Beautiful and smart: an affordable but eco-friendly home

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
De Zwarte Hond Country style house
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Trends come and go; what is considered high fashion this morning might be old news by lunch time, so no need to break your back trying to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not.

But if there’s bandwagon that we firmly advise everyone to jump onto, it is the eco-friendly one. And to inspire you to “live green”, we’re showing you a sustainably designed house in the Netherlands that achieves it quite flawlessly. 

Even though this structure blends in modestly with its lush natural surroundings, its interior surfaces are light and very spacious. But don’t think that’s the only impressive feat, for its architects faced a very interesting challenge: the house needed to be spacious enough to accommodate a large extended family for holiday vacations, and yet zoning regulations for a holiday home in this area impose a maximum size limit of 360 square feet. 

So, what was the plan? To extend the home by building half of it underground (creating the additional space that a large family gathering requires) while still adhering to the legal floor plan limit.

Sounds interesting to say the least!

The striped façade

Clad with wood panels of varying widths and shades, the house’s façade flaunts an eye-catching striped pattern on all exterior sides. With invisible gutters helping to achieve a seamless and simple look, even more attention can be focused on that unique striped look. 

While the timber-clad walls have their own link with nature, the roof also deserves special mentioning – it is made of both wood and zinc and covered with moss, allowing it to slowly become one with the natural landscape.

A peaceful location

Nestled in the sand dunes of a lush wooded area, the L-shaped house provides the perfect ambience of peacefulness and tranquillity – just what the doctor ordered for a holiday home, don’t you agree?

Natural views

Although the front side of the house is slightly more enclosed, it still offers a long, horizontal window that connects the interior spaces with the surrounding landscape.

In addition to ensuring lush views for the inhabitants, this window also helps the house to benefit from sunlight streaming in from both the eastern and western sides of the house all day long.

The living spaces

Now to see what the interior spaces have to offer. The spacious indoor layout includes a bright open area that is partially divided into different functional zones, connected under the sloping angles of the roof surfaces. 

The living room rests under a particularly low roof segment, ensuring an extra dose of shelter and intimacy for this soothing gathering space. 

The more private rooms are located underground, such as the bedrooms, bathrooms and even a relaxing sauna. It is a holiday home, after all!

The sustainable living part

As we said in the beginning, a lot of attention was devoted towards the durability of the house; not just for the materials (by using recycled wood, stones, moss, etc.), but also in terms of energy use. 

The house’s design offers high-insulation values, triple windows, an orientation that takes advantage of solar energy and natural shade, and a layout that regulates interior temperatures by placing half the living space underground. 

In addition, LED lighting has been used wherever possible, and a wood-burning stove that heats the room ensures adequate indoor temperatures whenever desired.  

Not just a pretty face, then! 

Let’s see how you can: Save money by improving your home energy efficiency.

Our comments section is just for you – so tell us your thoughts on this house.

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