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Meet Our Green Living Plans

Meet Our Green Living Plans
This wide open, contemporary, 3 bedroom 2 bath design is one of
Houseplans.com recently purchased FreeGreen, the leading source for energy-efficient stock house plans, with over 200,000 plans downloaded. We did so to help us reach two important goals: 

1. Increase the quantity and quality of our energy-efficient plans.
2. Reach more people who are about to build by lowering the price of starting with a quality plan -- to zero in some cases.

We have a great admiration for FreeGreen founders Ben Uyeda and David Wax’s efforts to make high-quality, energy-efficient home plans affordable. Their blueprints typically include the best working drawings that we have seen and they spent countless hours designing, measuring and improving the energy efficiency of their plans.

In the beginning, FreeGreen planned to give their plans away and make money by getting “corporate sponsors” to pay the development cost for the new plans. FreeGreen's important realization was that 'No longer are homes made from simple raw materials. Today’s homes are assembled from a complex combination of existing products and service providers. With this transition in home assemblies, product placement has become a natural part of the home design process (especially in green homes). From choosing cabinets that work with your kitchen, to making sure your insulation performs well and contributes to good indoor air quality, it all comes down to the products that we choose.' 

This business model of making all plans free wasn’t sustainable due to the high cost of creating new plans.  We no longer offer "free" plans and we have rebranded them Green Living Plans.

I'm also excited at this development because the Green Living Plans inventory encompasses a wide range of sizes and configurations, as illustrated by Contemporary Plan 497-56 shown here in elevation


and floor plan




with its open layout and easy access from the great room and master suite to the expansive living decks,

and Modern Farmhouse Plan 497-44, with its more traditional gable elevations, shown here,

and formal living room, dining room, and family room configurations.

Click here to see many more FreeGreen Plans.

The FreeGreen Story
David Wax and Ben Uyeda are experts in the field of green design and also co-founded ZeroEnergy Design, an architecture and energy consulting firm specializing in new construction and major renovations. This firm's founders got their start leading Cornell University's 2005 Solar Decathlon team.

The competition, sponsored by the US Department of Energy, challenges universities from across the US and beyond to research, design and build an 800 square-foot off-grid solar home.
  
Cornell's entry was an elegant transportable design that promoted casual indoor-outdoor living, as shown in these three photos.

It included a solar thermal system and was built with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), and received 2nd place. 

David holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from the Johnson School at Cornell University and is an IT consultant for the securities and capital markets.  He told me that "FreeGreen was able integrate architecture and engineering software for custom home design, which meant that we could produce green design fast." Also FreeGreen saw the potential for crowd-sourcing to find additional talent and drive traffic -- especially in staging design competitions, which Houseplans.com will be exploring in the future.

Ben holds a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Cornell University School of Architecture. He has been a visiting lecturer at Cornell, where he developed an original curriculum to teach the principles of sustainable design, and continues to lecture on sustainable design at Northeastern University. His new venture is Home Made Modern  -- "Smart, affordable DIY design ideas for cool people who like modern home furnishings." You can follow Ben's diverse design interests on Pinterest.

Meet Our Green Living Plans Inspiration

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