Recently, we had to opportunity to talk with Don Ferrier about the progress of a home called the Zero Energy Casita. Ferrier, president of Ferrier Custom Homes, started building earth-sheltered homes 25 years ago and has the distinct accomplishment of building the first LEED Platinum home in Texas. In this net zero energy beauty, Ferrier is building a home that generates as much energy in the course of a year as it consumes.
A new solar racking structure — one of the largest continuous elevated solar racking structures in the country that spans the length of three football fields — was just completed for the Manheim Auto Auction in Bordentown, New Jersey. Rated at 1 MW, the project includes 5,880 photovoltaic panels covering 104,000 square feet.
Rocio Romero, the architect behind the LV series of prefab homes, just announced the availability of stackable prefabs. Referred to as the LV2 — a 2-story stack placed on any LV series unit, the custom add-on costs the same as regular LV series units. Rocio Romero has sold over a hundred LVs and says the average cost to build, including the kit, shipping, foundation, and finish costs, is about $120 per square foot (not including land).
After seeing these in Dwell, I’ve noticed Woolly Pockets popping up all over, including on Flora Grubb Garden as a do-it-yourself vertical garden. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out how a flexible, breathable, modular gardening container made from recycled plastic bottles would work without gushing water all over the place. But it does (watch the video below), only if you do things right. Woolly Pocket Gardening Company has various options available from $29 – $350.
Part of an abandoned, former industrial site in Oakland is now Ironhorse at Central Station, a 99-unit affordable housing development. Owned by Bridge Housing, designed by David Baker + Associates, and built by J.H. Fitzmaurice, the ~$41.4 million project includes one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments for families with incomes ranging from $18,000 to $50,000. Ironhorse is a fascinating display of green, affordable housing that's also solar-powered.
Water efficiency is an important measure in green building everywhere, but in Australia — one of the driest countries in the world — water conservation is more widely practiced and water awareness is generally higher than it is in North America. In addition to pioneering water efficiency, Australians have discovered some problems due to the use of efficient, low-flow fixtures. One is the potential problem of "dry drains," however, a new invention called the Drainwave aims to solve the problem.