Optimizing passive solar gain and using untreated local wood, this sustainable home on Lake Laka in Poland was designed by architect Piotr Kuczia. The south side soaks up the sun reducing the amount of active heating, while the north side opens up to vistas of the lake. Many of the materials were locally sourced, reducing the amount of unnecessary transport required for construction, hence the moniker CO2 saver. But there are many other ways that this home saves on CO2.

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The CO2 Saver utilizes several passive solar techniques, with close to 80% of the structure facing the south as well as the charcoal colored fibre cement covering the central structure. The materials on the inside, such as the concrete floor, also have a high thermal mass allowing for less of a need of active mechanical control. The home also has two green roofs on either side of the “black box”. Got to love green roofs.

The self titled “Chameleon” house seems right at home in the beautiful setting around Lake Laka. In Kuczia’s own words, the home “blends with its surrounding area on Laka Lake in Upper Silesia. Colourful planks within the timber façade reflect the tones of the landscape.”

Of course there are some innovative technologies to complement the rest of the decidedly lo-tech home, including intelligent building control systems, solar heating and ventilation with energy recovery. There are also plans to add solar panels for energy in the near future. Now all we need to do is get a solar oven to bbq some vegan burgers, some lawn chairs, a nice cold one and I would call that an environmentally-friendly day at the lake.

+ CO2 Saver House