Sunday, 4 January 2009

houses to save the world

We all know something's got to give. In Australia, our houses are getting bigger (and uglier) while our families are getting smaller. Petrol consumption and greenhouse gases are increasing as cities sprawl and large houses require air conditioning. Our economic standard of living is rising and many in the developing world want a piece of the action.

One part of the solution is surely more environmentally friendly houses, which means smaller, better designed, energy efficient, carbon-neutral, water efficient, solar-powered buildings made of renewable materials. Or at least some of these.

The exciting thing is that it is slowly beginning to happen, even if only on an experimental level or by die-hard greenies, and the designs are attractive and interesting too. Take a look at these "green houses" - perhaps my favourite is this New Zealand house built from old shipping containers.

Photo: Jetson Green blog

Check out more photos of the shipping container house, plus a house in Japan with polycarbonate walls, a passive solar urban kit home, office space and artists' studios in old railway carriages on building rooftops in London, and this house from an old barn in Belgium.

You're probably the same as me, unlikely to make a move from where you're currently living. But surely somewhere here is the way of the future.

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