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.
A few months ago, Alchemy set this weeHouse in Dundee, New York, and it's now complete. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home sits at the end of a private road on Seneca Lake. On the exterior, the prefab has corrugated steel siding, while on the interior, there's bamboo flooring and wall wrap, doors and windows made with FSC-certified wood, and Energy Star appliances.
Across the pond in the London Borough of Hillingdon, this infill development of five ultra-green buildings continues to garner attention. The project, Birchway Eco-Community, was built to Level 5 of the Code of Sustainable Homes (with 6 being the highest possible score) and provides 24 one- and two-bedroom affordable housing units. These buildings were finished on site after being prefabricated and delivered with kitchens and bathrooms already installed.
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.