California-based ZETA Communities recently announced a new project worth noting. It’s an affordable, net-zero energy community with 22 starter homes in Stockton, California called Tierra del Sol. ZETA says the homes are being built in Sacramento in an off-site fabrication process that results in higher quality, faster construction, lower first costs, and lower operating costs.
This new home supports the notion that a Passive House doesn’t need to look a certain way. It turns out that a Passive House (certification pending in this case) can take on a what’s being referred to as a “mission revival style.” Called Menlo Passive, this “Old World,” luxury home was built by California-based Clarum Homes, a builder of high performance custom homes, and is currently listed for sale at the price of $2,695,000.
This is The Boneyard House, a beautiful home in Washington, by architect and builder Dirk Nelson and Free Range Building Company. It’s luxurious and a patchwork of salvaged materials – railroad bridge trestles, crane rails, old mill wooden beams, reclaimed steel light posts, and reused barn and homestead timbers.
There’s some interesting history to this net-zero energy home in Lenado, Colorado. Apparently, a “cranky,” gun-totting squatter named Jack Hogue, or “Lumber Jack,” built a cabin and bathhouse near the top of Woody Creek and took title by adverse possession in the 1990s, after 17 years. Branden Cohen and Deva Shantay of True Nature Healing Arts bought the place from Lumber Jack and improved it, but at 8,650 feet in elevation, it turns out they needed, among other things, a bathroom *in* the home, not out.
Today Stillwater Dwellings announced the completion of another green prefab, which is located in Southern Utah near Capitol Reef National Park. It’s a beautiful home that’s constructed to the same building codes as a typical home, but it’s not typical. In fact, this is an impressive case study of some of the benefits of off-site construction — construction in a controlled environment, preservation of the site by avoiding on-site construction, and use of prefabrication to overcome labor, costs, and site challenges.
KB Home recently unveiled one of the largest communities of LEED Platinum homes in Playa Vista, California. Called Primera Terra, the community has 52 luxury condos certified to green building standards and each home will have an Energy Performance Guide sticker. These homes are about 40% more efficient than Title 24 standards and could cost as low as $57 per month on heating and cooling.