Starting a new home from scratch? FreeGreen offers free residential green design to create sustainable house plans.
FreeGreen bring home design to a new level. While most of the architectural industry charge exuberant amounts of money for their designs (regardless of their level of talent), very few charge equivalent to what FreeGreen has to offer: Zero dollars.
Led by Dave Wax and Ben Uyeda, FreeGreen is developed from a diverse group of designers, engineers, and business people with one belief: “Good home design comes from a collaborative effort in which aesthetics, performance, and value are constantly discussed, debated, and maximized.” They withhold the belief that design should be an interdisciplinary process, where many goals reach a single solution.
They currently focus on on smaller to mid-sized homes, while taking into consideration on simplicity with sound design, affordability, durability, and consumer choice.
But with FreeGreen, their freeness isn’t just in the form of their plans. They take the time to provide detailed 3D renderings to the consumer, so you can really visually what your house would look like. They back up their detail displayed with information such as climate requirements for different areas. We like that FreeGreen takes the time to work with the consumer, considering their possible lack of knowledge on the subject, bringing a new level of kindness into the situation – and they’re not just in it to make a buck.
They say: “We believe that Open Source is a great way for Architects and designers to make extra money, gain valuable customizations, and even new commissions and notoriety. We are here to promote green design and green designers. We are not here to ruin the future of Architecture.” Well, if their plans are any indication, it’s true, they aren’t.
You can search their plans, choosing their Levels, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Square feet, and size, and add on various features,such as affordable bathroom décor. Also, popular features include a “Luxury master bathroom” or “Walk-out basement”, where Green Features ticks off “Green roof”, and “Reclaimed/Recycled”. There are nine styles to choose from.
View Box, for example, is one of their plans, a simple one story box with huge open-concept living. It features both 2D and 3D outlines available, both as structures and “real” homes. They provide details for Energy performance and features, for example: “By bringing the crawl space into the conditioned envelope all of these problems are eliminated. In addition to being a clean, dry and warm space, a conditioned crawl space also provides an excellent location to place mechanical equipment and run duct work without consuming valuable living space above. Exterior window awnings above south facing windows are a great method for reducing heat gains in the summer. Go from low energy to zero energy by installing photo voltaic solar panels on the roof.”
This affordable new approach to design looks promising; FreeGreen combines well-executed green design, in an accessible way. It also provides a much-needed resource for green design, and a place for architects and designers, or even those looking for a new home, to connect.