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Guest Post: 4 Funky Liveable UK Eco Houses

July 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured Posts, Guest Posts, Home & Garden

orchid houseWhen it comes to global warning, we aren’t 100% sure of the reality of the situation, but whether it actually exists or not, we can still do all we can to benefit the environment by thinking green. Even the modern houses of today aren’t taking advantage of eco technology of design. These four houses are just a few that the modern designer should think about and incorporate their eco properties in their future designs.


The Orchid House – Cotswold

This strange camouflage egg structure is nestled in a nature reserve in Cotswold. This eco house is fabricated from laminated lumber clad and timber shingles – this dramatically lowers the carbon footprint. Throughout its 2400 square feet, state of the art architecture has been used, so this property actually manages to generate more power than it actually uses from its underground geothermal heating pump. There are other eco houses like this in the Lower Mill Estate, a project that named this house ‘Orchid’ as it resembles the bee orchid, a ubiquitous species found in the reserve.


crossways eco houseCrossways Eco House in Kent

Designed by architect Richard Hawkes, this house was one of the first zero carbon homes built in the UK, and it featured on Channel 4’s TV series Grand Designs. Its dome structure is based on medieval design, known as timbrel vaulting, a technique shown in the domed roof. Locally sourced clay tiles were used in place of bricks, as they are more energy efficient and retain heat. Solar panels generate 3,600kwh of energy annually, meaning there’s no need to pay for power, which will help recoup the £800,000 cost of the build – in fact, the home actually generates £2000 of unused energy that is given back to the National Grid. No radiators are needed as air heated from a unique system using specially developed salt that changes from a solid to liquid to conserve heat is circulated around the house. The floors are constructed from crushed glass bottles, making it porous to store heat.

Eco Home In Tonbridge

Like the Crossways house, the owners of this green house have not only not had to pay for any energy bills, but they have received money back from the National Grid due to producing more power than they need. This is thanks to solar thermal panels producing hot water, while solar photovoltaic panels provide the home’s electricity. All the windows are triple glazed and the walls are 18” thick, both helping to retain heat and not needing to install radiators. The only heat source is a wood burning stove, the owners claiming it is only used a couple of times a year.  You can find houses for sale in Tonbridge on Zoopla check out the credentials for the propertys and you could find your own eco place.

Gary Neville’s Underground Zero Carbon Home

This unusual home belongs to footballer Gary Neville and was designed as a zero carbon home constructed into a hillside and resembling a giant flower. The imaginative design sees each petal as hosting areas, whether it’s eating, sleeping, entertaining, working or playing. All the materials used have been locally sourced, helping it blend into its surroundings. A wind turbine generates renewable energy, and photovoltaic panels and an underground heat pump generate heat. I chose a picture of the house at night, as it not only looks stunning, but it shows how the house has been sunken into the landscape.


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