Sustainable Home Projects Help Build a Greener Future

Twin Cities experts employ eco-friendly innovations and sustainable design techniques that leave positive, lasting impacts on the environment

Arguably, we as a society are to blame for the current condition of our planet. Hotter temperatures, severe storms, and rising sea levels are just a few of the major effects of the climate change crisis, and the residual effects are continuing to make their mark on the earth. Experts in the industry recognize these negative impacts and are currently working to combat them through sustainable architecture, building techniques, and more.

A Sustainable Standard

This contemporary lake home, designed by Aulik Design Group, was crafted with energy-conscious and sustainable strategies to meet Zero Energy Ready Home requirements. From the exterior clad in regionally sourced limestone and granite to cutting-edge interior innovations, this residence redefines sustainable living. Engineered for peak performance in all conditions, the structure boasts a robust envelope with 2 inches of continuous insulation, triple-pane glazing, and multiple exposures for daylight. Powered by solar arrays and Tesla Powerwalls, it stands resilient even in outages. Outside, water runoff is sent to two rain gardens to filter back into the soil, while Grasspave, an eco-friendly alternative to a typical driveway, reduces the need for hardcover in secondary parking areas.

Urban Eco-Living

Constructed with precision using Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs), this accessory dwelling unit (ADU) by Christopher Strom Architects, Über Built, and Bunkers & Associates epitomizes efficiency and comfort. The custom-made panels ensure swift assembly, minimizing construction waste and maximizing airtight insulation. Straying away from fossil fuels, the unit uses only an induction range and electric mini splits. The home also boasts radiant in-floor heating, powered by an electric boiler, to guarantee warmth throughout the Minnesota winters.

Modern Innovation

These three single-family units, positioned on one city lot and crafted by Unfold Architecture and Sustainable 9 Design + Build, exemplify the concept of urban densification. Embracing the surrounding urban landscape, each unit is carefully crafted for aging in place comfortably—boasting zero-entry thresholds and private elevators for accessibility. Insulated with 2 inches of exterior mineral wool insulation and clad with a plethora of recycled materials, the resulting home is net-zero ready. Inside, products and the overall design prioritize air quality to ensure a positive rating from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While modern in design and amenities, the Linden Row Townhomes meld seamlessly with the historically traditional neighborhood.

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