Glass housesThree main tenets of green building design include energy efficiency, water efficiency, and minimal harm to the surrounding environment. The scramble to get in on the exploding green market has had some fundamental and interesting effects in the arena of green home design. The following homes are some of the most innovative and resourceful designs out there. One resonating theme among them all is harmony with their natural surroundings, reuse of old, or existing materials, and commitment to a low-impact life.

Tree Houses. Tree homes aren’t just for kids any more.  All across the world, developers are creating stylish, modern homes in trees from sustainable and local wood sources. Whether it serves as a main residence or a quiet getaway there is no better way to commune with and take part in nature. Some are more advanced than others and include everything you would need to make it a permanent residence including composting toilets, kitchens, and full size living rooms.

Barn Homes. Reusing old materials is one of the ways to build green. Abandoned barns are being converted into comfy country getaways. Some designs simply gut out the structure to create living space and others use the style and old lumber to construct a new residence.

Grain Silos Homes. Empty steel grain bins provide the perfect foundation for a residence with walls, concrete flooring, and roofs. They’re actually do-it-yourself types of structure. Grain silos homes can be built in rural farm areas with a bit of investment for items like windows, doors, and plumbing. They’re being transformed into play homes, small apartments, and full-blown residences.  

Glass Homes. 
Definitely not a choice for the city dweller, glass homes are best suited for secluded plots of land. Although glass homes aren’t as practical as they are beautiful, individuals around the globe are making a go at living in them. Perfect for harnessing the energy of the sun and putting it to everyday use via solar panels, glass homes also provide their inhabitant a stunning view of the natural world around them.

The green homes above are just the tip of the green design iceberg. Shipping containers, boats, old churches, and homes made from 100% recycled products like bottles, steel cans, and tires are becoming more and more popular. Certain styles are more affordable than others are, but all are a testament to the ingenuity of our time and our quest for a sustainable lifestyle.