A creative blend of art, architecture, and nature while meeting the energy efficiency goals– this defines sustainable homes in brief. An increase in awareness amongst society and professionals has surged a hike in a deep engagement of designs with the concepts and practice of sustainability. 

From waste management, and recycling of materials to homes built entirely of discarded items, the progress of architecture and design towards a greener direction can’t be undermined. The 21st century is all about tying the built environment and natural environment together to transform not only our homes but the entire lifestyle.

A tiny change in our daily habits can have a considerably huge impact. Let’s look at 18 examples of sustainable houses that converse with nature and cater to the users’ demands with their state-of-art amenities.

1. Artificial Hill House, Australia

Artificial Hill House, Australia

Located on the outskirts of Melbourne is this artistic architectural design by Architect Andrew Maynard. With innovation at its peak, the design rests on an artificial hill, strategic design aids in minimizing the usage and cost of mechanical heating. The planning of the house took its starting point by deriving the basics like geography and the position of the sun, which led the design team to develop the design.

Modern sustainable homes assess solar access and conceptualize the project in order to gain the utmost benefits from natural resources. Architects for Artificial Hill House walked on the same path to produce an unorthodox home.

The north-facing property accommodates a double-story extension to minimize the solar access and heat gain in the interior spaces. Melbourne being a flat land makes the hill house stand out in the entire neighborhood with its dominating monolithic form.  

2. Suoi Re Village Community House, Vietnam

Suoi Re Village Community House, Vietnam

Sustainable homes are the ones with the utmost creativity and thoughts. As simple as the Suoi Re Village Community House looks, the interiors accommodate an explosion of green technology. A simplistic bamboo structure enveloped with earth holds a set of solar cell systems, a rainwater recycling system along with an installation of a geothermal heating plant.

This sustainable structure is a result of climatic considerations, the layout of which seems to be leaning on the existing mountains and strategic planning is resistant to flash floods and storms. Fitting in the concave slopes is the ground floor layout that utilizes the geothermal. The zoning is as such to collect the wave of east-southern monsoon and prevent the draw and cold earth-northern monsoons.

The core idea of this structure was to keep it simple in order to make it blend with the surroundings and take advantage of the local materials and construction techniques. This approach resulted in an economical community space that has something or the other to offer to each of the members.

A combination of everything natural like stone, bamboo, and earth, along with the natural elements and rhythm of nature aims at not only building a strong community relation but a deeper connection with nature as well. You can see barn style house.

3. The Woodland Home, Wales

The Woodland Home, Wales

There’s a thing about sustainable tiny homes that make them look like dreamy-like fairytale houses. One such live example is the Woodland Home nestled in Wales. The structure is composed of natural materials like mud, straw, reclaimed wood, and stone. Following the basic concepts of sustainable homes, the structure utilizes wood burners to keep the interiors warm and natural air cooling to maintain the ambient temperature range in summers.

Solar panels, local water supply, and compost toilets are the additional services contributing to green design. The design of the Woodland house embraces the natural site settings and incorporates everything recyclable in its construction. This design is all an eco-lover needs for a simplistic lifestyle giving nature the importance and care it deserves.  

4. The Underground Vals House, Switzerland

The Underground Vals House, Switzerland

Eco-sustainable homes can be dug deep into the ground to slice the hill and settle within. One such innovative example of sustainable houses is the Underground Vals House in Switzerland. Carved into the Swiss hill offering panoramic views of the valley and Vals, the home is built on the foundation of sustainability.

Large windows let the natural light flood into the interiors enabling users to enjoy the scenic views. The design scooped within the hill helps in keeping the home cool during summers and cozy during the winters. The design approach of the project was set on the core principle of keeping the site settings unharmed which could be attained by carving the entire nestling space within the mountain.

Read More : Naturescaping for a Sustainable Life

5. The Rotating New Paltz Dome, America

 The Rotating New Paltz Dome, America

One of the most unique modern sustainable homes across the globe is the Rotating New Paltz Dome. As the name suggests, this structure can complete a rotation of 360 degrees in order to receive solar energy in the winters and stay cool and shaded during peak summers.

The primary floor of the house accommodates two bedrooms with a common bathroom, while the staircase leads you to common areas on the lower floor and another bedroom with a bathroom on the upper floor. Settled within a green jungle, this sustainable home serves nothing less than a secluded yet calming retreat.

The futuristic design offers a pro to the users to change their view whenever they desire with a push of a button. A flexible rotation keeps the interior bright and vibrant. Soothing wooden finishes in the interiors make the space feel warm and welcoming while serving as a treat for the eyes.

6. The $4m Mansion, America

The $4m Mansion, America

Who said sustainable homes can’t offer luxury? Rather, these could offer an unmatched level of luxury that isn’t present in a conventional house. The scale of a $4m Mansion in Colorado might trick you into thinking about its high operational costs and maintenance.

The fun fact is that it is one of the most sustainable houses composed of organic and recycled materials. From wall coverings to solar panel installation, each design feature aims at minimizing energy consumption and achieving higher levels of eco-friendliness.

7. Fall House, Big Sur, United States

 Fall House, Big Sur, United States

A modern sustainable house is one that blends in its surroundings and gets embedded within the context. One such example of sustainable homes is the Fall House by Fougeron Architecture which borrows beauty from the natural landscaping and sticks to the site context.

A well-harmonized balance of subtleness and drama can be seen in the design. While the thin volume keeps the entire form sublime, an all-glass form opens up to the dramatic natural views. With everything kept transparent and light, the interiors are always brightened up by natural light that helps in minimizing the energy and cost fed into mechanical heating or cooling systems.

Low E glass aids in comfort inside the home and offers greater efficiency without having to compromise on the intimate indoor-outdoor relationship formed with views. The building has been planned in a layout that enables the process of stack ventilation. A well-connected open plan lets in cool air and eliminates the hot air.

Apart from the green features in terms of form and exteriors, the indoor spaces follow the path of sustainability as well. The designers composed the entire mood board in sustainable finishes for better finish and comfort.  

8. Marcus Beach House, Australia

Marcus Beach House, Australia

A design by Bark Design Architects, Marcus Beach house is a sustainable project taking full advantage of the natural daylight and allowing a smooth flow of air. A smart layout with the positioning of openings aids in maximizing the draft.

Well-detailed with sunshades, the home is secured from the summer wave, and gardens inside the home help to preserve the existing biodiversity and enhance the quality of air. The house celebrates the coastal setting and establishes a deep-rootedness of the users with nature. A sensitive approach helped in building an entire lifestyle around the natural elements present on site.

The basic plan of this beach house is composed of two pavilions knitted together with a transparent bridge. This connecting bridge offers magnificent views and lets the spaces get filled with natural light. While one pavilion accommodates common spaces like the living room, the other one is for the master bedroom.

Orienting the design around the site features has cut down the need to install artificial ventilation systems and has kept the entire plan flowy and light. Every nook of the house establishes an indoor-outdoor connection for a seamless blend of spaces and the entire home in the surroundings.  

9. Boxhome, Oslo, Norway

Boxhome, Oslo, Norway

Sustainable prefab homes developed by Rintala Eggertsson Architects spread over a land of 205 sq. ft. Strategic planning maximizes the usage even in this compact area. Composed of wool, aluminum, glass, and wood, these sustainable houses are pocket-friendly and energy-efficient alternatives to conventional city houses.

These small sustainable homes take an advanced route for simplistic living. The compactor a home becomes, the more it maximizes the environmental and economic pros. Serving as an urban cave, this compact home eliminates unnecessary space and strictly follows the basics to cut down the living expenses and set an example for sustainable living.  

10. White Steel Villa, Costa  Rica

White Steel Villa, Costa  Rica

A sustainable design proposed by Robles Arquitectos is a self-sustaining house. The white steel villa is 20km away from the city which made the reliance on sanitation, energy, and water to be minimal other sources and raised a need to have its own systems.

This challenge was perceived as an opportunity that has resulted in the top sustainable homes. Water source from nearby forest keeps the supply while hydroelectric turbines and solar panels supply electricity to the home. 

The construction of this low-maintenance structure was carried out in two phases where the first one analyzed the climatic conditions and site context. This assessment resulted in an approach that ensured minimal disturbance to nature. The next phase was the development in order to achieve all the energy demands and supply. This phase involved the installation of solar power and locating the water source.

A white steel villa is one of the sustainable prefab homes that was assembled on-site to form a soothing retreat for the users. The structure accommodates multifunctional zones for the Institute of Sustainability, Ecology, Art, Mind where none of the activities are compromised and the second floor is offered as a residential space for the director of ISEAMI.

11. Casa Mar Azul, Argentina

Casa Mar Azul, Argentina

A design derived from the site conditions, Casa Mar Azul is curated by Luciano Kruk/BAK Arquitectos. The sustainable home is nestled in Mar Azul of Argentina in a forest setting. The designers sought an opportunity with the existing Pine trees and utilized the recycled pinewood in the interiors.

Large openings of the home cut down the need for artificial lighting and hence energy consumption but serve adequate natural lighting in the interiors. Sustainable homes are well-known for their maximized utility and enhanced aesthetics which is clearly evident in this project.

The site played an important role in serving as an inspiration and curating the mood board for the project. An unfinished concrete, wooden deck, and glass panels offer the desired rustic vibe along with transparency forming a connection with nature. 

12. Hof Residence, Iceland

Hof Residence, Iceland

Hof Residence is one of the sustainable homes designed by Studio Grande. The clever material selection of the house with stone and concrete helps in retaining heat to keep the home warm during winters. The incorporation of geothermal energy along with hydroelectric turbines supplies electricity to the home.

Opening sizes of the home were planned to be big enough to let in plenty of natural light and at the same time offer charming views of the surrounding mountain range. Every room of the house opens up to a different view and captures the beauty of nature. The interiors are defined with a rustic palette composed of concrete and oak. Owing to the stone flooring along with concrete walls, the interiors of the house are comfortable and heated for relaxation at minimal operational costs.

13. House in Saijo, Japan

House in Saijo, Japan

House in Saijo is an innovative design by the Suppose Design Office that has the house buried 3.3 feet down in the ground. The steel house features a semi-basement area and grass hill serving as a buffer around the structure. The leftovers from the excavated earth were utilized in building this protective barrier around the building.

The take on sustainability in this home is more modern than usual with steel plates comprising the walls and acting as insulating elements for the home. The house is well-furnished with new-age appliances known for saving energy and cutting down operational costs.

14. Deep House,  South Korea

Deep House,  South Korea

Finally, six years of hard labor have paid off for Homin Kim, the architect of the Deep House in South Korea (a home with a deep wall). As a result of the client’s unwavering confidence and support, Kim succeeded admirably in her bold objective of building a modern and practical home despite the challenging circumstances. Since the ceiling of the Deep House is slanted, it gives the impression that the walls and ceiling are one solid piece of construction. The Deep House uses exterior stone louvers instead of standard roof and eave designs to distribute its volume across the structure.

Through this project, the architects aimed to bridge what appeared to be mutually exclusive ideas such as practicality and beauty and redundancy. Even seemingly small elements might play a significant effect in a bigger context. To challenge established the Deep House project to the modernist orthodoxy that “Form follows Function” and provides fresh alternatives. 

As people prefer to live in small sustainable homes, more intimate settings than massive, open areas as they feel security and closeness. There have been many ingenious solutions to this problem. After six years of construction, Homin Kim thinks that this new eco-sustainable home design in Korea will be an example for other countries to follow.

15. Moon Hoon’s ‘Simple House’ 

Moon Hoon's 'Simple House' 

Moon Hoon’s original plan for this sustainable home is to draw inspiration from the local traditional architecture by burying the low-lying dwelling below ground and creating an atrium in the center. A “sudden mood shift” on behalf of the customer who desired a residence that was more “showy” and “extravagant” led to the demise of this particular plan. First, the original design was deemed “the total opposite” of the reimagined home, which has a sequence of towering towers. The secretive lifestyle of the client is presumed and imagined by the architect. Thus, the original design was to build a bunker-like mansion with an atrium in the middle.

But after consideration and analysis, a three-story, rotating house began to take shape due to the force of the wind and rain breaking the flooring. They created binding structures because something needed to be done between the two endpoints. As a result of the rotation, residents now have a wider variety of perspectives. As a result, several huge outdoor spaces were created to accommodate a variety of events. As a result, both the client’s request and the architect’s sense of accomplishment are fully realized.

16. Finca Bellavista, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Finca Bellavista, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Finca Bellavista is amongst the self-sustaining, eco-sustainable homes with an unmatched user experience. The structure is a treehouse located at a height of 150 feet over the forest area. Each of these small sustainable homes is interlinked to each other with a communal electrical grid and elevated platforms.

A source of extra power to run these sustainable homes is the abundantly available solar energy along with hydroelectric turbines. Local spring water and rain are the primary water supplies for these homes. Another sustainable approach in the design is a biodigester that utilizes the local waste and food trash.

17. Aloni, Greece

Aloni, Greece

The team at decaARCHITECTURE took the challenge of adopting an eco-conscious home that has resulted in one of the most unique sustainable homes. Aloni, a residence nestled within two mountains, submerges completely into nature and is concealed within a valley. 

A smart take on its location aids in serving the purpose of natural insulation and roof garden further lowers the energy bills and aids in rainwater management. This dwelling is based on the native approach with domestication methods. With a modern twist to the local design, this home features stone walls to retain earth and form landscaping that can be utilized on a domestic or rural level.

The two hills on the site are connected to one another with a stone bridge that keeps the landscaping flowing and makes the home blend with the natural surroundings.

The Beauty of Eco-sustainable Homes

The Beauty of Eco-sustainable Homes


The concept of sustainable homes doesn’t come easy and the definition varies from place to place. While for some localities stone could be sustainable, it can prove to be the energy exploiter for the others. Deep research in planning, materials, construction techniques and understanding of the natives can result in sustainable living that’s modern yet traditional.


1. What Does the Term Self-Sustaining House Mean?

Self-sustaining homes are the ultimate sustainable houses that don’t rely on outsourced power. From heating to electricity in the home, each configuration is figured on site and there’s no extra supply bringing in the power. 

2. How to Make a Property Self-Sustaining?

The most common approach in building a self-sustaining home is to assess the natural resources available on site. Orient the plan in a way to extract most of the natural elements and generate electricity through these. One of the most popular approaches in building a self-sustaining property is to install solar panels and generate electricity from those.  

3. What Are the Keys to Building Sustainable Houses?

All it takes to build sustainable homes is proper research and analysis. Anything that cuts down on energy consumption can be considered sustainable. The key, however, is to assess the site conditions, surroundings, and landscaping. Understand the orientation and zoning that will suit your project the best for minimal artificial services. Opt for locally available materials and move forward in the direction of simplicity.  

4. Which Is the Most Environment-Friendly Flooring Option for Sustainable Homes?

One of the most widely adopted building materials for the mood boards of sustainable homes is bamboo. With minimal attention, bamboo has high growth rates making it an eco-friendly material. The unmatched strength and durability are other factors making this material one of the common picks amongst designers.

Find Out More