Nearly two years ago, I followed reports by Curbed LA, which was tracking the sale of the Office of Mobile Design's ShowHouse. At the time, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom home was listed at $175,000, and I always wondered what happened with it — until the other day when Allison Arieff tweeted a photo of the Jennifer Siegal-designed structure on a beautiful desert lot. The 720 square-foot portable house found a new home.
As the years go by, it’s interesting to see the same innovators pushing the envelope in new ways. For instance, ZeroEnergy Design, a design firm that we mentioned with the net-zero energy Truro Home and solar-powered English Residence, and Aedi Construction, a builder that we mentioned with the LEED certified 53 Standish Street, are working together on this handsome Passive House retreat in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
Sloan Ritchie, the same developer that brought us the beautiful, green Alley House, just launched a new endeavor called Backyard Box. As the name indicates, the Seattle-based company helps homeowners add extra space — whether for an office, studio, mother-in-law apartment, or income property — to lots with room and flexible zoning. Backyard Boxes, commonly referred to as accessory dwelling units, come in three sizes, three finish packages, and have a Smart Box option, which includes some geeky green technology.
Ideabox's newest prefab model, the Fortino, is on display at the Portland Home & Garden Show this weekend, so you'll want to check it out if you're in the area. The Salem-based prefab company teamed up with Crate & Barrel to design the interior and several landscape designers to transform a 50'x100' show space into a contemporary landscape setting. Jim Russell, president of Ideabox, says it's a complete "living experience" on an urban lot.
We like to keep a pulse on the evolving world of green prefab, but there’s an Austin-based company that we’ve yet to mention. Ma Modular, a venture of design-build firm KRDB, turned to modular construction to make modern design approachable, affordable, and convenient. The company is also committed to good design and green building and aims to deliver projects with a quick turnaround.
Last year, we mentioned a community of 23 solar-powered homes, The Mews in Atwater Village, under construction in Los Angeles, California. We now have some images of the model home and news that The Mews will have grand opening this weekend from 1-5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Each home comes standard with a grid-connected, 1 kW solar photovoltaic system, as well as three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms.