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Stunning Net-Zero Energy Homes of 2011

The biennial Solar Decathlon finished today and teams will begin the grunt work of taking their homes back or sending them off if the homes were acquired.  As we’ve done in the past, here’s a short roundup of all 19 Solar Decathlon homes for 2011.  The competition fosters the design, build, and operation of net-zero energy homes that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.  Maryland won the entire competition, and Appalachian State was given the People’s Choice Award

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zHomes Use Zero Net Energy in Issaquah

zHome is a contemporary, new, townhome development in Issaquah, Washington.  The homes go on sale this month and have received national attention, such as in the video embedded below with the Wall Street Journal.  Homes in this community will use zero net energy — after considering all energy used and produced during a year — and zHome may just be the first townhome project in the country to achieve such a feat.

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Efficient Upcycled Duplex in Portland

Hammer & Hand, a design-build firm based in Portland, is getting well-deserved attention for transforming this circa 1905, dilapidated eyesore into an energy-efficient duplex that uses less than $100 per month in energy.  With the help of Scott Edwards Architecture, the team expanded tiny spaces and transformed the lower level to facilitate aging in place.

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Porch House Prefab by Lake Flato

San Antonio-based Lake|Flato, an architectural firm with several AIA COTE Top 10 green projects, this week announced its latest endeavor in the world of prefab with the Porch House.  Porch House is an eco-friendly home that combines factory-built modules and custom outdoor elements, such as porches, breezeways, carports, and terraces.  The result is a contemporary, site-specific, LEED-certified home that can be delivered in about six- to nine-months after the inception of design.

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Butterfly Roofline Prefab on Sauvie Island

Modern prefab in Oregon with butterfly roofline

This is one of the latest sustainable prefab homes from Seattle-based Stillwater Dwellings.  The home has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and 2,300 square feet with a signature soaring butterfly roofline, a great room, and 360-degree views of Sauvie Island, Mount St. Helen, Mount Hood, and Mount Rainier.  After solar panels are installed, the owners expect to submit paperwork in line with LEED Gold certification.

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Unity College Gets Passive Haus Building

The hottest building standard on the block, Passive House, moves to the realm of student housing in a new residence hall at Unity College called TerraHaus. TerraHaus is expected to be the first student residence in the country with Passive House certification and will house 10 students.

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