The Vicino House rests on a cliff overlooking about 180 degrees of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean. But the view isn’t the only thing worth mentioning with this gut renovation. In fact, the Pacific Palisades home achieved LEED Platinum certification and all electricity is provided by a 28-panel, 5.2 kW rooftop photovoltaic array. Two solar thermal panels provide about 70% of the domestic hot water needs.
The average American will produce something like 20 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year; however, in Sweden the average amount is something like six-eight tons (or tonnes) per year. So when several companies join forces to put a four-person Swedish family on one-ton-per-year lifestyle, perhaps there might be something for us to learn from the experiment. That experiment is the One Tonne Life project.
Following on the heels of the successful launch of La Boite, Mark Meyer and Austin-based designSTUDIO designed and built another container-based eatery. SushiBOX just opened at 2nd and Congress in downtown Austin, so you’ll want to drop by if in the area. The re-purposed container features bio-based spray foam insulation, rainwater HOGs, and some nifty waterjet-cut details. Executive Chef Ben Crockett leads the sushi-making experience and there’s already one positive review on Yelp.
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.