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10 Environmentally Friendly Architectural Styles

Recycled Modern

For decades, "weird," "amazing" and "unusual" homes found their way into the spotlight because of their non-traditional make up. Bottles and cans, old tires, and other trashed and found items became building materials for recycled architecture. Many of these structures are green because they reuse available items, but often they go further by incorporating other eco-friendly ideas. And though some are quirky and funky by design, others have an air of elegance because of their finished details and traditional craftsmanship.

A recycled modern home doesn't have to be made of 6 million empty beer bottles, as is the case with La Casa de Botella in Argentina, but planning a house that embraces irregular sizes and design in order to use recycled materials is realistic without having to be extreme or newsworthy [source: Alvarado]. Directories published in the United States and Canada by the Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) help builders find local sources for deconstructing and reconstructing -- taking good care to preserve materials you're taking down and selecting reuse materials for building up.

Building with roof rafters from an old factory or insulating walls with old denim are less visible possibilities, and if you still want to use an old ship's bow for a front porch, anchors aweigh.