YardPods are steel-frame, prefab rooms designed to fit snugly in your backyard or somewhere else which are made of modular, eco-friendly parts and materials. A YardPod, like many of the sheds we've been talking about, can be used in a number of ways, such as for a home office, media room, arts studio, zen retreat, exercise room, work shop, cabana, studio — you name it! The new company was noticed by Kent Griswold, the Tiny House Blog, and he was able to uncover some interesting details.
Shed spaces of all sizes are popular these days. Sure, you may run into zoning laws and ordinances, but given the legalities, a well-designed shed space could work perfectly as an affordable office, workshop, or anything else. So we were interested to learn that We Love Sheds just held an international competition to find the best International Shed of the Year 2009. Maryland-based entrant Chuck Witmer beat out roughly 186 other shed entries to take this year's prize for THE_SHED. He built it himself, and it's beautiful.
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), which officially opens on July 16, 2009, is at the bleeding edge of green building. It's located on the 195-acre campus of the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, an education and retreat center. Not only is it on track to achieve LEED Platinum, it may be the first building in America to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
If you've ever wanted to live in a modern prefab and you're interested in living about thirty minutes north of Duluth, Minnesota, now might be your chance. In 2005, Alchemy Architects designed this seasonal cabin of roughly 840 square feet, and after that, it became a hit in the national media. I noticed it in Kiplinger's of all places! The McGlasson weeHouse has two bedrooms, one and three-quarters bathrooms, a roof deck, and a detached sauna.
Just a quick jaunt north of Dallas right off of Central Expressway, there's a small community called Urban Reserve. In Urban Reserve, all the homes are modern and sustainably designed — the minimum standards require Energy Star and a HERS of at least an 80. This home is just one of several architecturally unique homes in the development. Referred to as UR 45, the LEED Platinum certified home was designed by Shipley Architects for an executive of the development company, Rick Fontenot.
This is the Living Zero Home, which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and built by All American Homes. The home was on display in Chicago last weekend and will move to about fifteen other destinations throughout the year, including Louisville, Greensboro, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver, among other cities. The modern demonstration home features a Smart Living System — both an energy management and home monitoring tool — which helps owners save money and provides an alert for potential problems, such as a water pipe leak. The home includes a number of other green elements, too: