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Homes like trees? Photo courtesy of joiseyshowaa.

Envisioning the Future

What will the energy-efficient house of the future look like? The Wall Street Journal recently asked four architects to stretch their imagination and design an energy-efficient house "without regard to cost, technology, aesthetics or the way we are used to living." They came up with some imaginative ideas. One envisioned a home that functioned more like a living tree. Another imagined a home with a "biomorphic" skin that could change colors to insulate or cool the home. The third architect focused on constructing a home covered in plants that would provide food and shelter from the sun. The fourth turned to ideas from the past such as a "breeze chimney" for cooling to go alongside newer ideas such as solar paneling built directly into the roof. All in all, it's a wonderful preview of what our green future may look like.

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