Get inspired: four of the world's most eco-friendly homes

It’s impossible to deny that the planet is heating up. Global warming is affecting everything from crops to infrastructure, and even our homes. In response, architects are trying to build properties that work in partnership with nature, rather than against it. 

Here, we take a look at four of the world’s most eco-friendly homes to inspire you to make some changes where you can. If you live in an apartment or rent your property, why not speak to other residents or your leaseholder about potential eco improvements. Even changing to a renewable energy supplier can make a difference.

Marco Polo Tower, Hamburg


This 55m-high building consists of 58 apartments, over 15 floors. It’s formed as a stack, on a slight rotation, so that each apartment has a slightly different view, and is protected from intense direct sun. 

Vacuum collectors sit on the roof, and these collect heat, which is transferred into a cooling system for the apartments using a heat exchanger. The apartments also feature soundproofing devices that mean residents can have natural ventilation in the bedrooms, without hearing the noise from outside.

Eco Arch House, Kent

This beautiful home centres around a clay tile arch, made up of over 26,000 local, hand-made tiles. The house was custom-built to be a low-energy home, and the architect owners also focused on using local materials and craftsmanship in order to reduce transport pollution. 

The foundations for this home are made of 50% recycled concrete, and the non-arch sections of the house are made from a timber frame. The builders created a green roof on top of the arch, featuring wild flowers and grasses.

Finishing touches such as sheep’s wool insulation and triple-glazed windows with blinds designed to control solar gain complete this perfect eco-home.

Acqua Liana, Florida

This home serves as inspiration rather than a reality for most of us, due to its status as the first ultra-luxury home to gain a ‘triple green’ certification (U.S. Green Building Council, Florida Green Building Coalition, and Energy Star for homes). 

It has achieved this status by considering the environment in every one of its key focus areas: location, innovative design, sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and environmentally-friendly materials.

As well as the sustainable standard solar power and energy-efficient lighting and appliances, Acqua Liana collects excess water from the roof to use in the extensive water gardens, and the amount of renewable wood used in the construction was reportedly equivalent to saving ten acres of rainforest.

Haycroft Gardens, London

This property was created with the housing crisis and multigenerational living in mind, allowing each family member space whilst keeping them close together. This home is future-proofed, to allow the family to expand without needing to continuously make changes to the property. 

The Passivhaus framework was used to design a house that naturally controlled heat loss, as well as blending in with the environment around it. Natural light has also been utilised to create a well-lit home that doesn’t rely on lots of artificial lighting, meaning that the home is as low-impact as possible. It centres around a garden that is a haven for biodiversity, showing that being sustainable goes far beyond just the materials you choose to use.

Geoff Aldis, Content Producer, and Researcher

< Back