Solar Power Homes

Solar power homes are constructed from natural materials and specially designed to take every advantage of renewable energy sources, but primarily solar energy. Here you will discover the three different styles of solar homes, and some surprising green building materials you may not have imagined!

solar power homes

Solar home designs are surprisingly attractive, and some may even be unique or unusual, depending on your location and your access to solar energy.

Homes designed to capture and utilize solar energy are very efficient and are less costly to run and maintain than homes that use fossil fuels for the same functions.

Styles of Solar Powered Homes

  • Conventional home – this style of solar home would appear to be just like a traditional bungalow or ranch style home. The difference would be that it was constructed using “green” or recycled materials and uses solar energy to power the home.

  • Rounded home – this solar home style boasts at least one rounded feature within the design of the home; a dome, a round roof, or the entire floor plan could be “round”.

  • Earth-sheltered home – the majority of this home style design takes into consideration that a portion of the house structure or the entire structure of the home will be constructed under the earth, taking full advantage of the terrain and surrounding landscape. The location in which you face the house will enable you to take full advantage of solar energy. This style of solar home is unique in that you can naturally utilize the Earth’s temperature to regulate the heating and cooling of the house.

  • Organic home – imagine a solar home that takes the existing landscape into account and then builds the home around those features in a manner which takes full advantage of the sunlight. These homes will look somewhat odd because they will have wavy or more natural lines as opposed to rigid or strictly proper geometric lines.

The good news is that there are professional builders now who specialize in sustainable house design and the building of solar power homes. They offer several solar energy house designs and materials with which to construct them in an eco-friendly manner.

Be sure to do your research on a “green builder” just like you would any contractor, so you’re certain they truly understand the business and what you’re looking for in a solar home design.

New Frontiers in Sustainable House Design

Most people can imagine living in a home constructed from wood. However, can you imagine living in a home constructed with straw, bamboo, concrete, stone, or earth?

These are just some of the green home materials used today with the intention of taking advantage of natural, clean, and free solar energy. Home solar energy systems can perform the following function in a home:

  • Power a solar oven
  • Heat water for cooking and bathing
  • Heat a swimming pool
  • Cool a pantry/cold storage
  • Provide all electricity needed
  • Heat and cool the entire home efficiently

What Do You Look for in a Solar Home Design?

Eco-friendly and efficient solar power homes will use the right type of building materials strategically placed in all the right locations inside and outside the home.

The home design will also seamlessly blend thermal dynamics with specific purpose, making the home not only “green”, but also comfortable and functional.

Yes, there are some solar power homes that would be categorized as extreme designs, but there are many traditional style homes built specifically to use solar energy for some or all of its energy needs.

Keep in mind that just because a home is constructed to capture and utilize the sun’s rays, doesn’t mean that it has to be tiny, odd-looking, or downright strange in its design … unless you want it to be!

Ask potential builders or contractors if they adhere to the Passive House Standard. If they do, they most likely have certified Passive House Consultants on their payroll or have a subcontracting agreement with one or more of these professionals.

The Passive House Standard is a standard by which builders will ensure that your solar power home design will use up to 70% or even 90% less power to cool your home or heat your home on a regular basis. This standard applies to both new construction or to retrofitting your existing home with passive solar features.

Financing a Solar Home

One of the biggest challenges to going green with solar energy is finding the funding to set up your home solar system.

Learn more about solar financing options and federal, state and utility incentives, rebates and loans at our cost of solar energy section.

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