Austin-based documentary filmmaker and instructional designer Jim Bruno was kind enough to tell me about his new short film entitled “Louis Burns & Austin Tiny House.” The subject is Louis Burns and his reflections building a tiny house. Burns built the minimalist, Spartan space in a plug-and-play style — all it needs is a heavy-duty extension cord and garden hose.
With design costs, build costs, land acquisition, and everything else, homes are expensive. Add a layer to that, that homes be sustainable, or somewhat “green,” and they get more expensive. Yet folks want these homes to be cut-rate affordable. It’s tough to do and a new modern home in Columbia, South Carolina, perhaps gives us an idea of what an affordable, light green home could look like.
ECO Modern Flats is undergoing a transformation right now in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The multifamily project was built 40 years ago, but that’s not stopping developers from renovating the place to anticipated LEED Gold level certification. And they’re doing it with a modern, yet attainable, approach, too.
This Berkeley tiny house has been getting a fair amount of attention recently. Built by New Avenue, Inc., the 420 square-foot backyard cottage is spacious enough to include a living room, kitchen, dining area, loft, and bathroom. It was built for $98,000, which includes all the bells and whistles one could ask for in any home regardless of size.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Thomas McGrath, owner of this gut-rehab in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Before talking, I figured the home was like many others seeking LEED Platinum certification. It has energy-efficient appliances, modern finishes, and on-site green power. But there’s really a lot more to it. This is a fascinating case study of salvage and reuse.
About a year ago we mentioned the construction of the H4 prototype home by BRIO54. The development firm describes the modern residence as a work of art — bright, spacious, natural, and functional — that you get the opportunity to live in. Indeed, it’s a fascinating home with a bold exterior of black and white stripes, state-of-the-art green finishes, and a minimalist yet cozy form of interior design.