It’s been a long time, it seems, since our last video, so why not get back in the habit? I noticed this high quality video of the Chestnut Residence, which was designed by Dan Heinfeld of LPA Architects, and thought all the eco modern enthusiasts would enjoy it. All versions of the video that I’ve seen get cut off at about the three minute point, so I’ll update it if I find a better version. The house was created with an open passive layout to take advantage of the California climate and benefit from abundant natural light and ventilation. The design is further married with the best of green technology, such as sustainable materials, smart systems, and a solar PV system (50% of power), to create one posh green residence. I’ve included some screen shots from the video below.
Designed by Sander Architects, this part prefab, all custom-made home was recently profiled in the NY Times in an article entitled "Prefab, High-Concept, and Green." The exposed denim insulation and loft-like interior caught my eye, so I decided to learn more about it. Apparently, the owners retained Sander Architects to build something that was very green, on a super-tight budget, and amenable to the owner’s large French Briard dog. The resulting 4,200 sf home, according to the architects, is their greenest Hybrid House ever built. It features a greywater system, passive heating and cooling, rainwater collection for landscaping, recycled blue jean insulation, sunflower seed wall board, bamboo flooring, marmoleum, structural steel frames from recycled steel, etc.
Well over a year ago, I heard William McDonough was working with Google on some green design plans near the Googleplex (all hush hush-type stuff covered by an NDA). Since that time, I haven’t really noticed much information on those plans, that is, until I caught this article in Mountain View Voice talking about Google’s extraordinary building plans. It appears that SHoP Architects coordinated the work of several architectural firms to get these preliminary plans going. But, for the time being, Google has decided to put the green office structure on hold.
Today Michelle Kaufmann announced and released details of mkDesign’s newest modular design, a modern farmhouse home called mkHearth. I like the rendering above because it illustrates how an entire neighborhood of modern, green, mkHearth homes could look … imagine plush gardens in lieu of turf, home fronts instead of garages, and greenroofs in the place of shingles. The mkHearth centers on a hearth space where a cabinetry / fireplace unit extends and connects the first through third floors.
Every now and then, Michelle Kaufmann gives us a rendering or a glimpse of a development she’s working on in Colorado. Part of the development involves the design of new housing for the Sisters of St. Francis. The other part is a private, multifamily townhouse development adjacent to the Sisters’ housing. The townhouse community called Aria Denver promises to bring clean, green, and pure living to northwest Denver starting in 2009.
When we first brought news of Blu Homes in July, the company was on the cusp of something interesting. Since our first article, they've been busy with plans to design and build innovative, sustainable homes. They've also been crunching the numbers and working on ways to design and build prefab homes that are legitimately affordable. And with all the talk recently about prefab and affordability, we thought it'd be interesting to revisit a couple development projects of Blu Homes. They have two homes in the pipeline that, I think, illustrate the case for affordable, modern, and green homes.