Last October we blogged about the Inhabit prefab prototype built in Washington and designed by Mithun and Hybrid. Since then, there hasn’t been much news about the prototype, except that the initial two units are for sale right now. Now comes news, however, based on an article in The Seattle Times, that Unico Properties is planning to bring Inhabit to market in a legit, 62-unit apartment complex that includes a few live/work spaces. The development is planned for a site on Dexter Avenue North above Lake Union. Unico has been quiet about the project because the land is still under contract and the permitting process has just begun. But long and short, Seattle is on the cusp of becoming a major demonstration city for green, prefab apartments in the U.S. — fantastic news for proponents of healthy, affordable, and stylish living spaces.
Duro Design is offering a beautiful collection of eco-friendly Eucalyptus flooring. The wood is grown in managed forests in Europe and is available in 12 colors ranging from gray to natural to a warm apricot color. Premium German and Swiss pigments give the flooring its wonderful tints and depth of color.
I’ve mentioned Kirei in projects previously, but I’ve never really blogged about it. Kirei, or きれい, is Japanese for pretty, beautiful, pure, or clean — an apt description for this popular green product. Constructed of reclaimed agricultural fiber (which is heat-pressed with a non-toxic adhesive), Kirei Board is lightweight and durable. It’s often used as a finish material in flooring, furniture, cabinets, and other interior design applications. Use of Kirei Board may help contribute towards credits for LEED certification, depending on a variety of factors …
The fulcrum of the green building revolution, I think, is conservation and living happily with less. It’ll be interesting to see how we get there, to see if we can live lighter. In the meantime, I like to monitor small projects to see what piques the interest of crowds. Lately Abōd® has been getting some quality attention. Abōd was honored by the AIA this year with a Small Project Award. The AIA explained the concept: "The design goal was to develop a breakthrough in value-engineered lowest cost housing with an extensive array of add-on options to personalize each home. The resulting design incorporating the Catenary arch is simple and structurally sound but also aesthetically pleasing and can be built by 4 people in just one day with only a screwdriver and an awl."
I was blown away by Alberto Mozó‘s simple and clean design for the Edificio BIP Computers building in Santiago de Chile. It’s an unassuming three-story structure built on a lot that’s zoned to allow a larger structure of up to twelve stories in height. Knowing that the building may not last very long (due to the favorable location and zoning), the design makes use of standard-sized, laminated timber beams that can be dismounted and used to reconstruct the entire building somewhere else. Mozo calls the idea "transitivity" — designing structures that can be easily broken down and reconstructed elsewhere.
Gwendolyn Bounds invested about 16 months and $83k in her posh, green kitchen remodel. The process was slightly more difficult than she imagined, but nonetheless, as you can see from the below video: the result is quite nice. David Johnston, green building and renovation expert, unofficially inspected the work and gave her high marks for the eco renovation. Her remodel included Energy Star appliances, locally made fly ash concrete countertops, Plyboo and Arreis cabinets, no-VOC paints, FSC-certified wood floors, Nu-Wool recycled newspaper insulation, LED lights, and double-paned efficient windows.