Dr. Mike Page, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, started the Cube Project, which resulted in the design of this 10x10x10-foot house. It has all the necessities sustainable houses need and uses energy-efficient technology to combat our growing population and diminishing natural resources. The eco-cube has solar panels on the roof that produce more energy than the home consumes, leaving an estimated $1,600 in profit if connected to the electrical grid.
Simon Dale’s Hobbit Home
Simon Dale took the doom and gloom messages about our overconsumption of fossil fuels to heart by building sustainable houses out of as many natural matierals as possible. The result is the “Hobbit Home,” which is entirely solar-powered, obtains water through irrigation, has a compostable toilet and contains a naturally cooled fridge. Also of note: He started the Lammas Project to help build more sustainable houses.
Yale Grad Student Builds her House
Elizabeth Turnbill needed a place to live after she was accepted to Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Using her skills, she built a small, sustainable home, which is powered by solar energy and contains a compostable toilet.
In 2011 Christian Schallert built a 24-square-meter Lego-style sustainable house in Barcelona, Spain. Unlike many sustainable houses, because of its size, all of life’s necessities (like a bed and a kitchen table) must pull out of the wall. To save energy and space, Schallert hang-drys all of his clothes.
Tumbleweed Tiny Sustainable Houses
For the last five years, Jay Shafer has been making ultra-compact sustainable houses, partly because he doesn't like vacuuming. His company, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, provides consumers with a variety of kits and ready-made sustainable houses. Shafer even points out that if your house is small enough, you might not have to pay property taxes (depending on where you live). Also, most of Shafer's sustainable houses are completely mobile.
The Keret House, the World’s Skinniest
At 47 inches wide, the Keret House in Poland is the thinnest of the worlds sustainable houses. Its coolest eco-feature? A standing water system simlar to a boat’s.
Occupants of sustainable houses waste less, use less, and can live simply. Indeed, all manner of personal consumption becomes significantly reduced when a homeowner moves into a single-person dwelling.
But, in a race to squeeze a home into any crevice, single-person dwellings have been replaced by sustainable houses, or micro-homes, teensy-tiny abodes springing up in densely populated urban areas where real estate is at a premium.
Andrew Freeman is a California native with a degree in history from UCLA. He’s covered a wide range of topics for TakePart, but is particularly interested in politics and policy. Email Andrew |@natureofdabeast | TakePart.com