In the 21st century, not only people and objects are more autonomous, but also homes. It may seem odd, but it’s true. Let’s find out what energy-rich homes are and their characteristics.
We are in Freiburg, Germany, and the house in question is the Heliotrope, designed by Ralph Disch. This is a rotating solar home which rotates 180 degrees to follow the sun’s path and maximize solar panel efficiency. A solar array that helps achieve energy efficiency, a rainwater recycling system and composting toilet complete this awesome and innovative work of sustainable art.
There’s another house in Germany, called Aktivhaus B10, which sustain itself with its rooftop photovoltaic system that produces around 8300 kilowatt hours of solar energy per year.
In Norway, there is Snøhetta’s ZEB Pilot House, powered by solar and geothermal energy. It produces so much energy that the family living in it manages to power the electric car all year round.
Let’s move to Denmark, where you can find Home For Life, strategically placed to take in 50% of its winter heating from passive solar means. This house includes a photovoltaic system, solar hot water system, heat pump, energy optimized windows and an automatic natural ventilation system.
Finally, in Oregon there is Cannon Beach Residence, a greenroofed home with a stunning view of the ocean. It generates its own energy using photovoltaics, geothermal energy, energy heat recovery ventilators and a highefficiency heat pump.
The investment to build such houses must have been significant, but the longterm benefits for families that live there will be huge, both in financial and health terms.