Keep reading to find out more about this exciting trend. 

Straight from the factory floor

modern Houses by Casas Cube
Casas Cube

Vista trasera de una Casa Cube de 100 metros cuadrados con porche

Casas Cube

Modular homes are one such example of an ecological home. For those unaware: a modular home is a building formed by prefabricated sections. Like the name implies, these sections are called modules and are built off-site. Once completed they're delivered to the site and set onto the building's foundations. Each module is then joined together simply to make one holistic building. The modules can be placed side-by-side, end-to-end, or stacked, allowing a wide variety of configurations and styles in the building layout. 

Module housing have become preferred by many over the conventional building method. These modular homes can be built at a faster rate, of a higher environmental quality, and in a more sustainable way than conventional houses.

A modern home with flair

modern Houses by NOEM

Visitors would be genuinely impressed to learn that this home was actually constructed on a factory floor. From this perspective, there are no signs that this home was a creation from a factory, with the home reflecting a genuine modern home. The design of the home favours a modern look with an open free-flowing internal layout. We love how the outdoor porch is connected to the internal living zones by retractable sliding doors and feels like one holistic space.

A special delivery

  by NOEM

Once completed in the factory the modules are craned onto the site. It's a quick process that includes minimal effort or man hours from the contractor. With the bulk of the work completed in the factory, the modules are almost ready to live in straight away. 

Inside

modern Dining room by NOEM

You might begin to wonder if all modular homes look the same considering they're built inside the same factory. This is certainly not the case. Purchasers can tailor their modules to look and feel how their desire. The modules external look can be designed to look unlike any other home. The same goes for the internal spaces.

So how do these modular houses look and feel on the inside? The answer is—much like any modern new build. Inside spaces of this living room reflect a minimalist style, with the home being furnished and decorated simply. Notice there’s a clear emphasis upon openness and the smart use of space. 

Saving money

​Limpley Stoke Eco House:   by Hewitt Studios
Hewitt Studios

​Limpley Stoke Eco House

Hewitt Studios

Genuine savings can be made be choosing to build a modular home. Construction costs for modular homes per square meter can be considerable less than conventional builds. Long term savings are also available by including sustainable features in the design of the home such as double glazing and by utilising water saving and capturing mechanisms. 

A modern touch

​Limpley Stoke Eco House:   by Hewitt Studios
Hewitt Studios

​Limpley Stoke Eco House

Hewitt Studios

Timber is a popular material in eco-homes due to their natural insulating properties. Reclaimed timber has been used in the image here. 

We can begin to appreciate the craftsmanship involved in the making of the staircase that connects two modules of the home. There’s so much to love about the design that incorporates timber, glass, and steel. The combination of these materials creates a beautiful sculpture-like feature within the connecting point of the home. 

Green walls

Another great ally in home sustainability is by using plants to insulate the building. Some homes incorporate a rooftop garden but few include vertical gardens. In this modular home the vegetation, coupled with the air that accumulates from the timber deck, represent one of the most effective thermal and acoustic insulation. All year round the home can have a lush natural feature that not only looks beautiful, but keeps the home and its owners healthy. 

Joining methods

As mentioned earlier, modular homes can be joined in a variety of methods. Here we see walkways connect the different sections of the home. 

Hidden features

modern Houses by Chiralt Arquitectos
Chiralt Arquitectos

Fachada y valla de la Casa Gerard—Chiralt Arquitectos

Chiralt Arquitectos

Strong architectural statements can be made with eco-homes. A beautiful, blank white rendered exterior, along with the defining concrete and stone walls create an overall muted appearance to the homes exterior. However, it's what's hiding on the rooftop that makes the greatest statement. The roof is lined with solar powers that provide the home with sufficient energy all year round. Depending on where you live, any excess energy captured by the panels can be sold back to the main grid for profit. 

The way of the future

  by NEOLITH by TheSize
NEOLITH by TheSize

Neolith: Paisajismo Culinario en Restaurante Azurmendi

NEOLITH by TheSize

As the industry expands and awareness grows, it's safe to say that eco-houses will play an integral role in housing people. Even here in the UK more people are embracing this form of housing. As a result, the number of experts providing the opportunity for people to build these eco-homes is growing, and will continue to expand into the foreseeable future. 

To take a tour of an amazing eco-home in Bedfordshire be sure to click the link below.

Stylish eco-home in Bedfordshire

Would you consider a modular home? Let us know in the comments section. 
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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