There was a time where the shutters on American homes were actually used to keep houses cool. These days, however, shutters tend to be decorations without a function. But as we look for ways to keep homes cool without blasting the air conditioning, it seems home designers are returning to more traditional approaches—such as planting trees and reintroducing shutters.

In Lisbon, for instance, an architect firm by the name of Plano Humano Arquitectos has designed a “living building” with wooden shutters that move along with the sun’s path. This means the facade of the building is in constant movement, giving the apartment building a dynamic touch while keeping it cool and providing privacy for the inhabitants. Plus, the wood absorbs heat better than more modern materials and gives the building a more natural feel. Pretty cool, if you ask us.

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