Innovation That Matters

Free plans for eco homes

Property & Construction

Incorporating green design principles into new or existing homes is increasingly de rigueur among the growing masses of eco-minded consumers, but figuring out the logistics isn’t always straightforward. Working on the belief that green design should be available to all, FreeGreen is a new site that offers free, downloadable green house plans. Free Green’s team of engineers and designers works with industry-leading product manufacturers to create home designs that incorporate different combinations of products, materials and vendors. It also provides 3-D images, energy simulations and written descriptions to help consumers find the right fit for their lifestyle. Two models are currently available on the site, with more coming soon. The first, called the Healthy Family model, combines comfortable contemporary living with superior indoor air quality and low energy bills. With functional options such as mudrooms, homework nooks and home offices, Healthy Family homes are intended for young, three- to five-person families in cold to mixed climates. The modern Suburban Loft, on the other hand, features open floor plans and high ceiling loft spaces. Intended for first-time buyers or downsizing baby boomers, the Suburban Loft plan is designed to perform efficiently even in cold northern climates. Coming soon is the Smart Box, which FreeGreen aims to make a 1,200 to 1,400 sq. ft. home that can be built for less than USD 100 per square foot. Consumers who download FreeGreen’s plans get not just the very detailed plan set, but also an energy report specific to the town or city they select and a welcome packet with additional information, tools and resources. FreeGreen’s team can also modify or customize any of its plans. Launched just a few weeks ago, FreeGreen relies on paid placement from product manufacturers, but it takes pains to be transparent about the products it displays, offering users ratings from established third-party green certification programs such as LEED and NAHB and research performance data through its own energy modelling reports. With the clean, eco-friendly look of FreeGreen’s designs, there’s no doubt they’ll fit nicely into what our sister site would call the new, eco-iconic world of consumers eager to flaunt their greenness. Besides the obvious advertising opportunity for green product manufacturers, the next logical step is to focus on implementation. Builders around the globe: Who will be first to align with FreeGreen as your town’s local green building expert…? Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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