Sloan Ritchie, the same developer that brought us the beautiful, green Alley House, just launched a new endeavor called Backyard Box. As the name indicates, the Seattle-based company helps homeowners add extra space — whether for an office, studio, mother-in-law apartment, or income property — to lots with room and flexible zoning. Backyard Boxes, commonly referred to as accessory dwelling units, come in three sizes, three finish packages, and have a Smart Box option, which includes some geeky green technology.
These days, there's a nearly endless array of options on the market if you're looking for a stylish, green countertop. Availability varies and transportation costs — in more ways than one — so you might stop by the local green building store to see what's being made locally. You might see some of the products discussed below.
It's been a fun month here at Jetson Green. We talked about a little of everything, including building performance, Passive House certification, the Living Building Challenge, and the various efforts to help with temporary and permanent shelter in Haiti. If you like what you're reading, stay tuned through Twitter or Facebook and share what you like. Here's a summary of last month's coverage, if you missed anything:
- Blue is the new green.
- Energy Star label due for an upgrade.
- Green homes sell faster and for a premium.
- Creative borrowing spurs commercial retrofits.
- Could poorly performing projects kill green building?
- Insuring on the sustainable side of the fence.
- A smarter planet needs smarter buildings.
- Home sweet passive home.
Ideabox's newest prefab model, the Fortino, is on display at the Portland Home & Garden Show this weekend, so you'll want to check it out if you're in the area. The Salem-based prefab company teamed up with Crate & Barrel to design the interior and several landscape designers to transform a 50'x100' show space into a contemporary landscape setting. Jim Russell, president of Ideabox, says it's a complete "living experience" on an urban lot.
Our last article on VAST Pavers generated substantial discussion in the comments. The company makes composite masonry with roughly 90-95% recycled scrap tire rubber and plastics. The pavers are light, durable, and apply in a cinch once the proprietary grid has been laid. Up until recently, VAST has been expanding business with a 3″x6″ paver, but now they also have a new 4″x8″ paver that was designed with larger projects in mind.