The Flex House: Multi-Faceted Adaptability

If you’re environmentally conscious and looking for a home, you probably think you can’t have it all. That’s okay. It’s hard to imagine a home that has both enough space to live comfortably and is an energy cipher. It’s also hard to imagine a home that looks as good as it makes you feel when you see your monthly energy bill. Environmentalism is by its very nature an ethos of compromise.


With the sizable, affordable, adaptable Flex House, you don’t have to compromise.





SizableOur friends at Green Builder Media point out that The Flex House is the second step in a home-building revolution. The first generation of energy-efficient homes built by Shelter Dynamics was called “The Arc House.” The energy-saving spirit of Arc lives in The Flex House, but there are important differences between the two designs. The most important difference? Size.


“The Flex House, at 760 square feet, is significantly larger than The Arc House,” Green Builder writes in the article we linked to above. “The prototype includes a master bedroom, smaller bedroom or office, bathroom, two living areas, a full kitchen, and a flexible “niche” space.”

Green Builder Media CEO Sara Gutterman says it best when talking about balancing the need for space with the desire to be green:


“What I like about The Flex House is we’re not asking people to sacrifice; we’re just asking people to not use any more than they need.”





AdaptableThe second big strength of The Flex House is implied by its name. Single? You can create hundreds of square feet of recreation/office space. Looking to raise kids in your Flex House? Any number of floor plans can help you optimize your family’s sanctuary. You can have upstairs space or you can keep things on one story. You can add expansion modules or keep the floor plan basic. Remarkably, a home that can be “100 percent energy self-sufficient” per Green Builder is also virtually as adaptable as any you’re likely to find.





AffordableHere’s where this all starts to get ridiculous. The sizable, adaptable Flex House is not some sort of boutique home design. Amazingly, the base model will cost between $85,000 and $100,000, about the median home price in Cumberland, Maryland. (No disrespect to Cumberland!)


If you’re looking for an eco-friendly home that can meet your needs, but won’t stretch your budget, you should give a Flex House a serious look.


Image Credit: Green Builder Media


Save Energy on National Cut Energy Costs Day

Happy National Cut Energy Costs Day! Today, and every day for that matter, is a great day to find new ways to save energy and money. There are many ways to accomplish this – it just takes a little bit of research, creativity, and lucky for you, help from


We’ve gathered a few ways to help you celebrate National Cut Energy Costs Day. What better way to celebrate than putting money back into your pocket?



Ways to Save Through Your Daily Routine


We often don’t realize just how much energy we are using during our morning, afternoon, and nightly routines. A few simple changes could go a long way for saving energy in your home.


  • Shorten the showers: your hot water heater won’t have to work as hard if you cut down that half hour shower to about 10 minutes or less.
  • For the ladies: let your hair air dry as often as possible.
  • Try carpooling: if you have little ones, carpool with other parents. Or, if you live near a coworker, have them give you a lift, or vice versa, every once in a while.
  • After dinner: you don’t have to run your dishwasher every night. Only run it when it’s full.

Small Investments Can Make a Big Impact


Not all investments have to take a chunk of change from your wallet right away. Small investments in energy-saving products can help you save some big bucks.


  • Energy-efficient light bulbs: while these bulbs are a tad more costly than regular bulbs, energy-efficient bulbs such as LED light bulbs help to preserve electricity.
  • Home insulation: we are still in the winter season, so invest in some home insulation. This will help to keep your home warmer without running up the electric bill.
  • Ceiling fans: be sure your ceiling fans work for the space they’re in. Optimize air flow by using this guide to help you pick the best size and type of fan for a specific room.  

Create Some Good Habits


Adopting a few habits can help you save energy and money over time. Not all habits have to be bad habits.


  • Turn off the lights: it’s hard to remember to do this when you are in a rush. But if you become accustomed to turning off the lights regularly, you could save a lot of energy.
  • Turn down the thermostat when you leave: a few degrees can make a world of difference. While you’re not home, your heating and air conditioning shouldn’t have to work as hard.
  • Turn off the water: you’d be surprised at how much water is wasted while you’re brushing your teeth or scrubbing your hands.