The Architectural Record selection of the best houses of the year has been kicking around for over 50 years, and they are often jazzy but very big. This year they took a new approach: "we looked for built, single-family dwellings that not only were aesthetically striking, but also employed innovative strategies for achieving environmental sustainability. In selecting this year's nine winners, our jury evaluated criteria such as water efficiency, energy consumption, and indoor air quality.Our "green" focus resulted in two of the projects likely ranking as the smallest ever presented in a Record Houses issue." Many are familiar to TreeHugger readers, including Charlotte Skene Catling's Dairy House, and FAR frohn&rojas;' Wall House; Others are new. Werner Sobek's H16 house shown above produces zero emissions and is purported to use zero energy, which surprises given the amount of glass. More at ::Architectural Record
"From the slope to the south of the house, one immediately apprehends its straightforward parti. A glass-and-steel volume, approximately 23 feet deep and 56 feet long, devoted to the living, dining, and kitchen areas, rests on a deeper, steel-framed base, containing bedrooms, roomy baths, and an office."
"Enclosed by charcoal-black, non-load-bearing, precast-concrete panels, this volume is about 31 feet deep and 54 feet long. Operable, double-paned, narrow windows, between 16 inches and 3 feet in width and a little over 8 feet high, bring light and air into these lower-level quarters."