Sustainability Paradox, Airtight Construction, Alternative Green Homes, + Affordable LEDs

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ClearSpace Keeps Prefab Simple in Austin

Austin-based ClearSpace Homes has been around for several years, but recently I noticed the founder, Hayden Lindley, was working on some new designs.  One of those is the 504-square-foot efficiency unit, pictured, which is finished on the outside with lap siding and cement board.  Lindley is noodling this prefab design and others and wants to produce some new in-house plans with an accurate ballpark cost attached.

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Bright Cargo Container Casa in Chile

This bright orange home was made with two 40-foot and three 20-foot shipping containers in Santiago, Chile.  Due to our publication of various shipping container homes, the architect, Rubén Rivera Peede, shared Liray House with Jetson Green recently, and you’ll find more vibrant photos and a floor plan below.

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Most Efficient Heat Pump by WaterFurnace

WaterFurnace International, Inc., a manufacturer of geothermal and water-source heat pumps, just launched what the company is calling the “world’s most energy-efficient heat pump,” according to a press release. The 7 Series 700A11, pictured, is the first variable capacity unit available for homeowners and boasts a 41 energy efficiency ratio and 5.3 coefficient of performance. The 7 Series exceeds Energy Star requirements and qualifies for a 30% federal tax credit, said WaterFurnace. The heating and cooling system also comes with a laundry list of other design features: integration with automation and energy monitoring systems, online remote monitoring and control, quiet performance with a lower compressor speed, advanced hot water generation, and a port for service and diagnostics that doesn’t require opening the unit.  700A11 uses a soft-start variable capacity compressor, variable speed ECM blower, and variable speed loop pump to scale output as needed.

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Five-Star Luxe Container Hotel in China

Halfway across the globe in a rural village outside of Changzhi in China, a developer was inspired by emergency housing made with shipping containers in Japan and decided to build a five-star hotel out of them, according to CNN Go.  The hotel — 香箱乡祈福所, which apparently translates as Xiang Xiang Xiang Pray House — was built with 35 new containers and includes 21 tiny, luxe guest rooms of either 161 or 321 square feet each.

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Bespoke Green Railing by BOK Modern

In the midst of an effort to reduce costs associated with standard pipe railing on a multifamily project, the founders of BŌK Modern happened upon innovation.  Their epiphany came when they decided to use laser-cut flat metal formed using computer-automated machines (to reduce welding, grinding, and other unnecessary hand labor).  Some of the panels were on display at the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference, and Houseplans.com editor Dan Gregory said they were “striking.

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