April 22 marks World Earth Day, and to celebrate sustainable living HomeExchange shed a light on community members around the world who go above-and-beyond by converting or building eco-friendly homes.
This selection includes different versions of passive homes, applying a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency, which reduces the building’s ecological footprint.
1. Perth, Scotland
The owners of this spectacular home with awe-inspiring architecture started it as a ‚Äúfun retirement project.‚ÄĚ The house features solar heating, an energy efficient boiler, and wood sourced from managed forests.
2. Lazio, Italy
This sleek Italian abode is a passive home which was built using green materials and was designed with a purpose: to leave a low environmental impact. In the winter the home is heated (primarily) by the sun, and in the summer it is cooled with a geothermal system. The large glass window faces south to a valley below, capturing all of the wonders of nature.
3. Ober√∂sterreich, Austria
Welcome to Austria! Here you will be surrounded by picturesque views of meadows, woods, and mountains on the horizon. The modern day home has a treehouse-like ambiance and was built out of sustainable materials. There is also a garden filled with fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables, which serves as a subtle reminder of what nature provides.
4. Moselle, France
This eccentric home is built entirely out of red-cedar and other natural materials. Members who have stayed in the ecological round house in the past have said that they loved the tranquility of being nestled in the forest and taking in the scenic views.
5. Punta Rubia, Uruguay
This home in Punta Rubia combines the idea of tiny home minimalism with the increased independence that sustainable living provides. Water comes from a well and is heated using solar energy. The homeowners also separate their trash and have a compost allocated in the garden. An added bonus: the homeowner supports local business with all of the furniture in the home handmade by local artisans.
6. Qu√©bec, Canada
The massive walls of this chalet are isolated in bales of straw and covered with plasters of clay and lime. The purpose of this is to make it warm in winter and cool in summer. The artisan‚Äôs materials were chosen to minimise the ecological footprint: straw, clay, lime, recovered wood, and bricks salvaged from the old brick factory East.
7. Nueva Atlantis, Argentina
This Ranch-style Argentinian home is ideal for sharing moments, away from the stress of the city, where you can find the perfect combination between countryside and sea with streets lined with greenery, landscaping and wide beaches. The owners embrace the environment by using a system of solar energy to charge cell phones, emergency lights and by having an (optional) parabolic solar cooker to cook with the energy of the sun.
8. Haute-Loire, France
Not only is this home a wooden wonder, but it is also a passive home which was built out of natural wood and has a phytodepuration water collector. It‚Äôs located near the forest and is the perfect spot for outdoor activities.