Get ready to have your concept of an "eco-friendly home" taken to an entirely new level. In a world where tiny houses, organic food and sustainable living are beginning to be in vogue, our aspirations for what it really means to live a good (and environmentally friendly) life are taking a new form. Sure, it's one thing to be mindful of the energy we use, conscious of the carbon footprint we leave, and generally more careful to only use what we need and give back what we don't, but there are also so many systemic issues that are leading to our environmental disaster, it's really hard to even make a dent. For example: our houses are, in themselves, questionable. There are so many ways where we're throwing money — and sustainability — out the (literal) window.
UK-based architectural firm John McCall Architects wanted to take a stand against this. In an effort to redefine what it means to be "energy efficient," they created a home that is the epitome of eco-friendly, and at the end of the day, the energy bill is only about $21 a year. The company won a Buildings & Energy Efficiency Award for their work, and even more impressively, the project didn't cost millions to complete. Nope, the house (which is located in the English town of West Kirby) is selling for £240,000 (or approximately $341,000).
So how did they manage such a feat? Here's what they have to say: The building "uses a combination of tried and tested construction techniques along with some modern heating and ventilation technology to give very good performance and exceptionally low running costs," according to their website. The four-bedroom family home consists of insulated masonry, triple glazed windows, an air-source heat pump (ASHP) and large solar panels on the roof. What this means, essentially, is that the way the house is built is so that it will contain and process air virtually on its own. And the proof is in the pudding (or, eh, the electric bill). In the two years that the family who currently resides there has been occupying the home, they have racked up about 3453kWhrs of electricity each year from heat, lighting, water heating, and cooking. However, the solar panels have offset almost all of that by generating 3338kWhrs of electricity. "This is a simple building and, in effect, runs on the same amount of power used by a 40W light bulb," designer Colin Usher told the BBC.
So there you have it: a house that is both sustainable, affordable and can fit in with any normal, neighborhood aesthetic. With stats like these, there's almost no reason that we can't start making more and more homes with this kind of sustainability. After all: we certainly spend a lot more on things that are a lot less necessary (and a lot less helpful to the world around us!) Check out more footage of the house here: