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.