7 Homes Prove Renewable Energy Can Be Beautiful
There is no arguing that solar panels are a great investment for your wallet and the environment. However, it also cannot be denied that they have an unsightly reputation. More than a decade ago, solar panels were perceived as lanky, awkward metal structures slapped onto roofs and ruin a home’s curb appeal. But that is beginning to change—technological advancements have made it possible for architects to install solar panels creatively for aesthetic enhancement.
There are now 1.3 million solar installations across the United States, and this trend is expected to grow in the coming years. We tracked down seven solar-powered homes that perfectly integrate functionality and design. Who says solar panels can’t come with style?
1. Nexthouse In Seattle
This custom home features the highest-quality, environmentally sustainable building technologies. It is referred to as an “urban sanctuary that preserves the Earth’s resources.” The solar panels are strategically installed to blend into the design and to achieve maximum function. At first glance, you wouldn’t even notice the solar panels.
2. West Lake Residence
If you want a truly eco-friendly home, metal roofing and solar panels are the best way to go. Not only do solar panels maximize the cooling benefits of a metal roof, the latter is durable enough to outlast the lifespan of your solar energy system. Notice that the solar panels are smoothly installed on the metal roof to give it a contemporary vibe.
3. Modern Exterior
New solar panel products in the market can turn your porch into a more comfortable and functional space. In this image, notice that the panels are installed to provide shade for the porch and at the same time harness electricity from the sun. It can also be a great alternative for those who don’t want solar panels on their roofs.
4. Tiburon Bay House
This residential building is famous for its innovative and sustainable landscape. The solar panels are installed on a flat roof at the right angle to maximize electricity production. More importantly, the panels blend seamlessly into the building’s architectural lines and the overlooking Bay. At a quick glance, the solar panels are hardly noticeable.
5. Lake Front Home in Vermont
This lake front home features a number of solar panels on its sloped roof that matches the aesthetic of the windows. Notice that the slope with the panels is adjacent to the lake, making it more effective in catching the sun’s heat. The wooden clad windows are made of Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon for extra protection from the sun’s UV rays.
6. Green Greenberg Green House
Instead of installing the solar panels on a roofing material, the designers chose to position them on custom-made wooden frames. They sort of look like trees, providing a little shade to the sunny area. The rooftop oasis, which also feature an artificial turf, is designed to enhance the insulation values. The photovoltaic panels allow the home to function off-grid by generating free electricity.
7. Lookout Residence
If a home is located on top of a hill, one of the perks is being able to harness as much sunlight as possible. This home did it so beautifully. It boasts several solar panels installed on top of its flat roof. It has this cohesive, natural-looking design scheme.
Solar panels have come a long way in terms of design and visual appeal. There are products that mimic your average asphalt roof and even thin solar films for the ultimate undercover look. You can combine functionality and style with the right help. Professional installers can provide several options on how to switch to solar energy while maintaining your home’s facade.