Articles - November, 2012

Low-Tech Rainscreen with Charred Wood

Zero Cottage — a net-zero energy project pursuing Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, Green Point Rated, and Passive House certifications — is finishing nicely. Part of the exterior has a handsome rainscreen of vertical cedar battens and salvaged maple flooring.  The maple strips were charred with a roofing torch shou sugi ban-, or yakisugi-, style for longevity and aesthetics.  The result is a clean and modern look.

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Sylvania Intros 100w Equivalent LED Bulb

This week Massachusetts-based Osram Sylvania announced a 100-watt replacement LED light bulb that uses only 20 watts of energy. In fact, the company claims it’s the first to market with such a replacement offering. Sylvania Ultra LED is an A21 bulb (larger than the A19 shape) with a rated life of up to 25,000 hours, a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin, and a CRI of 80. The LED bulb outputs 1600 lumens, according to LEDs Magazine, and is expected to sell for about $50 at Lowe’s.

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Blu Homes Buys Modern Cabana Assets

Blu Homes today announced the purchase of the assets of San Francisco-based Modern Cabana, a provider of prefab accessory structures such as yoga studios, home offices, workshops, garden sheds, etc.  The acquisition marks the continued growth of Blu Homes in California and shows the company’s commitment to prefab of all shapes and sizes — in this case small, modern spaces that can in some cases go up in a weekend or without a permit.  Modern Cabana units will be built in Blu’s Vallejo factory and available for purchase starting in 2013, according to a company statement.

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Six Oaks Container House in California

This 1,200 square-foot home was built with six used shipping containers in Felton, California.  Designed by Modulus, the home was the subject of a 2012 Citation Award from the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the AIA.  The architect camped on the site to study light and other characteristics, according to Dwell, and designed the layout to reduce construction grading.  The containers were left exposed but painted, and the walls were covered with drywall for a clean interior look.  Inside, an atrium was used for light and to radiate heat throughout the home.

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Passivhaus Success, Prototype iShack, Energy Sucking Dryers, + ReCoding Illegality

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Modular Container Home Built in Boulder

There’s a container house in Nederland, Colorado, and soon there will be one in Boulder, too. It’s believed to be the first such project in Boulder, and showcases a design by M. Gerwing Architects for couple Mark Gelband and Courtney Loveman, according to a recent article on the Boulder Daily Camera. The design of the eco-friendly home was driven by the solar shade ordinance, a neighbor that wouldn’t help with the variance, and a challenging narrow building site (more detail here).

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