A designer in Italy has come up with a family home that uses a very small amount of energy and takes up a very little amount of space. The Energy Box, as it has been named, is a more-than-3,000-square-foot home. By putting living space on three different levels, it is kept in a small, box-like space. This, combined with the energy-efficient nature of the home, led to its name.

The house is large enough for a family, sporting 3 bedrooms and a full bath besides a living area, multipurpose area and garage. You’re not going to be able to completely shut off your connection to the electric company with one of these, but you certainly won’t be drawing much power off the grid thanks to the innovative design.

Consider just a few of the energy saving features: To keep the home warm in the winter, a wood plank façade has been added (it also provides some privacy).  On the south side of the home, the wood planks are left further apart—this allows for natural lighting, which also keeps energy costs minimal. An efficient heat exchanger rounds out the heating, cooling and lighting features.

The construction is not entirely of wood and includes other materials such as gypsum, stone and steel. The stone and steel are reclaimed, thus making the materials earth-friendly as well. Demolition sites are happy to be relieved of the waste products.

This home was completed in early 2013 after around 2 years of construction. Its unique appearance and design are certain to cause it to be well talked about amongst enthusiasts for energy-efficient homes—a group which continues to grow as energy costs rise and concerns about the ecology become more common. Will this be the home of the future?