The Simple House Offers Modern, Affordable, Green Home Plans


Bill Randall built his architectural practice doing solar and energy-efficient design, but recently, he's had an itch to get into small, sustainable housing.  So last November, he launched thesimpleHOUSE, and the concept has already been given an Honorable Mention in the 2008 green dot awards.  thesimpleHOUSE is all about providing simple, contemporary, green house plans at an affordable price.  You can order your choice of the expanding line of plans from prices of about $475 — a straight up deal when you think about it.


The homes are designed with passive solar, vaulted ceilings, exterior gathering space, LED lights, motion / timer switches, and other energy efficient features.  The renderings look pretty good so far.  

But other than the designs, I like thesimpleHOUSE because the founder's perspective is timely and refreshing.  Bill Randall mentioned in an email yesterday, "I saw a banner the other day that said, 'our families are getting small and our houses are getting larger' — that's bothersome to us."  Which is why thesimpleHOUSE has a goal to keep their plans under 2000 sf (and most under 1600 sf).  This is a good spot to be in these days. 

thesimpleHOUSE is a new entrant in this space, so who knows, maybe we'll see an entire neighborhood of simple houses.  As thesimpleHOUSE grows, they'll be in good company with a couple other home plan providers.  For instance, FreeGreen provides free plans of various styles and LaMiDesign provides modern plans for a price.  I guess it comes down to style, cost, and liking what you see. 

[+] thesimpleHOUSE blog



Photo credits: Bill Randall; top two photos = 1024 sf FERN; bottom two = 1056 sf FERN.

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  • Brian N.

    Very cool and simple designs. I imagine it wouldn’t cost a fortune to actually build one of these homes, either, unlike many of the other plans I have seen. I love that he included things like LED lighting, dual flush toilets, etc…..

  • DSMatthews

    Put the Kitchen at the other end, near the other rooms that need plumbing, it then acts as a sound barrier for the sleeping area and it reduces the amount of pipes required.

  • Rockfish

    Oh Lordy… you know an architect has been at it – with all the jaunty angles!
    As DSMatthews notes in his comment, there are some fundamental moves here that really throw into question the thinking behind this.

  • MyNameIsntImportant

    I’m not an architect but I have designed much simpler plans that use much less materials and would cost far less to build I bet. Maybe I should hire an architect to draw up my plans and me sell them for $100 a copy. Cheaper than this place is charging and the total cost of my design should be sub $20k. Much much less if the home owner does some work.

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