05/22/2013 04:42 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2013

The 5 Best Eco-Friendly Designs of 2013

As a result of global warming and high increase in population density, people are urged to ensure that their homes as well as their commercial buildings are eco-friendly. Eco friendly designs are highly emphasized upon due to their numerous benefits both to the environment and humankind. The top five most outstanding eco-friendly designs of 2013 from all around the world include the following:

In Florida, the Athena Marie Plantation is said to incorporate the most eco-friendly design in the world as it doesn't depend on any alternative forms of energy. It instead utilizes 100 percent of renewable energy through the use of wind powered turbines that generates electricity to all the guest suites as well as main foyer. Moreover, a wall system of insulated concrete has been incorporated on the design to enable it withstand harsh climatic conditions such as hurricanes.

In England, the design that is well known to be the most eco-friendly is the orchid house. The 2,400 square feet house has been designed using state of the art architectural designs that are geared towards enabling the generation of energy that is more than the entire house can consume. This is made possible through the use of an underground geothermal heating pump. Materials used in designing the house are also eco-friendly as they encompass laminated lumber clad that ensures that there is low carbon footprint.

Similarly, in Japan, there is the dome house which is believed to have incorporated the most eco-friendly design ever in the country. The whole building is entirely constructed using Styrofoam. Since no wood has been used, the house is resistant to termites as well as to decay. It further has a distinctive igloo shape that makes it resistant to hurricanes, typhoons or earthquakes which are common in Japan. The house is sold in a kit and can be assembled within a week's time.

The fourth most eco-friendly design of 2013 is found in Colorado at the 995 Longbow luxury home. The home has been built on a 9,800 square feet land and only generates a utility bill of $350 per month. The $4.5 home is equipped with wall insulation to ensure that there is enough heat both during the winter and fall. It also has very highly effective solar panels and is designed from organic and recycled building materials. It further has been decorated using compound free paints that are 100 percent organic.

The last most outstanding eco-friendly designs of 2013 are the zero houses. The zero houses incorporate a very unique and eco-friendly design through the use of solar panels that produce more than enough power and energy for the entire house that can further be stored in a battery to last the house for an entire week. The house further has the capability of collecting and storing clean rain water which is usually stored in reservoirs. Below the house is a dry compost system where all waste is processed. Above everything else, this house can be controlled through an automated system via the use of a computer.