2005’s Solar Decathlon blew us away, but we were particularly fascinated by a stunning Solar House from Cornell University. This team brought a beautiful zero-energy home to the mall in Washington, D.C., and had just launched ZeroEnergy Design, a home design firm focused on zero-energy design. Continuing their momentum as green home design gurus, two of the Cornell Solar Decathlon team members have just launched a new endeavor aimed at bringing custom green design to the masses through an innovative business model called FreeGreen. Started by David Wax and his partner Ben Uyeda, FreeGreen is making green home designs free to everyone!
FreeGreen provides a selection of green home designs for free, with a range of styles from traditional to modern. While the basic designs are free, homeowners can take the process even further and customize their designs for an additional (and very reasonable) fee. The cost of the design process, and of the free home plans, is kept to a minimum through partnerships between FreeGreen and green building product manufacturers – paid placement from product manufacturers.
As homeowners consult with FreeGreen for customized designs, they are introduced to healthy, energy-saving, sustainable products that are sponsors of FreeGreen’s eco-enterprise. It is a win-win-win collaboration that introduces people to green building principles and products and allows consumers on any budget to own a custom designed, green home.
Ultimately, FreeGreen is about providing people with the options and knowledge to make informed decisions. Green building products are widely available but sorting through the myriad choices, or even knowing where to look, is a daunting task for most new homeowners. Freegreen is solving this problem by offering excellent green building consult at little cost to the consumer. According to the founders, “The goal at FreeGreen is not to produce the greenest possible home but rather to provide a variety of different home plans that allow people to create homes that fit their lifestyles in a responsible and equitable manner.”
FreeGreen is launching this month starting with several great designs including our favorite, The Suburban Loft, a modern home suitable to all climates. Characterized by open floor plans and high ceiling loft spaces, this design will be available in a range of sizes to fit many lifestyles and landscapes.
We think FreeGreen is a great idea and a wonderful way to bring information, innovation and green design choices to everyone – “because green design should be accessible to all.” We are thrilled to announce the launch of FreeGreen!