Green Real Estate: Homes Made Mostly From Recycled Materials

green real estate

There are all sorts of ways to make your home greener: adding solar panels, using passive solar designs or even just making sure your insulation is airtight. But if you want to take it a step further, there's nothing more environmentally friendly than making your home out of recycled materials. From the down and dirty to the modernly luxurious, here are some of our favorite recycled houses.

Homes Made From Recycled Materials
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Green Real Estate: Homes Made Mostly From Recycled Materials

Builder Dan Phillips has built a dozen homes in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials. As he told The New York Times, “You can’t defy the laws of physics or building codes, but beyond that, the possibilities are endless.”

See the video on TEDx.

Here, Phillips used reclaimed wood to build a bathtub.

See the video.

In this bathroom, Phillips used a Bud Light tap handle as a faucet and recycled beer bottles as part of the wall.

See the video.

The mixture of reclaimed wood and unprocessed branches blends this patio with the surrounding trees.

See the video.

Phillips made this mosaic out of bottle caps.

See the video.

Instead of shingles, Phillips used old license plates to build this home's roof.

See the video.

In 1968, retired upholsterer John Milkovisch started building the Beer Can House in Houston. The home incorporates more than 50,000 cans, which were used for the structural aluminum siding, solar heating/cooling purposes and decorative touches.

The home is now owned and operated by The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a nonprofit organization founded to preserve folk art.

Milkovisch and his neighbors drank every can used in this house. Milkovisch's favorite beer? "Whatever's on special."

Prudencio Amaya, 102, and his companion, 78-year-old Maria Ponce, didn't have the money to build a traditional house. So in 2005, they decided to build a home from plastic bottles.

It took the couple three months to build the home, and they now make enough money from tourists' donations to survive.

Edouard T. Arsenault decided to build structures out of glass bottles in 1979 after receiving a postcard from his daughter showing a glass castle in British Columbia.

He used more than 25,000 recycled bottles and cemented them together to make three "fantasy-like" buildings.

Arsenault collected the bottles from local restaurants, community dance halls, friends, relatives and neighbors.

This chapel, complete with pew and altar, was made using 10,000 recycled glass bottles.

The six-gabled house is approximately 280 square feet and is made out of about 12,000 bottles.

The "Junk Castle" in Pullman, Wash., was built in the 1970s by a high school art teacher using parts he found in a junkyard. See the story on AOL Real Estate.

A family in Argentina with a commitment to green living created their home using household materials.

The home's exterior, as well as all of the furnishings, were made from plastic bottles, aluminum cans, boxboard and other recycled goods.

More than 2,800 bottles were used to build the majority of the home, and 140 compact-disc boxes were used to build the doors and windows.

Just because you go green doesn't mean you have to live in a house made of bottles! This beach home in Southampton, on New York's Long Island, was made using recycled shipping containers.

The shipping containers are stacked side-by-side and on top of each other to create the $1.395 million house.

This home in The Netherlands is made almost entirely out of locally sourced scrap, from old billboards to broken umbrellas.

Architects Jan Jongert and Jeroen Bergsma didn't want the home to look like it was made out of recycled materials. So they created the design first, then scouted for local materials to match their vision.

About 4.5 million parts recycled from an old Boeing 747 were re-purposed to create this sustainable home. Dubbed the "Wing House" for its roof, architect David Hertz's masterpiece sits on 55 acres in the Malibu Hills. It was completed in May 2011.

See more at AOL Travel.

The entire plane cost only $35,000.

Another way to convert an old airplane into a house is to keep it in one piece. Bruce Campbell of Oregon purchased an old Boeing 727-200 plane for $100,00 and spent $100,000 more turning it into a home.

Read the story on AOL Real Estate.

This was the first "Earthship" built in the U.K. It's an experimental sustainable development which uses rubber tires as building material for the walls.

It's built right into the hillside. It gets its power using on-site solar cells and a windmill, and the roof collects rainwater.

The owners of this house in Saranac, N.Y., renovated a Cold War-era nuclear missile silo and launch pad, turning it into 15,000 square feet of living space.

The underground bunker can withstand tornadoes, hailstorms, hurricanes and the odd nuclear strike.

See more of this unique apocalypse-proof home on AOL Real Estate's "Inside Look."

This student dorm in Amsterdam is made from refurbished steel shipping containers. The containers were outfitted with flooring, insulation, air conditioning, electricity, plumbing and other modern conveniences.


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