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.
Developer Steve Blanchard set out to build one of the greenest homes in Orange County, and he may just have accomplished that. In fact, this home, the Costa Mesa Green Home, is the first custom residence in the OC to receive LEED Platinum certification. Although 5,000 square feet in size, the home exceeds California Energy Code by 40% and isn’t expected to generate an electricity bill outside of standard add-on fees.
A few weeks ago, we mentioned the strong flat pack prefabs designed by Andrés Duany for Haiti. That effort is moving forward, and we've been able to catch a photo of a built prototype (see above). InnoVida Holdings, LLC, manufacturer of the lightweight fiber composite panels used to build the prototype, today announced plans to build a factory near Port-au-Prince and donate 1,000 of these houses to Haiti. It's a massive endeavor that could lead to the production of 10,000 homes per year and 250 direct jobs in the country.
We like to keep a pulse on the evolving world of green prefab, but there’s an Austin-based company that we’ve yet to mention. Ma Modular, a venture of design-build firm KRDB, turned to modular construction to make modern design approachable, affordable, and convenient. The company is also committed to good design and green building and aims to deliver projects with a quick turnaround.
If you had the chance to catch 60 Minutes on Sunday, you saw their exclusive on Bloom Energy. The company has been in stealth mode for some time, but all of that appears to be over. As reported by Lesley Stahl, which you can view in the video embedded below, Bloom makes a fuel cell that will be used to power homes (in the future) and commercial buildings (right now).
Update: Read our owner interview with more background on this project.
This beautiful home will be the first certified Passive House in Utah. Passive House consultant Dave Brach, principal of Brach Design Architecture, anticipates receiving a certificate in the next week or so. He designed the Breezeway House to consume only 10% of the energy of an existing single family home of the same size and location and 20% of the energy of a new home built to code. What’s more, solar electric and hot water panels should produce about 75% of the home’s annual energy needs.