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What’s Next: Self-powered green homes

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As we know it

At a time when the world is looking for effective alternatives to replace the production of electricity from conventional sources, the concept of a self-powered house is slowly becoming popular as architects try to develop designs for a sustainable future. One can say that the future is safe as long as such endeavors continue to get more attention .These houses are mostly powered by renewable sources like the sunlight and the wind. The architects have used materials that have least negative impact on the environment. Not only this, they are unique designs that can provide both luxury and comfort to the users.

Need for change

Self-powered homeHowever, the process of development of zero-energy house is much slow than required. True that thousands of such houses have been erected at different places around the world in last few years. But, this is still too less for a world which is struggling to provide sustainable living to billions of people; many of them are still homeless. Some change is hence necessary.

What’s Next

1. Zero House, Future self powered House Design by Specht Harpman

Self powered House by Specht Harpman

What’s new?

The Zero House is a self-powered future house designed by the New York-based architecture firm Specht Harpman. It features many innovative designs for a sustainable living. The electricity is produced from solar panels and a compost system located under the house help process the organic wastes into clean fertilizer. Also, there is a water reservoir that can store up to 2,200 gallons of water. The designers have relied mostly on environment-friendly materials like closed cell structural foam and triple insulated low-e-heat mirror glass for constructing the Zero House. These materials provide effective insulation from outside heat and allows minimum loss of energy from inside.

What difference will it make?

The Zero House can serve as a sustainable home for families. It will have least negative impact on environment as it is powered by solar panels. Also, the use of helical anchor foundations system, which touches the ground at four points in this design, will not only provide a strong foundation but also cause minimum disruption to the earth’s surface. Unlike the conventional houses, it will not require elaborate digging for erecting the foundation.


This is an excellent example for architects who want to aid sustainable lifestyles by designing zero-energy homes that doesn’t depend much on conventional sources of electricity. There are not many problems with the exception of the high costs that will be required for realizing this design.

2. The Last Resort: A Self Powered Floating Home

Last Resort

What’s new?

The Last Resort is a solar-powered floating home that can be erected on the water surface. Developed by RAFAA Architecture & Designs, the futuristic mobile home features sleeping bunks, living space, kitchen, a bathroom and two bedrooms. It recently won an international architecture design competition organized by the Internationale Bauausstellung in Germany. There are six bed that can be separated with help of sliding panels for more privacy. Electricity for the Last resort is generated by solar panels integrated with the roof. Also, vertical blinds on the facade serve as a shading device for the house and as a privacy system.

What difference will it make?

The floating house can be used as a ‘green’ water resort by individuals during vacation or by many large hotels to provide a environment-friendly service to their customers. Also, it can be seen as a future home for people who live in the vicinity of large lakes or rivers. It is self-powered and doesn’t need electricity produced from conventional sources. This will help fight against climate change.


The Last Resort cannot serve as a regular home. As, it will be costly and not many people would like to live on water for life if not on a tour or vacation. Though, it could be used for other purposes.

3. Zero-energy Lumenhaus self powered home

Lumenhaus  self powered home

What’s new?

Designed by Virginia Tech University, the Lumenhaus is a future concept home that doesn’t depend on the power grid for electricity supply. It powers itself with the help of natural renewable sources. For this bi-facial solar cells have been used on the roof. It produces 15 percent more energy than conventional solar cells. Virginia Tech has also incorporated an innovative Eclipse System in the Lumenhaus. It automatically closes or opens the shading system with the help of advanced weather monitoring systems. Also, it offers advanced insulation with the help of aerogel.

What difference will it make?

The 800-square-foot, single bedroom Lumenhaus will provide sustainable living for a single family. It will end the dependency on power grid. It can be fully controlled by smartphones for switching on or off various appliances. Other features like gray water recycling, rain water harvesting, radiant floors, an innovative home management system and advanced LED lighting will aid the sustainable living.


There are not many problems with the design. However, it is still a concept and may take years for realizing such a home. Also, the estimated amount required for the Lumenhaus has not been declared.

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