There's been a lot of talk about various green building provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454 or "ACES"), but there's one specific section of ACES that deserves more attention. Section 204 needs to be included in the green building discussion, because this is where the Building Energy Performance Labeling Program is. With this program, as we predicted with our Seven Green Trends, the federal government could lay the foundation for true and legitimate building environmental impact labels. Let's talk about this unprecedented policy, with a little background discussion.
When you think of manufactured homes, you might think of the ranch house with vinyl siding that you gingerly pass on the interstate as it travels on the back of a wide-load truck. You might also think about a LEED Platinum home and imagine a roof spotted with photovoltaic panels, windmill in the front yard, and geothermal dug deep into the ground. The newest offering from New World Home turns both of these ideas on their heads.
Wow! The month went by quickly and the prefab world is ablaze, isn't it? There's a lot of interesting talk, but I think we all know that prefab won't go anywhere until it's like the iPhone: stylish, approachable, and dead simple (which is also why community development is the new 3G S). Simultaneously, talk of Passive House and tiny living is getting louder and more interesting. Relatedly, the USGBC wants to close the performance gap with their new iteration and energy reporting requirements, but federal level legislation could shake up the entire playing field. We're monitoring all of it — expect some long form opinion editorial soon. While you're waiting, check out a few articles that you may have missed:
"La casa movil de Vodafone," or the Vodafone Mobile Home, creatively combines glass house living, tiny house design, loft-like features, sustainable elements, and portable architecture all in one tight package. Design Boom recently reported that the portable home was designed by Waskman Design Studio, with CuldeSac, for Vodafone to showcase its fixed phone and wireless internet services. And blogger Marcos Morales and his family of four are vacationing throughout Spain with it as we speak.
Commentators take pot shots at the bike storage and showers credit available in the LEED Green Building Rating System, but I've always liked it — it's hard to ride a bike to work when there's no bike rack. Certainly bike transportation is good for the environment, and Bike Arc has designed a modular bike park system that I believe will be huge in the next few years. The company incorporated the system into several designs to suit different needs: the Rac Arc is low profile, the Umbrella Arc saves space (see video below), and the Tube Arc and Half Arc versions protect vehicles from the elements.
Using seven recycled shipping containers, architect Bernard Morin and wife Joyce Labelle built this contemporary residence in St. Adele, Quebec. The home is the first of many to come for their new company, Maison Idekit, which will help homeowners turn containers into architecturally unique, and inexpensive, homes. The company has two more residential projects set to break ground in the next couple months using a total of twelve container modules.