This is a Flatpak house in Aspen, Colorado. I stumbled upon these shots in Flickr, so I don’t have much background on the project. But we’ve featured a modern Flatpak home before in the Goodwin-Wise Flatpak. Flatpak houses each have their own particular and interesting features, but the Flatpak system is the same. It’s a menu of components for living that includes walls, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchen, and various built-ins. The components are fabricated and designed to meet the needs of the site and owner.
Since mid-January, Taliesin students have been blogging on PrairieMod about their project to build a small modern home on the grounds of Taliesin West. The students, with Dean Victor Sidy and Jennifer Siegal of OMD, designed a simple but elegant home with sustainability in mind. At first, they were going to prefabricate the structure, but later decided to go instead with on-site, panelized construction using SIPs for the walls, roof, and floor. Now, the exterior is certainly taking shape and the interior will be finished throughout the summer. When done, the structure will demonstrate passive and active environmental control systems, water catchment, top-tier insulation, a gray water system, native landscaping, and a solar power system.
The mkSolaire is currently the featured attraction at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) as part of the Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibition. As you can tell from the above video, it’s a prefab that includes cutting-edge green materials, energy efficient systems, a living roof, and a smart technology system. I love those rectangular, green tiles in the bathroom — check it out.
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.
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."
Canühome is an impressive 850 sf home with a smart design that includes a kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room, and bedroom. Designed by Institute Without Boundaries, canühome is a healthy, sustainable, and affordable home. Perhaps, it is best suited for young couples, seniors, singles, and/or small families as either a “starter” or “finisher” house, but the possibilities are truly infinite.