In the past few weeks, the Brad Pitt Make It Right foundation in New Orleans has been blanketed with all sorts of good press. The USGBC declared Make It Right to be the "largest and greenest single family community in the world." One of the newest homes in this green community is the FLOAT House by Morphosis Architects, which was designed and built under the direction of Thom Mayne and with the help of numerous UCLA graduate students. The FLOAT House is a prototype for prefab affordable housing that is adaptable to flood zones worldwide.
Green building certification is an interesting phenomenon. It’s meant to convey a message about the building’s level of “green” or “sustainability,” but the message is only as strong as the system that creates it. If you push beyond that message, you might ask: how many of these certified buildings are, say, positive energy? That’s the goal of Elithis Tower recently opened in Dijon, France. It has 1,600 sensors that examine energy and emissions. This information is then displayed on a special public sign in full transparency for everyone to see. The sign is both dynamic and clear.
If you're reading this and you live somewhere in the area of 118 Areys Lane, Orleans, Massachusetts, you should go check out a house that we previously mentioned. You remember the Modern Lake House? The home was designed by Zero Energy Design and built by Cape Associates. With the red and orange exterior, it looks a touch loud, but it's still a stunner. What do you think? ZED will be on site today from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday, October 3, 2009.
Today at West Coast Green 2009, Green Horizon showcased their new SFH40 on-demand housing, and it's an impressive unit. Designed to be a self-sustaining home for a family of four, it can be shipped anywhere in the world in a standard shipping container and set up in less than two hours by unskilled people. Each unit has two bedrooms with built in furniture, a bathroom, and a kitchen area. But it's also designed to be a self-sustaining shelter in the aftermath of a disaster when infrastructure may be damaged, so it includes solar panels and batteries, a bio-diesel generator as backup, and water purification equipment. Units can be interconnected to share power and water.
Earlier this year, the OC Register highlighted one company's efforts to transform unused warehouse space in Santa Ana, California. Orange County based Marketing Via Postal Group, Inc. needed offices for their new warehouse and decided to reuse 10 twenty-foot shipping containers as offices and a kitchen. MVP's employees did the work and the container spaces now have porthole windows, office furniture, plants, and bathrooms/sinks.
This summer Gerding Edlen Development opened a 51-unit apartment building in Portland, Oregon called The 20 on Hawthorne. The 20 is over 50% leased already and LEED Silver certification is pending. Homes range in price from $900-$2,500 and in size from 502 to 968 square feet. Perhaps more interestingly, though, this building has a stackable, automated parking system that fetches cars in about 30-40 seconds on average. It's pretty cool to watch.