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Portland's First SIPs House to Save 70% on Bills!

SEED SIPs House

Update: 8/7/08 – check out Seed’s blog documenting the project at www.sipshousepdx.com.

Yesterday Seed Architecture Studio and Kaya General Contractors announced plans to build the first house in Portland using structural insulated panels ("SIP").  This sustainable home design is targeted to save 70% on bills (compared to a home built to current energy code) utilizing tech such as LED and fluorescent lighting, efficient appliances, passive cooling, and the ultra efficient SIPs.  Speaking of the home, Seed Architecture Studio owner Darin Dougherty said:

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A Prefab M-Hotel on the Cusp

m-hotel by tim pyne

I love the possibilities and ideas presented by the m-hotel from Tim Pyne.  That said, I can’t say there’s anything green about the concept (that is soon to be a reality) other than two things, possibly: (1) it’s a non-permanent structure (7-10 years) where the parts can be reused differently in the future and dismantled to make way for a different use on the site, and/or (2) it’s a prefab structure and prefab has the potential for green benefits such as material savings, lower construction waste, and minimized site disturbance, etc.  But still, it’s cool and innovative.  The m-hotel is designed as a series of steel-framed slot boxes that slide into the frame (which makes for easy dismantling in the future). 

The striped m-hotel as you see above is being considered for Sclater Street in London.  If approved, the hotel will have 32 units each measuring 16 x 36 feet (576 sf).  Work may begin as soon as this summer and should be complete by end of the year.  I can’t wait to see the finished product. 

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Rapson Greenbelt, Modern Passive Solar Prefab

Greenbelt2ny

I’m seriously loving the Rapson Greenbelt here by Wieler.  Wieler was founded by the owner of the Original Dwell Home and offers a nice selection of prefab designs for the modern, green home enthusiast.  Speaking of the Rapson Greenbelt, Inhabitat reports: "Modernist architect Ralph Rapson has managed to reinterpret this 60-year old design with the green panache of a 21st century prefab.  The Rapson Greenbelt, an articulate series of prefab dwellings, is derived from a 1945 design called Case Study #4, which debuted back then as part of Arts & Architecture’s Case Study House Program.  Today, the Rapson Greenbelt is part of the modern home portfolio from WIELER, the award-winning providers of custom prefab homes."

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The 32nd Street Eco-Infill Home

Studiohtreal

Prefab company Eco-Infill and architectural services firm Studio H:T designed this modular, green home to be the first LEED certified, factory-built home in Colorado.  The 32nd Street home was built with two staggered modules with the top module jutting out the back to create a shaded patio.  It’s quite the great looking home, and as you can tell with the rendering above, it’s all done (took about 7 months total from start to finish).  A recent article about the home in Rocky Mountain News reports that the home cost about $325,000 to construct and $150,000 for the land, which equals about $176 psf.  Not bad in Colorado. 

The 2,700 sf home is currently in the process of seeking LEED certification.  Maybe I’ll drive down and check it out sometime.  Looks pretty close to the rendering below, too.   

++First LEED Certified Factory-built, Modular Home in Colorado [PDF]

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BRIO54 Homes with Modern Green Style

Brio54h1a

I received an email today from one of the co-founders of BRIO54, a young, design-driven development firm providing unique homes for a green, modern lifestyle.  Their first prototype is in the final planning stage with construction projected to begin by late spring.  To get an idea of their design capabilities, their website has three different designs:  H1 suburban design, H2 urban infill design, and H3 high ranch rehab design (the most affordable option). 

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Magic Box, is this the Future of (Green) Prefab?

Magic Box Prefab

I put ‘green’ in parenthesis because the future is green, whether you, I, or anyone else likes it.  That’s where this whole thing is heading.  And several countries rely heavily on prefabrication for construction of homes and buildings.  So I ask, after looking at the photos, does this Magic Box represent what’s to come in the future?  The Magic Box is cubic and versatile and small.  It can go anywhere and be used as anything.  But is this the future of (green) prefab?

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