Where can you find good examples of green homes? We've created our own inventory. These are homes that represent what people are actually doing to build or remodel houses using green principles.
• (X) House
in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China: Part of the Ordos 100 project
, a melon-shaped house that dynamically manages light, heat and air with a heat-absorbing outer shell, funnel-shaped lighting tubes and ventilation, and passive design by Multiplicities
• Big Green Homes
(worldwide): WebEcoist provides views of some of the largest "green" homes, with spaces up to 15,000 square feet.
• Cambridge Eco-House
in Crossway, Kent, UK: A zero-carbon home with timbrel vaulting (a method from medieval Spain) and triple-glazed windows by architects at Cambridge University in the UK. Find additional information in this article
in Slovakia: This 86 square foot mobile living capsule comes with sleeping space for two, a mini kitchen, a fully functional toilet and shower, storage space, a desk and two windows. The pods feature rainwater harvesting with bacteria removal and both solar and wind powered energy production. Built by Slovakia based Nice Architects
• German Passive Homes
in Darmstadt, Germany: Homes with no furnaces that have ultrathick insulation and complex doors and windows use heat exchangers for fresh air.
• Hof House at Arctic Circle
in Skagafjörður Fjord, Iceland: A passive solar house near the Arctic Circle built with salvaged materials, green roof, solar power, hydroelectric power, geothermal heat, concrete walls by Studio Granda
• Kita House
in Tokyo, Japan: A hypo-allergenic house powered by an Enefarm fuel cell that generates electricity for the house while heating water, energy graphing thermostat, and low-VOC surfaces with weathered cedar panels by architect Sachiko Zenyouji of Organic Table.
• Mill Creek Net Zero Home
in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: An ongoing project to build a zero-net energy home in the Mill Creek area of Edmonton.
• Mill Junction
in Johannesburg, South Africa: An innovative student housing project that makes use of abandoned properties and repurposed materials, utilizing colorful shipping containers atop former grain silos. Energy saving features include double glazed windows/doors and motion sensor lighting. Created by Citiq Property Developers
• Oberen Berg House
in Stuttgart, Germany: PassivHaus-concept, 5,000 square foot home with massive walls, triple glazed windows, solar electricity, geothermal heat pump, and easily sub-dividable living spaces by Alexander Brenner
• Palmyra Palm House
in Mumbai, India: A house from local and sustainably-harvested Palmyra palm with tree shade used for temperature control by designer Studio Mumbai
• Pride's Rest
in St. Croix, Virgin Islands: A hurricane-proof house semi-sunk into the hillside to lower energy use, nearly off-grid with its own energy production, water treatment, and geothermal ground heat exchange by Lindsay Brown Studio
of San Diego, CA.
• Rowan's Tiny House
in Ulster, Ireland: 192 square foot home on a heavy equipment trailer is energy independent. It features rain barrel plus hand pump for incoming water, greywater drainage and a composting toilet. Solar panels generate all her electricity, food is prepared on a propane cookstove and a mini woodstove provides heat in the coldest weather.
• Sliding Roof House
in Suffolk, UK: A glass house with movable timber overshell, brush seal insulation, solar power, underfloor heating, wind turbine power, geothermal heat pump by DRMM Architects
• Villa Ã–verby
on the coast of Sweden: A self-sufficient house that desalinates water from the nearby ocean, heats and cools via a geothermal ground heat exchange pump, with limestone plinth and super-insulated glass by John Robert Nilsson
. (See additional coverage at Dezeen
Listings By Geographical Area
12060 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA, Metropolitan Area
• Muise Solar Porch Roof
in Lamar County, GA: Porch roof shades patio and house with solar panels (video) by Solar Source of Barnesville, GA.
13380 Bellingham, WA, Metropolitan Area
• Rylant Cabin
in Glacier, WA (east of Bellingham in the Cascade Mountains): Method Homes
prefab cabin available 400 to 1,800 square feet.
14460 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH, Metropolitan Area
• Bateson Colonial
in Andover, MA: 4,100-square-foot colonial home features thermal envelope wall panel system with offset studs, Energy Star windows, low-flow plumbing, rainwater cistern, reflective under-roof, and low-VOC materials by West Meadow Construction.
14500 Boulder, CO, Metropolitan Area
• Sunshine House
in Boulder, CO: A 2,200 square-foot home approaches net zero energy use, powered by an 8 kilowatt solar array and heated with geothermal coils. Clad in fire resistant corrugated steel, its banks of windows and sliding glass doors provide daylighting. Designed by Corey Martin of Hacker Architects.
15980 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL, Metropolitan Area
in Cape Coral, FL: 1,500-square-foot near zero-energy and storm-resistant homes with solar heated water, ICF (insulating concrete form) walls, Icynene insulation, LED lighting, solar panels, solar-heated water, low-E glazing, and metal roof by Greencastle
16980 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI, Metropolitan Area
18140 Columbus, OH, Metropolitan Area
• LEED Traditional Home with Porch
in Columbus, Ohio: First LEED Platinum home in Ohio with solar thermal and photovoltaic solar, no- and low-VOC materials, recycled materials, and rain garden by the Home B.A.S.E. Foundation and many partners.
26420 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX, Metropolitan Area
• Loes Green Rebuild
in Houston, Texas: Rebuilt home featuring agriboard construction, metal awning over roof to deflect sun, pier and beam construction for air circulation under house, low flow plumbing, solar lights, recycled flooring, and cistern by architect Deborah Morris and builder Brad Robertson.
28140 Kansas City, MO-KS, Metropolitan Area
29540 Lancaster, PA, Metropolitan Area
• Stoltzfus Home
in Hempfield Crossing, PA: NAHB-certified home featuring tankless water heater, cellulose insulation, low flow plumbing, no- and low-VOC paints and carpet, Energy Star appliances, and energy-saving windows by EG Stoltzfus
29820 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV, Metropolitan Area
• Builder's Challenge Award Winner
in Las Vegas, NV: Large (5,200-square-foot) demonstration home over 50% more energy-efficient than standard homes, featuring insulated concrete form (ICF) walls, solar power, spray foam insulation, Energy Star appliances and CFL lighting, tankless water heater, recycled wood garage doors, recycled glass countertops, and 95% AFUE furnace by NextGen Home
and Aronson & Associates Architecture
• Marquis Community Smart Homes
in Las Vegas, NV: Luxury 9,000 square-foot futuristic homes with tankless water heaters, additional insulation, energy-efficient appliances, solar power, and Smart Home technology by developer Blue Heron.
31100 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA, Metropolitan Area
• Glenn Net-Zero Green Prefab
in Santa Monica, CA: First LEED Platinum home. Modular home with low-emissions, energy-saving features (solar power, high-performance windows, LED lighting, radiant heat), and sustainable landscaping (rainwater re-harvesting, drought-tolerant plants, living roof garden). Built by Living Homes.
• Rock Row
in Los Angeles, CA: Heyday Partnership
is building LEED-certified, affordable houses in their "Rock Row" development in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of LA.
• Tree House
in Studio City, CA: The Tree House Project completed a two-story, four-bedroom 2,400-square-foot home by Vision Development
includes heat recovery system for used hot water.
33100 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL, Metropolitan Area
• Acqua Liana
in Manalapan, FL: A USBGC certified "Green Mansion" with solar panels, runoff water collection, low-energy lighting and air conditioning, and reclaimed and renewable wood construction by real estate artist Frank McKinney.
33460 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, Metropolitan Area
• Kraft Split Level Home
in St. Louis Park, MN: Bamboo floors, recycled paper counter tops, solar light, recycled fireplace beams, double-pane windows, extra insulation, and high-efficiency furnace and water heater.
35300 New Haven-Milford, CT, Metropolitan Area
35620 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA, Metropolitan Area
38900 Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA, Metropolitan Area
• 100 Year House
in Portland, OR: A 2,450-square-foot, two-story single family home built with a moisture proof exterior and extra insulation, which uses reclaimed Douglas fir for floors, shelving, stair treads and has trim salvaged from an 80-year-old warehouse, skylights for daylighting, metal paneling on two sides of the exterior, and collection pools for rainfall. Designed by Walker Templeton
of SERA Architects
• Ankeny Row
in Portland, OR: This six-unit Craftsman style townhouse complex, built to the Passive House standard, has net zero energy use. It utilizes superefficient insulation, triple pane windows and solar power to reach the goal of being carbon emission free. Designed as a co-housing community, it features a shared garden, courtyard and community room. Built by Portland construction company Green Hammer
• Ash+Ash Home
in Portland, OR: Expected to achieve LEED for Homes Platinum certification, key features include a geothermal heat pump system, under-floor radiant heating, triple glazing, exterior blinds, rainwater recovery system, 10-KW photovoltaic array, LED fixtures, solar pool heat, and on-site storm water disposal system. Designed by Henneberry Eddy Architects
in Portland, OR: A 1,407-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath house, featuring high-efficiency triple-pane fiberglass windows, high-efficiency heat recovery ventilator and high levels of insulation, meets Passive House standards. A heat reclaiming condensing clothes dryer adds to the tightness of the envelope, a rainwater cistern is used for irrigation, and solar gain is the main method of heating the house. Built by Bart Bergquist and designed by Robert Hawthorne of PDX Living, LLC
• Everhart Passive House Retrofit
in Portland, OR: This 2,150 square foot Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, and cooking. The house features thick walls with GreenFiber insulation, a Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilator that captures 80% of the heat of the outgoing stale air, all CFL and LED lighting, Energy Star appliances and high efficiency Serious Windows. The retrofit was facilitated by Garth Everhart of Meritage Construction Company
• Glasswood Passive House Retrofit
in Portland, OR: A 1,440-square-foot event space above a restaurant and the nation’s first Passive House commercial retrofit, featuring a Zehnder heat recovery ventilator (HRV) coupled with a ductless, mini-split-system heat pump system; SIGA vapor barrier tape (to ensure moisture moves evenly through the wood substrate); and, Cascadia triple-pane windows with insulated fiberglass frames and tuned glazing (to allow for strategic solar gain, based on the building’s passive solar orientation). Designed by Scott Edwards Architecture
and built by Hammer and Hand.
• Hessler Heights Residence
in Portland, OR: A 3,500-square-foot ranch-style renovation on a steep and wooded lot with southern views, radiant floor heating, operable skylights, and heat recovery ventilator (HRV), where a standard grass lawn was replaced with functional hardscape decks and terrace. Designed by Holst Architecture
of Portland, OR.
• Karuna House
in Newberg, OR: A net-zero energy house with on-site renewable power generation, air-tight and super-insulated envelope, and heat recovery ventilator, planned for LEED Platinum. Designed by Holst Architecture
of Portland, OR, and built by Hammer and Hand
• Omey House
in Portland, OR: This 1925 North Portland home was remodeled with 80-90% local and recycled materials including bowling alley wood for countertops, a cedar siding rain screen milled from rejected trees, bathroom doors salvaged from a hotel, and old real estate signs used for sheathing. It features both solar electricity and solar thermal hot water and an ecoroof. Designed by Corey Omey of Ernest R Munch Architecture
• Pearl District Condominiums
at 937 NW Glisan in Portland, OR: A 114-unit LEED Platinum certified high-rise condominium with an eco-roof that cleans rainwater, high-efficiency heat pump, low-flow plumbing, high-efficiency appliances and low-VOC materials. Designed by Holst Architecture
of Portland, OR, and built by Andersen Construction
• Recycled Car Framed Home
in Portland, OR: Home using recycled cars for framing also features blown-in foam insulation, prefabricated rigid foam insulated exterior walls, high efficiency furnace, passive vents, and Energy Star rating by Miranda Homes. More information at Green Building Elements
• Rose House
in Portland, OR: An 800-square-foot accessory dwelling unit made from SIPs with modified foundation insulation methods, fiberglass windows, staggered stud walls insulated with blown cellulose, and solar panels with heat co-generation. Designed by Sera Architects
of Portland, OR.
• The 20 on Hawthorne
in Portland, OR: A 53,000-square-foot Gold LEED apartment building with an eco-roof patio area and semi-automatic partaking system, high-efficiency appliances, recycled material cabinetry, and low-flow toilets and faucets designed by GBD Architects
of Portland, OR, and built by Gerding Edlen Development
• Tiny Heirloom Houses
in Portland, OR: With floor plans ranging from just 128-400 square feet, Tiny Heirloom is dedicated to making the most deluxe — and adorable — micro-homes on the market. Units are built to either plug into an external power source or run off of wind, battery and solar power. The movable homes come equipped with a washer dryer and stainless steel appliances. Designed and built by Tiny Heirloom
39100 Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY, Metropolitan Area
• Salt Point House
in Salt Point, NY: By Thomas Phifer and Partners
, 2,200-square-foot house on a meadow with views to a small private lake. Won a 2009 Institute Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects.
39300 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA, Metropolitan Area
• Green Life Smart Life
in Narragansett, RI: A LEED-H Gold certified 4,529-square-foot home that used spray-foam insulation, geothermal HVAC, rainwater harvesting system, low-flow plumbing, zero-VOC finishes, recycled-content stone veneer, reclaimed hardwood floors, sustainable cedar shingles, recyclable slate roofing by Laura Krekorian Architect.
• Surfside Narragansett
in Narragansett, RI: Nominated for a 2009 NAHB Green Building Award, a remodel featuring Energy Star qualified windows, doors, appliances and HVAC system, Icynene Insulation System, Kultur wood flooring, and Green Seal Certified Paints by Gilbane Development Company
40140 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA, Metropolitan Area
• Desert Ranch Home
in Palm Springs, CA: LEED H Silver water-efficient home in the desert features drought tolerant and pest controlling plants, tankless water heater, high efficiency plumbing, high-performance fireplace, solar power, thermal mass walls, highly insulated doors and windows, and high efficiency appliances and lighting by ZDS Architects
40900 Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA, Metropolitan Area
• Mormon Street House
in Folsom, CA: New 1,940-square-foot LEED Platinum house by John Packowski and built by RJ Walter Homes named Green Builder Magazine "Green Home of the Year" 2008.
41860 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA, Metropolitan Area
• 5th Street Pads Live Work Units
in Berkeley, CA: 1360-to-1640 square foot live/work townhomes, featuring solar panels, recycled paper and jeans insulation, SIP Panel Roof System, green non-thermally bridged insulated structural system, sustainable wood siding over rain screen exterior, FSC certified cherry flooring, and double glazed windows. By GREEN pads.
• Alamo Creek Development
in Danville, CA: A 1,400-unit development with net water demand of zero via dual-flush or high-efficiency toilets and low-flow showerheads, water-saving washing machines and dishwashers, recycled water landscaping and water-efficient plants by Shapell Homes, now Toll Brothers.
• Paradigm Modular Home
in San Francisco, CA: A 700-square-foot modular home prototype, certified LEED platinum, shown at Greenbuild 2012, features Insulfoam R-28 recyclable foam insulation, Thermafiber R-45 ceiling batt and wall insulation, Siga VOC- and formaldehyde-free tapes and membranes (to eliminate thermal bridging), Cascadia triple-glazed windows and doors, solar power array and high efficiency appliances. It was designed by Bogue Trondowski Architects
and built by Seattle-based Method Homes
• Rugged Cattle Ranch Home
in Marin County, CA: A 3,500-square-foot one-story home on a sheep and cattle ranch clad in reclaimed wood with floor plan organized to create protected outdoor areas from the prevailing winds and occasional strong rain. JSW/D Architects
provided both master planning and design.
• Wheeler Residence
in Menlo Park, CA: A 5,000-square-foot midcentury flavored home featuring passive ventilation, radiant floors, solar hot water, PV power, salvaged and recycled materials (denim, glass, fly-ash), and low-VOC paints designed by William Duff Architects.
41940 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, Metropolitan Area
• David and Lucile Packard Foundation
in Los Altos, CA: This 49,000 square foot corporate headquarters is a zero net energy building and is certified LEED platinum. It combines daylighting with automated lighting that adjusts when it is not needed. Solar panels create an energy surplus. The building is heated by a combination of air handlers and heated water in the beams, and in the summer, cooled by chilled beams. Sunshading is built into the design with elements such as deep external sunshades, overhangs, balconies, trellis and trees and one level has a green roof. All wood is FSC Certified or salvaged and exterior copper is 75 percent recycled. For more details on the project, see the Living Future
case study. The architecture firm on this project was EHDD.
• Donna Kitchen
in Mountain View, CA: Green kitchen remodel in 1930s-era bungalow by Spectrum Fine Homes with slate tile and honed-quartz counters.
• Powell Home
in Mountain View, CA: Green remodel of 1,300 square-foot 1940s-era cottage by Spectrum Fine Homes with zero-VOC paint, bamboo and Marmoleum floors, double-pane windows, air leak remediation, and other green features.
42140 Santa Fe, NM, Metropolitan Area
• Armstrong-Barr Home
in Santa Fe, NM: A traditional southwest-style desert home featuring solar panels, closed cell foam insulation, rainwater cistern irrigation, xeriscape landscaping, FSC-certified cherry floors, natural plaster walls, and compact fluorescent lighting by designer Mitchell Smith and builder Solarsmith
42660 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, Metropolitan Area
• Ballard Net Zero Energy House
in Seattle, WA: This zero net energy 1,915 square foot house is built with a slab foundation that doubles as flooring. The house features solar photovoltaic panels, Energy Star ceiling fans and appliances, structural insulated panel construction, air-to-water heat pump radiant heating system, all CFL and LED lighting and high-performance triple-glazed windows. The owners report that the home cost them $114 after rebates and solar production incentives (building cost $225,000). Designed and built by Zero Energy Plans
• Footprint at the Bridge Townhomes
in Seattle, WA: A 7,700-square-foot motel transformed into seven townhouses featuring solar panels, recycled rainwater for toilets and landscaping, triple-pane windows and extra insulation, electric car rechargers, and low-VOC finishes by Johnston Architects
• zHome Project
in Issaquah, WA: A 10-unit production net-zero energy town home project with 200 foot-deep ground source heat pumps, FSC-certified woods, solar panels, in-floor radiant heat, rainwater cisterns, and extra insulation by Ichijo USA
43300 Sherman-Denison, TX, Metropolitan Area
• Cushion House
in Grayson County, TX: A straw bale house with geothermal heat, local cedar ceiling, stained concrete floors, and wrap-around concrete porch.
43540 Silverthorne, CO, Micropolitan Area
• Fischer Chalet
in Breckenridge, CO: A prefab mountain chalet with recycled steel framing, spray foam insulation, efficient low-e windows, R-40 roof, daylighting, LED lighting, pre-cast concrete and foam foundation, high efficiency furnace, bamboo flooring, low-flow water fixtures, and Energy Star appliances designed by Blu Homes
46020 Truckee-Grass Valley, CA, Micropolitan Area
• Casey-Welch Home in the Foothills
in Nevada City, California: A 2,700-square-foot open view home with solar electricity and water, radiant heating, cast aluminum heat exchanger, evaporative cooling, structural insulated panel (SIP) roofing, formaldehyde-free insulation, Energy Star appliances, salvaged wood and low-flow plumbing by builder Dovetail Construction
47900 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, Metropolitan Area
• Jigsaw House
in Bethesda, MD: Recycled single-story home with continuous spatial flow around an open air courtyard by David Jameson Architect
. Won a 2009 Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture from the American Institute of Architects.
R-CA California Rural Areas
R-CO Colorado Rural Areas
• Amory Lovins Home
in Old Snowmass, CO: A 4000-square-foot mixed-use compound in the mountains featuring thick, adobe-and-concrete walls in a sandwich construction providing superior insulation that eliminated the need for a heating system. Double-pane super windows, solar panels to generate electricity and heat water, super efficient appliances, LED lighting and daylighting, greenhouse and solar hot tub. Built by homeowner Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute
R-NY New York Rural Areas
• Westchester Green Homes
in Chappaqua, Katonah and Pelham, NY: Homes in Westchester County include a colonial, a Mediterranean-style, a farmhouse and other examples.
R-VA Virginia Rural Areas
• Bertschy Straw Bale House
in Buckingham, VA: A passive-solar 730-square-foot (interior) straw-bale house built with local clay adobe bricks, salvaged plumbing fixtures, scrap tile and marble, and Lehman