Non-profit Homeward Bound of Marin and California-based Blu Homes recently announced a partnership to build an affordable housing project for homeless families in Marin County. The Oma Village project will replace a former drug and alcohol rehabilitation center with a community of 14 net-zero energy one- and two-bedroom homes.
If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Majorca, Spain, just minutes from the center of Palma, there’s a posh-looking home built with shipping containers which is offered for rent through startup Airbnb. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom house has a kitchen, Japanese garden, washer/dryer, outdoor deck, and pool included in the rental from roughly $113 per night. It’s quite the awesome abode, from what I can tell of the pictures, and provides another example of what can be done with old shipping containers.
This is a floating home that is entirely self-sufficient and docked in Maastricht, Netherlands. Designed by Pieter Kromwijk and referred to as Autarkhome, the solar-powered project was built to the Passivhaus standard and is 10 times more energy efficient than the average dwelling of similar size.
This is Park Passivhaus in Somerville, Massachusetts. The home was designed to the German Passivhaus standard and is currently being built on an urban infill lot. With modern detailing, a slender structure, and a shapely New England form by Placetailor, also the builder, Park Passivhaus will incorporate a Zehnder HRV, two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim mini-splits, and a high performance envelope with an 18″ double-wall cavity, blown-in cellulose, Makrowin windows and doors, Fakro skylights, ZIP sheathing roof, Siga tapes, Siga-Majvest membrane, Cedar and Alucubond cladding, etc. This is an excellent project to track, especially if you’re interested in Passive House detail.
Today New Hampshire-based Bensonwood, an innovator in home building, announced the launch of a new brand of prefab homes called Unity Homes. With Unity Homes, the company expects to raise the bar for home construction without raising the price tag, too. There will be four diverse home collections — renderings of which are shown in this article — each with several configurations and two-four bedroom options, and all of the homes will use at least 50% (and up to 75%) less energy than a typical home on the market.
Turns out the Rhône Alpes team from France with the Canopea house won Solar Decathlon Europe held in Madrid. Their home is actually the top of a conceptual “Nanotower” that the team proposed to bring single-family style living back to the urban core. The top level acts like a rain forest’s canopy — hence the name — by collecting 95% of all solar energy and 30% of rainwater for the tower. Canopea was built of a prefab CORE, site-built SKIN, and a SHELL capable of off-site fabrication as well.