These are some features I'd like my house to have:
at least one giant bathtub and a sauna
its location providing
absence of casual sight and hearing of the neighbors' daily activities
the ability to grow:
Pumpkins and other vegetables
adjacent moving water (stream?, ocean?), for aesthetic reasons
a large kitchen with:
Commercial grade food preparation equipment
Lots of Stainless Steel & No Aluminum
A Massive Electric Stone Oven
Solid State Thermocouple Type Refrigeration
Homemade Storage Cabinets & Drawers for Bulk Food made from thick pieces of wood that fit very closely
electrical power, (preferably hydroelectric )
An internet hookup
Concrete or stone floors w/ hot water pipes (for hydronic heating) in them & (homemade?) ceramic tile on top
Steel reinforced concrete grid exterior walls built with cemet foam type Insulating Concrete Forms, enough rebar for seismic zone 4 and a coating of structural surface bonding cement (eg., Q-Bond) on the outside.
Some example of cement foam type ICFs are
Recycled Styrofaom type
Rastra, invented in Austria in the 1970's, the first of this type.
Autoclaved Aerated Concrete - The blocks are often used with little or no poured concrete.
Xella USA (Georgia)
Xella Mexico (near the border with Texas)
Taylor Trading Company
Do it yourself (non autoclaved) concrete foam (cellular concrete) for making your own form blocks.
Allied Foam Tech
LiteBuilt Aerated concrete
Cellular Concrete LLC
Foam Lite Industries, Inc.
Geofill Cellular Concrete
Vermillion and Associates
These days I'm liking composite steel joists for making floors.
Some manufacturers are
Hambro, a division of Canam Steel. Hambro's my favorite because
they use a design (for their D500 joists) where the support for the poured concrete is removable.
Vulcraft, a division of Nucor
I like also the notion of using these joists for making a protected membrane roof of the sort described in this PDF document from Dow Chemical Co.
I'm also fond of the roof built for the Eden Project in the UK, and of Buckminster Fuller's idea of
having a roof supported other than by the walls. Having worked on a house for a few years, the
notion of building a roof like this one first (likely supported by precast concrete columns and guy wires),
and then building the house underneath it is one I'm fond of. I doubt I'll be able to use the Eden Project's
transparent teflon (ETFE), though. Probably I'll end up using translucent urethane vinyl. I don't know that
I'd ever end up being able to heat all the air under a roof of this sort in wintertime, particularly if I'm
using hydronic heating, so I'm thinking of it as more of a shield against wind and rain than as something to
be connected to the walls in a thermally secure manner.
Here's an example of the sort of thing I had wanted do if I had large amounts of money. I drew this house in a 3d modeling & animation program (Caligai Truespace) and excerpted the 2d floor plans for the web page. I'm aware that this drawing isn't necessarily structurally realistic. I hope to adapt several of the ideas in this to a much smaller, structrually correct retirement house for myself in the future. What I'm imagining in 2011 is a house with the geodesic roof over it and an adjacent tower that stands taller than that roof and has a windmill with large Dutch-style blades built into the upper portion which also has removable skylights for astronomy.