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Common Features in Efficient Living House Plans

U.S. homes are among the largest energy consumers and producers of environmentally harmful waste in the world. You might choose green house plans to protect the earth, save money on energy bills or just enjoy a healthier lifestyle. If you're interested in going green with sustainable house plans, here are some features to look for:

Modular design. Sustainable house design heavily favors modular setups because they minimize waste, both during and after construction.

Eaves. Green house plans will typically place larger eaves to the north to lessen sun penetration into the home.

Concrete and shades. In addition to maximum insulation, incorporating concrete into your sustainable house design can help you save money on heating in the winter because it creates a larger thermal mass. In the summertime, shade blinds can help cool the home.

Solar panels. Although they might seem costly at first, including solar panels in your sustainable house design will save you money on electricity, water heating and more.

Locally sourced materials. Renewable timber and bricks made locally and reduce the amount of energy it actually takes to build your green house plans.

Onsite water facilities. You might incorporate a tank for rainwater collection, facilities for onsite wastewater treatment and disposal, or gray water recycling for collection and reuse of non-potable water in your sustainable house design.

Fireplace. Looking for sustainable house plans that have an approved wood-burning fireplace with a wetback can help you heat both your home and your water more efficiently.

Respecting the land. Green house plans will respect the land on which they’re built and attempt to use a minimal footprint. Such plans will follow the earth's contours rather than digging deep foundations or basements. They might feature permeable driveway paving and breathable walls, too.

Green house plans might have a few or even all of these features, but every little bit helps when it comes to saving the planet.

Note: The home shown above is The Berkley House Plan 1159.