Eco-builder Will Anderson (Homes for a Changing Climate: Adapting Our Homes and Communities to Cope with the Climate of the 21st Century) built a home that actually produces more energy than it consumes. Anderson modeled his home after the tree that forms its central pillar: the tree regenerated new solar cells every year and shut down every winter. In short, it was adaptable. As a young architecture student, Anderson challenged himself to build a home on the same ecological principles.
From the Telegraph UK:
The philosophy of my house is based on the tree that was in the middle of the plot of land and now forms the building’s central pillar. Trees are the most miraculous, sustainable urban structures. They make new solar cells every year and shut down in winter. They are completely adapted to the climate; that’s how I wanted my house to be.
Including buying the land, the house cost us £500,000, but we haven’t compromised on design: it really is a bespoke house. We have no energy bills so it’s very cheap to run and I’m not planning on selling up any time soon.