What Is Eco-Minimalist Architecture?

A Guide to Eco-Minimalist Architecture

By Cora Gold, Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist

Global warming is becoming a more urgent concern for everyday people. Extreme weather patterns and disruptive environmental events affect how people approach their decision-making, especially when they’re about to buy a house.

Anyone who wants to help the environment while living in a modern home can learn about eco-minimalist architecture. It’s ideal for people with sustainable lifestyles who also want to live with an updated interior design. Check out these examples to create a more eco-friendly home.


What Is Eco-Minimalism?

Eco-minimalism is the combination of sustainable living and minimalist design. The two ideals work cohesively due to their inherent natures.

Green homes eliminate waste while avoiding any features that expand the homeowner’s carbon footprint. Sometimes these goals are achieved through renovation projects and other times they’re the builder’s sole focus when constructing a new property.

Minimalism encourages people to get rid of unnecessary belongings or habits. The first step in becoming more eco-friendly aligns perfectly with the foundational act of minimalism.

How Does It Affect Architecture?

When these concepts align in architecture, it transforms the state of a home. Something as simple as installing skylights can minimize how often you need to rely on electric lighting. You could also build a home that grows from the landscape instead of removing trees to create space on your chosen property.

Eco-minimalist homes simultaneously avoid spare rooms and features that aren’t entirely necessary. Instead of building a stand-alone garage, you could park your car on a driveway made with upcycled crushed concrete or locally sourced stone.

You’ll know your home is officially an eco-minimalist building when it prioritizes the planet’s health, using its structure and features to minimize your carbon footprint.

What Is Eco-Minimalist Architecture? Two wooden tiny houses on wheels by a lakeside under green trees.
“Tiny des collines”: Tiny houses by Benoit Verlaine exposed at the Passion Robinson light habitat festival in Domaine de Chevetogne, Ciney, Belgium. The double tiny-house on the left is under construction and the right “Demi-lune” is complete.
Credit: Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer)

Examples of Eco-Minimalist Architecture

Use these tips to create an eco-minimalist house or build one from the ground up confidently. Your property will align with the earth’s well-being while supporting the vision you have for your home.

1. Sustainable Building Materials

The materials that create a home set the standard for its environmental impact. If you decide to work with a builder, you can select the most sustainable materials possible before construction begins.

Options like swapping timber with bamboo would produce the same structural results without deforestation. You could also opt for a pre-cast concrete foundation, which uses less energy during production, and pre-made forms that don’t require extra concrete.

Recycled windows are another option for eco-minimalist architecture. Upcycling existing glass saves the environment from losing more sand. Afterward, those windows could remain open whenever the weather is pleasant to save 30% of your home’s energy bill by ventilating it naturally.

If you’re buying an existing home, you can swap features with sustainable alternatives. Replacing windows and roofing materials is simple because homeowners frequently alter those features for renovation projects. If you have an eco-friendly replacement in mind — like upcycled glass or rubber tiles — your home will remain an example of eco-minimalism.

2. Energy-Efficient Upgrades

The eco-friendly features of your home also play a crucial role in its architectural sustainability. It’s easy to swap current features with green alternatives, like a smart thermostat or an energy-efficient water heater. They’re permanent features of your home that reduce its carbon footprint without compromising your quality of life.

3. Rooms Free of Clutter

Once your home prioritizes the planet’s health, it’s time to focus on its minimalism. Consider how and where the most waste is produced. If you can’t think of a place to start, review the clutter in each room.

Visual clutter often represents waste you don’t need. You could deep clean your bedroom closet and donate any clothes or belongings you don’t use anymore. Maybe your kids could give away toys they’ve outgrown.

Selling furniture you don’t like or throwing out the trash cluttering your garage is another way to transform your household. You’ll live in a minimalist home when you only own things you need or use frequently.

4. Plants as Focal Points

If you enjoy gardening, there are a few ways to use plants as part of your eco-minimalist architecture. You could build a greenhouse attached to your home or renovate your porch into an indoor garden. Once you have essential gardening supplies for your plants, you’ll enjoy more plant life that helps the environment.

You could use built-in shelving as part of your home’s architecture to make your plants the focal point of any room. Depending on which plants you grow, they could purify your indoor air and produce oxygen as they grow.

Don’t forget your home’s architecture extends to the landscaping. You could plant large trees around your home to shield it from excessive sunlight. You’ll prevent it from overheating in direct sunshine during the summer, reducing your HVAC unit’s electricity consumption and ultimately shrinking your carbon footprint.

5. Renewable Energy Sources

You can also transform your home by powering it with renewable energy. For example, installing solar panels allows you to harness solar energy and changes your exterior architecture.

Homeowners also have the option to partner with sustainable power sources like wind farms by opting into their services. Look into renewable energy companies to consider switching or call your current electricity provider. They may offer a green energy program for existing customers. A single phone call may be all you need to make this significant sustainable upgrade.

6. Increased and Higher-Quality Insulation

When your home can’t retain its internal temperature, your HVAC unit turns on more frequently. It increases your household’s carbon footprint, and the issue is likely related to architecture.

Check your attic or attic crawl space to see how much insulation it contains. If the insulation material doesn’t meet or exceed the flooring joists, your existing architecture can’t support a more sustainable lifestyle.

Look into high-quality insulation and add it to your attic to better retain your interior temperature. You won’t need as much electricity to stay comfortable during any season of the year.

Embrace Eco-Minimalist Architecture

Anyone can live in a home with eco-minimalist architecture. Whether you’re building your dream house, moving into a new home or hoping to renovate your property, these tips will align your living space with your sustainable values.

Cora Gold

About the Author

Cora Gold has a passion for writing about life, happiness and sustainability. As Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist, she loves to share her insights and find inspiration from others. Follow Cora on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.