Living Green: 5 Different Types of Sustainable Homes You Should Consider

There has never been a stronger demand for eco friendly, sustainable homes than right now, and that demand continues to grow every year. As the realities of climate change and the importance of meaningful conservation efforts grows, we are collectively becoming increasingly self-aware of our individual environmental impacts. It is becoming gradually more important to find more sustainable, energy efficient solutions for the ways that we live and operate at home.

Building a sustainable home can seem like a daunting task for many. Where do you begin? Firstly, it is essential to know that eco friendly houses come in all shapes and sizes. From more familiar forms of sustainable housing including prefabricated homes and tiny houses, to more unconventional designs such as shipping container homes and straw bale houses, there is something to fit the needs, aesthetics, and lifestyles of everyone interested in owning a home that is more energy efficient and kind to the Earth.

In this blog, we will go over 5 of the most popular types of sustainable homes that you should consider for your next house, and review their unique characteristics and environmental advantages.


What’s So Great About Ecological Homes?

You may be looking to invest in building a sustainable home from scratch with an experienced green home designer, or may simply wish to make small but meaningful changes to your existing home to decrease your carbon footprint. These changes can consist of installing energy efficient appliances, energy efficient lighting including LED lights, or triple glazed windows for improved energy efficiency. Regardless of how you go about it, there is an endless list of benefits to making your living space more eco friendly.

Also Read: 8 Reasons Modern Eco-Friendly Homes Are On The Rise

Also Read: 14 Eco Friendly Ways to Remodel Your Home

Benefits Of A Sustainable Home

  • Cost Savings

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Environmental Conservation

  • Health and Well-Being

  • Increased Property Value

  • Resilience and Adaptability to the Elements


5 Different Types of Sustainable Homes


Tiny Homes

The tiny house movement is perhaps one of the more widely known sustainable home trends. Tiny homes, often interchangeably referred to as micro homes, come in a vast range of styles, from mobile to stationary. They are characterized, evidently, by their tiny size, usually boasting a humble square footage under or equal to 400 square feet, or 37 square meters. The driving ideology behind this widespread movement is to promote a simplistic, minimal lifestyle that rejects overconsumption and the negative environmental impact it has.

Sustainable tiny homes are an eco friendly choice because they typically show less energy usage compared to regular sized homes. Apart from saving energy, tiny houses use fewer materials for construction, and many manufacturers opt for sustainable, local, and/or non-toxic natural and recycled materials including reclaimed bricks and reclaimed wood.

Prefabricated Homes

Prefabricated homes, also known as prefab homes, are houses that are manufactured and built off site, typically in standard sections of individual pieces that allow for easy transportation and assembly. Different types of prefabricated homes, such as modular and manufactured homes, require varying construction techniques. Many prefab homes nowadays are built in a distinctly modern design style, however many manufacturers also cater to different tastes.

Practical and affordable modular homes are an excellent sustainable house option because of their unique building process; builders know exactly how much building material they will need for the project, since the pieces come pre-manufactured, allowing for significantly less construction waste. There are a large number of manufacturers who hone in on this eco friendly aspect of prefab homes and add additional sustainable features into their designs.

Solar-Paneled Homes

Solar-paneled homes are a popular choice for those looking to buy a sustainable home. With the use of solar panels, these homes use the natural light from the sun to create electricity, greatly reducing or even completely eliminating the use of electricity produced in a local power plant.

Solar-paneled homes produce a significantly lower annual net carbon footprint with the use of solar power as a renewable energy. It is no secret that solar energy is an expensive upfront investment, however the savings in electricity bills over time mean that it will eventually pay for itself, while also often increasing the value of your eco friendly house.

Zero-Carbon Homes

A zero-carbon home, compared to some of the other types of sustainable housing that we have looked at so far, is not a particular style or design of home – any house can be zero-carbon! Simply put, a home that emits no net carbon dioxide in its operation is considered a zero-carbon home.

This exceptional energy efficiency comes from a focus on extremely effective insulation and windows installed with remarkable air tightness, all resulting in less heat loss and, subsequently, less energy consumption. The sustainability aspect of a home without any carbon emissions is self-explanatory, and with the help of continuously advancing “smart” technologies, this type of ecological home is likely to become more and more common in coming years.

Earth-Covered Homes

Earth shelters, earth houses, underground houses – no matter what you call them, earth-covered homes are just as the name suggests: houses built either partially or completely underground. This green eco design choice is more than an architectural preference. The compression of tightly packed soil around the walls of the home act as exceptional insulation, making it easier to maintain a steady temperature indoors and reducing the need for excessive heating and cooling.

The reduced need for heating and cooling makes earth-covered homes an exceptionally energy efficient choice as far as sustainable homes go. While more untraditional due to highly specialized building techniques and expertise paired with the high cost of excavation and construction, this style of home has been around for thousands of years, and will likely continue to stick around.


Modern and Sustainable Home Builders

Working with the help of sustainable home builders and green home designers is the key to unlocking your ideal eco friendly house, personally tailored to the unique needs of you and your family’s lifestyle. Making your home a more environmentally friendly space can have numerous advantages, not only for the planet but also for your wallet and wellbeing. Reduce your annual net carbon footprint while lowering your energy bill, environmental impact, and use of harmful fossil fuels.

Choose Sustainable Design Group in Gaithersburg, MD

Sustainable Design Group is a leading provider of environmentally friendly, ecological homes that are both beautiful and functional in Gaithersburg, MD and surrounding areas. Our mission is to design and build the most comfortable, healthy, and environmentally responsible buildings on the planet. The green home of your dreams is within reach, and we are the right sustainable home builders eager to bring it to life with you. Contact us today to learn more.