as i discovered at treehugger, and aptly named the zero house, this gorgeous prefab generates all its own energy requirements and produces no waste. designed by scott specht, the zero house is a modest 650 sqft. dwelling. the cantilevering roof features photovoltaic cells that easily generate all the structure’s power requirements while also acting as an active rainwater collector (a 2,700 gal. cistern stores the water for later use). furthermore, the house contains a composting unit that processes biological waste “in-house.” the rest of the house features energy saving design strategies including ample daylighting (led lights are used for artificial light requirements), incredibly energy efficient wall assemblies (r-58 in fact), triple glazed windows, and a compact design (reducing overall energy requirements).
while the zero house may be the model of energy efficiency and the envy of the sustainable design community it is also a wonderfully sleek and aesthetically pleasing design. as you can see from the interior rendering below, both the finishes and the spatial arrangement are clean and refined. i find the compact, multi-level design to be invigorating, but the real celebration here is in lack of environmental impact. building’s generate a largely disproportionate amount of pollution and readdressing the way we build is fundamental in rehabilitating our planet and curbing our wasteful lifestyles. the design of the zero house can be viewed as a harbinger of what could come, what should come. the more proposals for sustainable housing are released and/or built, the more aware the public becomes of the problem and the more acclimated and accepting to the solution we become.