Swedish sustainable homes or off-grid living implies that you no longer need state-provided services and goods to survive. The most demanding service to eliminate is power, which is often replaced by wind power or solar. Another part is food, but that may be addressed by growing your own vegetables and farming your animals. Last is water, which is collected during rain for use.
With off-grid living becoming more available to everyday people, this Scandanavian country has started to see Swedish sustainable homes and businesses becoming more prevalent throughout the country. Here are five(5) examples that provide green, sustainable living in Sweden.
1. HALO House
Located in Göteborg, HALO is a sustainable home for students and entirely is run off solar energy. Built by 25 students from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Halo was built as their entry into the Solar Decathlon China that took place in Datong, China.
Using the underlying notion of shared space, Halo provides quality rather than quantity while at the same time diminishing environmental impacts. The shared spaces of this student housing system offer large common areas that promote knowledge sharing and social interaction lacking in other student housings around Göteborg. But this isn’t the only advantage of the arrangement as it also has the following sustainable benefits:
Heating: The curved design of Halo provides a maximum inside space while minimizing the outside perimeter. This, in turn, retains the house warm during winter and reduces heat loss potential. A small air handling/ heat pump placed in a central core module provides the cooling, heating, and hot water.
Lots of Daylight: Halo structures also have strategically placed windows that take in the daylight, mainly from the south.
Protection: The curved roof also provides protection against rain, snow, and wind and shaded areas during the summer months.
Solar Energy: Halo has demonstrated that solar technology indeed can be incorporated into the architectural design of a home. The roof doesn’t just have solar panels, the roof is solar panels.
Nearly made entirely of wood –both furnishings and structure — Halo is entirely recyclable after use. The white interior serves as an empty canvas for residents who are encouraged to paint it; however, they desire it to appear. The blend of both fixed and movable furniture allows for shifting styles and multiple room layouts.
From the Outside in, Halo is a contemporary but also a home solution, beautifully designed one. It demonstrates that people are thinking and are coming up with alternatives for Swedish sustainable homes, or off-the-grid living.
2. Uppgrenna Naturhus (Nature House)
Located on the beaches of Lake Vättern in Sweden, our second example of Swedish sustainable homes is Uppgrenna Nature House is a spa focusing on sustainability. With walls made from wood and glass, the lines between where nature starts and where the home ends are nearly blurred. Furthermore, these walls could be opened to finish the seamless transition and bring the outdoors inside.
With sustainably recycled materials to build this beautiful home, including a salvaged barn, the house is truly an eyeful. Highlights include its Falu red paint that has been used since the 1700s on cottages and farmhouses. Below are a few of the house’s most sustainable attributes:
Heating: Since the home is entirely encased in glass, it saves up to 40 percent over average energy consumption because of the natural greenhouse warming effect.
Sewage: A loop sewage recycling arrangement takes wastewater from the building and filters it to the garden beds. This waste is converted to compost for vegetables and fruits. During the summertime, the fruit, herbs, and vegetables from the gardens make the menu for their onsite seasonal café.
Gardens: The green plant beds purify wastewater throughout their growth cycle. The entrance level is constituted of an unheated greenhouse space that extends over the roof and contains lots of space for plants to grow.
In 2015, Uppgrenna Nature House was started as a conference center and traffic.
3. Smart Student Units Designed By Tengbom Architects
Tengbom Architects has created living affordable and sustainable for student housing into our 3rd example of Swedish sustainable homes. Within only 10 meters, the Swedish-based design company created a compact and efficient living solution for students. Not only are they small, but these units have numerous advantages.
Collaborating with students, these solutions were carefully tailored by Tengbom Architects based on students’ preferences. Each unit comes with a bath and a kitchen attached to a well-appointed sleeping loft. The units also have a terrace and a garden. Affordability is essential for students. To accommodate this requirement, special permissions were needed to reduce zoning minimums from the standard 25 meters to 10 meters. This reduced the footprint of the building by 50 percent by lease costs by 40 percent.
These changes didn’t only decrease the building footprint, but the carbon footprint also. The unit’s architects and designers kept energy efficiency in mind. By locally sourcing cross-laminated wood, the primary construction material became renewable. The architects proposed onsite assembly to decrease construction time.
Today one of these sustainable systems is on display in the Virserum Art Museum at Småland, Sweden. In 2014, 22 of those pupil systems were built and now act as housing for students.
4. Villa UH1
Inspired by A World War II German bunker, this Swedish home is in Saltsjö-Boo’s suburb just outside Stockholm. It is a modern approach beautifully focused on ecological design. With luxurious, comfortable furnishings complementing minimalist, sleek surface finishes, this home is less like a bunker and more like an inviting, modern family fortress.
Partially constructed underground, the house blends in with its lush surroundings and has an eco-friendly, moss-covered roof. The living moss-covered roof isn’t just for show, as it provides rainwater filtration and natural insulation. Also, a few built-in sustainable systems incorporate geothermal technology that gives both heat and cooling.
Overall this house is the best simple-yet-luxurious single-family home with all the benefits of providing a sustainable living to its owners. It’s among the oldest and most beautiful homes in Sweden, even though it isn’t entirely off-grid living.
5. Sundby Nature House
This Greenhouse home was constructed in Stockholm in the suburb of Vallentuna for a household with children. The architects did not overlook the house’s look and feel while they kept off-grid living and sustainability at the forefront of the project.
The two-story house is framed by wood and covered by an unheated greenhouse tempered single glass. This gives the home not just a sleek look but a modern one too. The glass protects the house from the rain, wind, and UV rays. The home’s interior is exceptionally cozy with its wooden paneling. Aside from the design, the most significant component of this home is its sustainability, and it does not disappoint with these attributes:
Sewage: The greenhouse enables a closed cycle sewer system that takes the wastewater from toilets, dishwashing laundry, and bathing and purifies it with a vegetable bed in the home. The plants convert waste and absorb nutrients to veggies and fruits.
Protection: As a greenhouse, this house provides fantastic conservatories shielded from rain, snow, and wind. It produces a climate equivalent to that of northern Italy.
Smart Energy: This greenhouse generates energy rather than consuming it. Using technologies such as solar cells, the house is entirely powered using natural elements.
Sundby Nature House will be opened at the end of winter 2015/2016 and will be utilized as a visitors center before being converted into a family home.