Blu Homes just announced a new prefab home design based on the famous Breezehouse, which was most recently featured by Sunset Magazine as the Idea House 2012. This is the eighth home design by the company, and it’s called Sidebreeze. The design features the same Breezespace with 12′ ceilings in parts, but there’s also a cantilevered second story with a master suite and balcony. This is a design that could be used when more space is needed or to take advantage of stunning views.
Last week I talked about the importance of knowing wood trends when remodeling with reclaimed wood flooring, and this week I want to talk about how you can source the right reclaimed wood flooring for your project.
Ordering reclaimed wood has its quirks. Reliable, established suppliers provide greater consistency, better customer service and certified wood, but this comes at possibly (but not necessarily!) a premium price. Smaller companies may have lower overhead, but they also may not have the supply or consistency required for something as important as your personal home interior.
Declare is a new “nutrition label” or ingredient label for building materials that will provide an answer to three main questions: First, where does this product come from? Second, what is it made of? Third, where does it go at the end of its life? Seems like three hard questions to answer on one product label, but as you can see in the label attached above, Declare gets the job done.
South Carolina-based Firefly Power is one of 20 other social- or environmentally-inclined companies presenting at the i2i Awards program in conjunction with SXSW Eco in Austin through Friday, October 5, 2012. The company makes lightweight small wind turbines out of carbon-fiber blades in the vertical axis form. The residential unit is rated at 1.8 kW, weighs less than 60 pounds, cuts in at 10 mph winds, and is expected to sell for about $7,000, according to Firefly Power.
If you’re in the market for a better thermostat, you should know the new, second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat was announced this week. It’s 20% thinner and works in 95% of homes with low-voltage systems (including 2nd stage cooling, 3rd stage heating, dual fuel, emergency heat, and whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers), thanks to new hardware, improved software, more features, and more apps. Based on updated pricing, the first Nest is now selling for $229, as supplies last, and the new Nest is selling for $249, with first orders expected to ship on October 15, 2012.
Turns out the Rhône Alpes team from France with the Canopea house won Solar Decathlon Europe held in Madrid. Their home is actually the top of a conceptual “Nanotower” that the team proposed to bring single-family style living back to the urban core. The top level acts like a rain forest’s canopy — hence the name — by collecting 95% of all solar energy and 30% of rainwater for the tower. Canopea was built of a prefab CORE, site-built SKIN, and a SHELL capable of off-site fabrication as well.