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.
Of the temporary and permanent housing solutions envisioned for Haiti, there's everything but a shortage. On this site alone, we've supported Shelter Box and mentioned efforts by House Arc and Andrés Duany. Another effort that recently caught our attention is this Shipping Container Housing project to rapidly fabricate temporary relief housing out of 20 foot used containers.
This is the Home of the Future, which is on display at the BC Hydro Power Smart Village in downtown Vancouver. It's hard to tell, but the home is actually made with two shipping containers and wrapped in cedar and pine beetle wood cladding. In addition, according to a press release, the showcase project is designed with local and recycled materials, as well as energy-efficient appliances and other conservation technologies.
Modular home manufacturers are all getting into smaller and greener homes these days. We've mentioned the i-House from Clayton Homes and the Osprey from Nationwide Homes, but another modular company, Excel Homes, also has a small green home called the The Prairie View. The design is inspired by the Prairie House Style with its open interior plan and horizontal exterior lines. Designed to be completed for under $100,000, this 945 square-foot home has one bedroom, one bathroom, and abundant open space for everything else.