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Sneak Peek: Modern Cottage Idea House

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If you're anywhere near Menlo Park, California this weekend, you should head over to Celebration Weekend held by Sunset Magazine.  This year, Sunset is featuring a Modern Cottage built by Modern Cabana as one of the magazine's idea houses.  I guess the official name is something like the Sunset Modern Cottage Idea House.  Made with two modular living spaces, 300 square feet and 120 square feet, respectively, this MC Studio Home is a striking combination of style, efficiency, and small living.

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Simpatico Green Prefab Prototype Home

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Simpatico Homes is a new prefab company that plans to break ground on their prototype home this summer.  Simpatico has a simple philosophy based on three core elements: form (modern), function (modular prefab), and footprint (green building).  The company was kind enough to provide these renderings of the prototype, which will be built in Emeryville, California.  The three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2500 square-foot abode was designed by Swatt Architects to received LEED Platinum.  It will include some of the following green elements:

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Green Ideabox Set in Port Townsend

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On Cherry Street in Port Townsend, Washington, a confluence modern version of an ideabox prefab was installed.  The 840 square-foot home has an open kitchen and living area flanked by two bedrooms / bathrooms on the ends.  It sits perfectly on a small lot and the deck leads to a vegetable garden where the new homeowners will be able to live off the land, to a certain extent. 

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3716 Springfield House by Studio 804, LEED Platinum and Off the Grid

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This is the first of a new series of articles from Robert McLaughlin, founder of House Virescent and co-founder of KCmodern, who will report on green building efforts in Greensburg, Kansas and Kansas City.

Studio 804, the graduate level design-build studio from the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Planning, followed up its successful Modular 1,2,3,4 houses and the 547 Art Center in Greensburg, Kansas with the 3716 Springfield House.  It's another great looking house seeking not only to be LEED Platinum, but to be off the grid as well.  Also known as the Buffalo House, the Kansas City, Kansas project attempts "a holistic approach to sustainability" and uses active solar and wind technologies to power itself.

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Project Frog Breaks Ground on Net Zero Energy Watkinson School

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Last November, Project FROG demonstrated their FROG Zero classroom at Greenbuild 2008, and it was quite impressive.  Now, the company has a couple projects in the works, and they just broke ground on a new Center for Science and Global Citizenship at the Watkinson School in Hartford, Connecticut.  The 4,000 square-foot science center will generate more energy within its footprint than is required to operate the systems.  To do so, it will rely on some of the following active and passive strategies:

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Sadly, Green Prefab Firm Michelle Kaufmann Designs is Shutting Down

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Update 5-27-09: Michelle Kaufmann explains what's next.

A short few hours ago, an article popped up on the LA Times website breaking the unfortunate news that Michelle Kaufmann Designs is shutting down by the end of this week.  Despite the fact that the article was written by Christopher Hawthorne — pretty much the most authoritative architecture critic on the West Coast, the news was hard to process.  This is the firm that's built 40 green prefab houses, including the mkLotus, mkSolaire Smart Home, and a number of other beautiful green prefabs!  MKD can't close its doors!  But in an email late this afternoon, Michelle confirmed the news. 

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