A couple months ago I mentioned the launch of Unity Homes, a new brand of prefab homes by Bensonwood, and this is the first Unity home. It’s located in Brattleboro, Vermont and the on-site assembly took just three days — with a weather-tight shell in two days. The Xyla plan has factory-built wall and roof panels that are wrapped and shipped vertically. The walls are guided in place with a crane and anchored, and then the roof panels are set. After that the crew works on taping seams, installing trim, and finishing the siding. It’s quite the process!
This week the father of tiny housing and founder of The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, Jay Shafer, resigned from Tumbleweed and started a new company called Four Lights Tiny House Company. Shafer started Four Lights for “more freedom and more manageability,” according to a statement published on The Tiny Life. At Four Lights, Shafer will roll out building workshops, a tiny house village, and portable house plans ranging in size from 100 to 500 square feet.
These are Greenway Townhouses designed by Arbor South Architecture and built by Arbor South Construction (the same group behind The Sage, a high-scoring LEED Platinum project in Eugene). Construction just barely finished, and Arbor South will now focus on renting the 11 units of about 950 square feet each. Greenway Townhouses have been certified Earth Advantage Platinum, according to Bill Randall, principal at Arbor South, and will target LEED Gold certification.
Here’s a cool renovation project recently featured on NBC’s Today Show in the sub-$250,000 spotlight. Originally built in the 1950s, the home was redesigned by The Ranch Mine, one of the firms behind the NAHB’s Green Remodel of the Year last year, and is located historic North Encanto area in central Phoenix. The exterior has bold, yellow accents mixed with a low-maintenance and low-water desert landscape, and the interior is finished with existing saltillo tile, contemporary white and grey paint, and an open layout.
Little House on the Trailer is a Petaluma-based company that provides affordable, energy-efficient, and “substantially constructed” houses for today’s mobile home buyers. For example, the company currently has a “Barn Siding Studio” available for immediate delivery for $24,000. The 200 square-foot studio was built on wheels and finished with reclaimed redwood planks. Marin County treats the structure as a shed, according to Little House on the Trailer, but it can be used as an office, backyard retreat, etc.
You may recall a practical green prefab by SMPLy Mod that we featured about a year ago. This duplex is by the same design firm, SMPL Design Studio (Joel Tanner), with new partners 9 Dot Engineering and Mod Home Developments. The team employed modular construction to finish the duplex at 133 Moyle, and the homes perform quite well for being so far north: they require 55% less energy for heating and power.