Articles - May, 2012

Nido is a Finnish Micro Cabin on the Lake

News of this 96-square-foot micro cabin was first published at Tiny House Listings a few months back, though you may start seeing it on sites all over the web.  The tiny house was conceived and built in Finland by Robin Falck with a footprint purposely small enough to not need permits.  Falck enlisted the help of architects to vet the technical aspects and built the tiny house in two weeks for about $10,500 (just the materials).  That includes views, a 50-square-foot loft, kitchen, bathroom, and a living room.

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Paar House Takes National Green Award

This home by North Carolina-based Chandler Design-Build was named Project of the Year in the Small Volume Single Family category of the 2012 National Green Building Awards.  Certified to both Energy Star and the National Green Building Standard, Paar Residence was built with a panelized, double-stud wall system and “serves as a showcase for a cutting-edge, air-to-water heat pump combined with a radiant heat and water heater application,” according to the NAHB.  Plus, it’s a good example of “mainstream green,” said NAHB, with a traditional look that’s widely appealing.

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Low-VOC Light Sheetrock for Easy Install

It turns out lighter gypsum wallboard sells well.  In July 2010, USG Corporation tested the market for Sheetrock UltraLight panels, which are anywhere from 15-24 pounds lighter per panel depending on the size, and they outsold heavier product, according to NYSE Magazine.  Since then, the panels have rolled out to several Home Depot stores and a 40% lighter joint compound was introduced in January this year.

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Clayton Homes Intros Home Energy Guide

Clayton Homes, maker of the popular i-House, is the largest producer of homes in the country and accounted for 7% of homes constructed in 2011, according to the annual report of parent Berkshire Hathaway.  They have a large residential footprint, and their efforts to educate home purchasers can go a long way.  So it’s great to learn of their recent announcement of a new home energy label along the lines of what we’ve discussed previously with other builders.

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SpinRay Offers UL Listed Solar Appliance

This is the first and only UL-listed, 120-volt, plug-and-play solar kit in the world, according to SpinRay Energy.  The DeckPower120 comes with one, 240-watt solar panel and can be hung on a deck or elsewhere outdoors using a simple mount bracket.  The system allows for up to 1,300 watts of AC power with five solar panels and should qualify for available federal (and sometimes state) tax credits.

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Efficient New Homes, Enormously Overbuilt, Container Contention, + Ecological Games

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