The concept of using off-site fabricated modules for core elements of a home is not necessarily new. In fact, most recently Proto Homes introduced a hybrid-prefab system with the Proto Core, which is a chase for mechanical, plumbing, and electrical. It’s also being used in the form of “wet-cores” for The House of the Immediate Future with Habitat for Humanity (Seattle/South King County) at the Seattle Center.
There’s something about the traditional yet contemporary “house-shaped” form of this design that just resonates with me. The home was designed by an Alberta-based studio called Bioi pursuant to the owner’s request for something simple, contemporary, and energy efficient with a build cost of less than $100,000. It turns out, Warburg House received the highest EnerGuide rating available without generating its own energy, according to featured project information at Architizer.
Continuing the theme of tiny structures this week, I think this office cottage on Bainbridge Island is just awesome. The compact, 200-square foot space was designed by Russ Hamlet and built by Geoffrey Hobert for the Rolling Bay Land Co. and featured on the recent green home tours presented by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild.
News of this 96-square-foot micro cabin was first published at Tiny House Listings a few months back, though you may start seeing it on sites all over the web. The tiny house was conceived and built in Finland by Robin Falck with a footprint purposely small enough to not need permits. Falck enlisted the help of architects to vet the technical aspects and built the tiny house in two weeks for about $10,500 (just the materials). That includes views, a 50-square-foot loft, kitchen, bathroom, and a living room.
This home by North Carolina-based Chandler Design-Build was named Project of the Year in the Small Volume Single Family category of the 2012 National Green Building Awards. Certified to both Energy Star and the National Green Building Standard, Paar Residence was built with a panelized, double-stud wall system and “serves as a showcase for a cutting-edge, air-to-water heat pump combined with a radiant heat and water heater application,” according to the NAHB. Plus, it’s a good example of “mainstream green,” said NAHB, with a traditional look that’s widely appealing.
FreeGreen, an online source for green house plans, recently announced a strategic pivot to make homes better and cheaper. The company wants to give homeowners the opportunity to save money by helping them get involved in some of the finish work. FreeGreen has a DIY series of house plans, and the first design — the DIY Shed — isn’t value engineered to meet a budget. It’s designed so that certain portions can be finished by the homeowners themselves.