One Tonne Life Housing Concept from Volvo

They take their environmentalism seriously in Sweden. Partly it’s due to the high cost of energy in that country and partly its because most Swedes believe that how mankind treats the Earth matters. That’s why Swedish corporations Vattenfall,  A-Hus and Volvo are partners in the One Tonne Life program, which seeks ways to limit the amount of carbon dioxide each person adds to the atmosphere each year to one metric ton or less – an 80% reduction from the world norm!

One Tonne Life houses are designed and engineered to be as energy efficient as possible. This includes an array of solar panels on the main roof and a solar hot water system on the roof of the garage. Electricity from the solar panels is used to recharge the family car (a Volvo plug-in hybrid, of course). Driving the Volvo cuts the family’s vehicle emissions by 90%, compared to a standard car. “Electric cars are a mode of transport that is part of a sustainable society. The plug-in hybrid’s smart combination of an efficient internal combustion engine and an electric motor is our most technically advanced driveline ever. This brings us closer to the goal of offering completely emissions-free driving in the future,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development at Volvo Cars.

Additionally, Vattenfall has developed a “smart” electric meter and electrical outlets that allow families to monitor their actual energy usage in real time and help them adapt to a more ec0-friendly lifestyle. Any excess electricity is sold to the local utility company. “Our houses are more energy-efficient than current energy standards, no matter if they have a modern or traditional design. One Tonne Life is helping us take the next steps in our development of energy-efficient homes and to increase knowledge about climate-smart living,” says Susanne Ström, Marketing Director at A-hus. 

So, what is it like to live in a One Tonne Life home? “We’ve always believed in respecting the environment in our day-to-day lives,” says Tina Jogensjö, who works as a creative producer at Unicef. “But, we’ve still been pleasantly surprised by how easy and comfortable a climate-smart life is if you combine your environmental commitment with the latest technology.”

You can see more in the video, below, which talks about the house, itself, and gives a bit more insight into what living the One Tonne Life might really be like. Once you’re done, let us know what you think of the idea in the comments section, below. Enjoy!


Source | Images: Vattenfall.

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.