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Before Buying a Prefab [Blogging NYT]

PrefabArtWeb by Nancy Doninger

Over the weekend, I noticed another good article in the NY Times by Amy Gunderson, with the above illustration by Nancy Doninger.  The article makes some salient points about prefab, things that must be considered before getting into it.  For instance, one customer said "there is no substitute for seeing a house in person," because what you see online or in a rendering, may not be what you actually get.  The same customer opted for Rocio Romero, and the home took 10 months to build at a cost of $300 psf (including installation and finishes).  That price ends up being pretty decent, when compared to the cost of going after a custom-design modernist home. 

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Tread Lightly Modular Prototype House

Tread Lightly House

The Tread Lightly House was designed by Garrison Architects for a site where the building footprint had to be minimal because of nearby wetlands.  This modular house prototype touches lightly on the earth, demonstrating a different way to reduce the home’s ecological footprint and help minimize the impact of the built environment on nature.  Prefabricated construction of the home draws upon an ecologically friendly modular design which is fast and easy to build (not to mention, offers the potential for saved energy, time, money, and natural resources).  You can read more about this + other green projects at the Garrison Architects blog

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[Video] PowerPod, 500 sf of Modular, Green Living

CNET PowerPod Video

Recently, I wrote an article about the energy efficiency of the PowerPod, and now, CNET’s Martin LaMonica has a video of the first PowerPod demo resting in a defunct coal power plant in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Clicking the picture above will take you directly to the video.  I really like the PowerPod.  It’s modular, green, and very simple in design.  The PowerPod could be used as a home for a bachelor or intimate duo, but it’s more likely going to be used as an office, vacation abode, lake cabin, or something like that.  And as far as cost is concerned, with your basic residential green finish out, you’re talking about $100k for 500 sf.  You can also view more info and photos at CNET

1940s Era Home Conversion: Boxhouse

Boxhouse

This is Boxhouse, an award-winning modern home in Boulder, Colorado, designed and built by Rob Pyatt as a University of Colorado College of Architecture & Planning project (advised/sponsored by Rick Sommerfeld).  Boxhouse explores adaptive reuse and recycling of an existing 900 sf home built in 1948.  Tons of images below …

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Excellent Posts and DoD Notes at BLDGBLOG

Frank Harmon Prairie Ridge

The Norton Avenue Lofts Habitat 825

Seattle Off-Grid Concept Combines Chickens, Crops + Sustainable Living (S2)

Center for Urban Agriculture

In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky.  Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge.  Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom).  And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains. 

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