One thing I’ve noticed is the fact that home building is changing in a big way. In order to capture what’s going on across the country, I thought it would be interesting to talk with influencers and innovators about things like tiny houses, prefabrication, sustainable design, high performance construction, and home technology. For this first interview, I was able to exchange emails with Sam Hagerman, co-owner of Hammer & Hand and president of the Passive House Alliance US, on the topic of ADUs and Passive Houses.
Green homes comprised 17%, or $17 billion, of the overall residential construction market in 2011, according to new findings in the Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study by McGraw-Hill Construction. Mc-Graw Hill predicts green homes will gain market share over the next few years to between 29-38% of the market by 2016 — a market that could equate to $87-114 billion by these forecasts.
Wood is a desirable construction material for many reasons including its low embodied energy. But, until recently, it has not been possible to build tall wooden structures because of the relative weakness of conventional wood stud construction methods. This is starting to change as a new method of fabricating wood panels, called cross-laminated timber, or CLT, is making “massive wood” construction a possibility for mid-rise construction, as well as for other construction uses.
As part of Ford’s futuring and trend conference, Forward with Ford 2011, the company placed a significant emphasis on sustainability and its efforts in this area. The company invited Ed Begley Jr., celebrity environmentalist and host of Living with Ed, to speak about his eco-friendly lifestyle and environmental advocacy efforts. Ed stressed that in his 41 years being an outspoken advocate for the environment there are ways to make and save green while going green.
If you follow the tiny house movement, you may have heard about Blake’s Tiny House. The project is led by a team of four – Blake Dinkins, Lance Cayko, Alex Gore, and Sarah Schulz – who met at North Dakota University while pursuing master of architecture degrees. Their goal is to document the construction of the 128-square foot home from beginning to end.