Architect Richard Hawkes is soon to move into one of the UK's first zero-carbon eco homes near Staplehurst in Kent. Mr Hawkes designed the home with the help of structural designers Michael Ramage and Philip Cooper from the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge.

The home has been nicknamed the Crossway (because that's the town it resides in) looks a little like a fancy version of the hobbits home in Lord of the rings minus the grassy hill atop its roof. It was designed based on an architecture technique once used in medieval times but could be the eco building answer to our future homes being completely energy efficient and earth friendly. Of the zero-carbon homes that have been built thus far none have been cost effective to build on a mass scale. The Crossway could be the turning point to getting a lot more eco houses built. It is also apparently relatively simple to build.

The home is insulated with recycled newspaper but if the home does require heating a combination of photovoltaic and thermal solar energy is used. The arched roof is covered with earth and plants with also assists in the insulation as well as allowing it to blend in with the natural terrain around it. It is not built using reinforced concrete as this is a material that is very energy intensive.

Oh and it doesn't look too shabby on the inside either.