I’ve been intrigued by ZEDfactory ever since I first started seeing their homes and designs. The three letters "ZED", which stand for Zero Energy Development, seem to show up in all ZEDfactory designs. But I must admit: their designs have a certain whimsical, if not playful, look. That’s no big deal, though, because future solutions are going to look different. Certainly, ZEDfactory is serious when it comes to pushing the envelope towards sustainable housing options. The above and below RuralZED was on display earlier this year at EcoBuild in Earls Court, London. To be clear, RuralZED is more than a house, it’s a system for developing zero carbon, zero energy, healthy homes.
RuralZED homes are built to certain levels under the Code for Sustainable Homes, with a self-build Code 3 unit (sans labor) starting at approximately £89,000 (by my current calculation, that’s $166,000 USD).
The voluntary Code for Sustainable Homes ratchets up requirements for homes with Code 6 mandated in 2016, so the RuralZED was designed to be compatible to future retrofits. Code 3 homes are built to take on extra sustainable features to achieve Code 6 compliance (see model above). As a result, the investment of a homeowner is protected from becoming obsolete while homeowners can match environmental aspirations with budget and life demands.
As you can tell, orientation, green power, and energy/water efficiency are three of the main aspects of the RuralZED. Homes are built to be super-efficient and to utilize roof space and solar power. The idea is that every home will have some source of green power, whether solar or small wind, and if not, it will probably have a green roof. All of this is in addition to the efficient design.
The interior is also quite nice. With modern touches and extensive use of natural materials, a flexible RuralZED could be quite posh. Additionally, these homes are made to be compatible with more dense uses. You could have entire neighborhoods of similar, but unique RuralZEDs. This idea, I think, is pretty interesting, so who knows, maybe we can take some of these ideas and apply them here in the U.S.
All photos and renderings credit to RuralZED.