I love writing about little house plans, or residential architecture in general. Yet it takes some research, on my part, to find new home designs, links to great sites, and then time for me to organize my thoughts into legible paragraphs. I keep thinking that I’ll set aside one day a week for house plan posts, but with my limited amount of time, this isn’t going to happen any time soon.
But with that being said, I did find time this week to research some ecofriendly house designs that I thought were interesting.
- Circular home designs – Deltec Homes: I’ve never been a big fan of octagonal or circular homes. I just didn’t understand the purpose to them. However, I found the Deltec site that explains it. In so many words, the point of them being there are no “load-bearing” interior walls allowing for just about any floor plan layout. Their roof acts as the supporting beams, so the modifications to the interior are endless. I can see this being a huge factor if one wants a very open floor plan. The only drawback I see to circular homes is that many of the walls are curved. This would drive me crazy placing furniture against them.
- Passive Solar Designs – The Plan Collection: Passive solar is a up and coming word these days. Basically, if you design the house with enough light and windows pointing in just the right direction, you can heat your house naturally. This would save money on your gas bill during the fall and winter months. Though, I would worry about the summer months in warmer regions, like say, Arizona! You don’t want your house acting as a sauna.
- More Passive Solar Designs – SunTerra: I like the fact that SunTerra explains the point of a passive solar home and includes the importance of overhangs for shade. They also calculate how much money could be saved on heating a house passively, approximately 1/3 overall. Their home plans include explanations of how each home’s architecture reinforces green building ideas such as a zero energy home and an earth sheltered home. I also learned the purpose of a flatter pitched roof: it decreases the interior volume improving the energy efficiency.
As a more critical consumer, many house plan sites I come across boast about “green building.” But to put things in perspective, green building really boils down to being resource efficient. The more recycled materials, the less stress is put upon the environment. My all time favorite home builders is Phoenix Commotion: taking one persons junk and turning it into another person’s treasure.