When Don Lenzer and Bettina Volz started looking around for a builder in the New York area, they quickly realized that they couldn’t meet their budget requirements with conventional construction. The owners’ design firm, Stelle Architects, found Arizona-based ASUL (Adaptable System for Universal Living), who collaborated with the designer to provide an alternative construction methodology with a budget of $200 per square foot. This is the Lenzer/Volz residence in Amagansett, New York.
Take a moment to notice what’s happening across the pond. This is the Tetra Shed, a inventive building system that uses up to six modules to create extra space — home office, play space, beach hut, pop-up retail — in most any location. The exterior can be custom painted or finished with copper, zinc, corten steel, or marine plywood, while the interior can be finished with LED lights and birch-faced plywood or plasterboard. Tetra Shed, designed by David Ajasa-Adekunle, arrives in the UK in January 2012.
Several months ago, I shared news of unique, green birth chart art by StarArc. That company now has some new prints based on each customer’s primary astrological sun sign symbol as well as their moon and rising sign symbols. Although I can’t shed much light on astrology, I can say the prints are made using a museum quality giclée printing process that utilizes environmentally friendly canvas, inks, and stretcher bars. They come with a modern look, 35 color schemes, eight sizes, and pricing from $49.
Southtown Greenbound is a new, short documentary of an award-winning prototype development — the Biering Project — that’s both affordable and sustainable in San Antonio, Texas. Biering includes two, 1,500 square-foot homes wrapped in a diaphanous aluminum screen that reduces solar heat gain, fosters privacy during the day, and illuminates during the night. The screen truly distinguishes the homes.
Here’s a quick update on the status of Alley House 2, which we discussed in August this year. Developed by Cascade Built, the modular prefab home was designed by David Foster Architects and assembled by Method Homes with an aim for LEED Platinum certification. The modules dropped this month, and the home should be ready for occupancy in about January 2012.
By Gerry McCaughey, CEO of Infineco LLC*
As Americans debate whether prefab is a greener way to build, those active in the discussion should not be surprised when their dialogue receives puzzled looks from their European counterparts.
In Europe, this very question was asked and answered nearly two decades ago. The resounding findings were that prefabrication creates higher-quality structures that reduce both the embodied energy content and the amount of carbon produced annually during the operation of traditional onsite-built homes. The reduction in carbon emissions can be as much as 40 to 60 percent.