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8 eco-friendly homes around the world for green gateways

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.

Image: Supplied

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.

Image: Supplied

3. Oberösterreich, 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.

Image: Supplied

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.

Image: Supplied

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.

Image: Supplied

6. Québec, 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’s materials were chosen to minimise the ecological footprint: straw, clay, lime, recovered wood, and bricks salvaged from the old brick factory East.

Image: Supplied

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.

Image: Supplied

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’s located near the forest and is the perfect spot for outdoor activities.

Image: Supplied

Rolex initiative inspires grand design

The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative is the company’s second major philanthropic programme, launched in 2002. It seeks out gifted young artists from around the world and brings them together with artistic masters for a year or more of mentoring and creative collaboration.

ln keeping with its tradition of supporting excellence, quality and performance, Rolex gives emerging artists time to learn, create and grow.

The 2018‚ąí2019 mentoring pair in architecture in the Rolex Mentor and Prot√©g√© Arts Initiative is Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye and his prot√©g√©e Mariam Kamara from Niger.

We take a look at some of the inspiring architectural design coming out of this worthy Rolex initiative.

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