Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Sierra Bonita, an affordable housing development in West Hollywood, is the facade-integrated solar array that powers most of the peak load electricity demand for the common areas. The building also has a solar-powered hot water heating system, but beneath the clearly visible green technology is a modern building with apartments fully adaptable for its disabled residents.
The USGBC recently held a competition for the design of an affordable, single-family house with between 720 and 880 square feet that meets the requirements of LEED Platinum certification. Local chapters chose 49 designs and a national jury picked two professional finalists and two student finalists. These four designs will be built in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans by enviRenew.
Perhaps you read a recent article in the NY Times on portable shelters. In the article, Jim Robbins discusses the relief housing efforts of a few organizations and companies that I've noticed over the years. These houses, often prefabricated and flat-packed, typically assemble in a short amount of time with simple, available tools. Check out these three home designs below and, if you're aware of any similar endeavors, feel free to share a link below.
I thought the ECObitat concept from Felipe Campolina was worth a look. ECObitat, a modular system capable of being applied to emergency or relief housing, features drop-down telescopic legs and a steel skeleton covered in OSB, thermoacoustic insulation, and greenery. Water and solar power is collected on the roof, while an Energy Ball captures on-site green energy. The set up is spartan but interesting nonetheless.
This is Casa Dominguez, a new multifamily development in Los Angeles County. It’s actually the first LEED Platinum multifamily project in the county, according to non-profit developer and architecture firm Abode Communities. Located in East Rancho Dominguez, the project features a blend of one- to four-bedroom green apartments suited for low-income families.
Besting the efforts of nearly 3,100 architects worldwide, a team involving blaanc of Portugal and João Caeiro of Mexico won the Open Source House design competition with their entry “Emerging Ghana.” All of the entries are available online and Emerging Ghana, as a pilot project, is expected to be built by the end of this year.