Dudes and dudettes, it’s been a while since the last instalment in the Futuristic Living and Organic Architecture series (you can find part 1 HERE). Futuristic Living Pt. 2 (here) doesn’t really count in, since there was no organic architecture part.
But today there is! We’ll have a look at some energy efficient, self-sustainable or carbon-neutral houses, so you can get an idea of where you wanna live in, say, 30 years from now? Or shall we make it 15? Whatever, the sooner the better, right?
First, I’d like to introduce you to the cube-project which “is an initiative of Dr Mike Page at the University of Hertfordshire who set out to build a compact home, no bigger than 3x3x3 metres on the inside, in which one person could live a comfortable, modern existence with a minimum impact on the environment.” To get a first impression you can watch a tour around and through the cube, which gives you a good idea of what it looks like and how it works.
“Within its 27 cubic metres it includes a lounge, with a table and two custom-made chairs, a small double bed (120cm wide), a full-size shower, a kitchen (with energy-efficient fridge, induction hob, re-circulating cooker hood, sink/drainer, combination microwave oven and storage cupboards), a washing machine, and a composting toilet. Lighting is achieved by ultra-efficient LED lights, and the Cube is heated using an Ecodan air-source heat pump, with heat being recovered from extracted air. It has cork flooring and there is two-metre head height throughout.” And of course, it is made from a variety of sustainable materials.
If you want to learn more about the cube, you can visit the homepage of the project by clicking HERE. There you’ll also find a lot of additional information, especially concerning the technologies used and the generating of energy.
But what if you think: “this is all nice and well, but way too clean and waaayyy to small for my liking?” Well, here is the answer: Simon Dale’s low impact woodland home!
Yep, it not only looks like a hobbit’s home, but it made of wood, straw and clay, making use of natural material found in the surroundings (and most importantly: harvesting them responsibly) with all additional materials gathered from the trash that people tend to throw away: windows, plumbing and wiring equipment, etc. Below you get an impression of the process it took to build this inspiring home.
Not only is it ridiculously beautiful and super-eco-friendly, but on his homepage Simon Dale gives valuable instructions if you wanna go for something similar yourself. And he claims that he doesn’t really know much about carpeting and the like, saying he’s just and able-bodied dude who gave it a try. And since he likes trying he decided to build another one to move into, which looks just as gorgeous (a good reason to visit South Wales, I guess…).
If you’re more of an enthusiast for minimalism in architecture rather than going for the cluttered green natura-all-over-the-place look, the following home in Tübingen, Germany planned by the architects Martenson and Nagel-Theissen of studio AMUNT might just be the one for you.
It’s a so-called passive house (meaning that it doesn’t require traditional heating systems since its construction makes maximum use of “passive” sources of heat, like sun, heat radiating of human bodies or electrical appliances, thereby requiring a minimum of energy) and provides space for two adults and four kids according to their webpage, but I guess you can get more creative with the number of adults vs. children when it comes to deciding if you wanna live in something like that. Which seems to be fairly easy, since it is easily produced and delivered to the construction site, where they only have to piece together the 136 pieces that it consists of. Which is mostly wood, really, making for pretty interiors.
Oh, and yes, I was talking about minimalism. Why? Have a look yourself:
all images (c) AMUNT, via nageltheissen.de, visit their page HERE
These are just three different options for organic and/or low-energy living in future days. Some people obviously already do so now, I don’t (yet!), but there is really no reason why we all shouldn’t. Since I like ending posts like this one with more food for thought I give you a TED talk by the bright Catherine Mohr on Building Green (duration 6:13).