I’ve been told I am an electric vehicle enthusiast masquerading as a sustainable architect. I’m not sure about that, but I do believe electric vehicles are the wave of the future. I’ve had four electric cars now in six years, with each one better than the last. I’m never going back to using gasoline.
It’s becoming obvious that we need to decarbonize our planet, and for the transportation system that means getting off petroleum-based cars, bike riding where possible, using mass transit and living in walkable communities. Being an architect means I travel quite a bit – to meet with new clients, review products at showrooms, attend conferences and make field visits, so I do need a car.
(Image Curtesy of Tesla)
My latest electric car is the Tesla Model 3, which recently arrived after ordering it more than two years ago. It was worth the wait. It is an amazing car, which seamlessly combines zero tailpipe emissions, unbelievable performance, tightly integrated technology and luxurious styling. It is an awesome driving experience. If you have not driven an electric car, you owe it to yourself to experience it – minimal environmental footprint, lightning-fast acceleration, no noise, no gear shifting and ultra-smooth driving.
All of this relates exactly to how we design homes that are beautifully designed, great for the environment, super comfortable and luxurious, and connected with appropriate technology. As we say, ‘High Design/Low Carbon.TM’
In fact, living in a stylish, sustainable home that integrates solar power, battery backup and electricity is a lot like driving a nice electric car. It’s the same feeling of responsibility from living lightly in terms of resources while living fully and comfortably. This point was driven home (no pun intended) for me, not only when I drove my new Tesla, but when I read an intriguing article shared by The Beam and featured on Clean Technica about making sustainability irresistible.
The author nails it. The blog underscores the point that beautiful design can charm people into sustainable living. You don’t have to live in a crazy-sized house or drive a crazy-sized car, but you don’t have to live on a physically tiny, bare minimum footprint or drive an unattractive efficient car to make a significant difference in the use of resources.
This mindset opens the door to creative concepts for home design that fuse sustainability and style. These homes are truly high performance: they are designed to be 70-percent more efficient compared to a ‘typical’ baseline home from just 15 years ago.
Ultimately, it’s all about being interconnected and collaborative. That’s how the Tesla was designed and built, and it’s the approach that other luxury car makers are taking with their energy-efficient and electric vehicles. At NextHaus Alliance, we have a team comprised of award-winning design and build firms that come together to incorporate sustainability and resilient design for homeowners who are also looking to work with others to create their thoughtful, inspiring residences. On a bigger scale, our design and build experts partner with and source from other visionary, eco-minded companies around the country and the world.
To learn more about state-of-the-art green technologies that can be incorporated into stunning homes – and how we can drive change together – visit NextHaus Alliance on Facebook and on this site, at nexthausalliance.