There's a conundrum in the green building world that a lot of people are working on. They're trying to figure out how to building homes that are both sustainable and affordable — homes that most of us can approach. I could rattle off a list of folks working on this, and Habitat for Humanity would certainly be at the top. We just mentioned how a Michigan branch of Habitat for Humanity designed and built a LEED Platinum affordable home; and now according to The Oregonian, two Habitat homes in Portland are seeking LEED Platinum certification. The goal with these homes, like the Michigan home, was to test out various green strategies and technology for affordability. Here's a little more background:
It's fascinating to see the many and various forms created by prefab construction. In this case, Live Edge and Paul Discoe are using a Japanese post and beam system of construction (see bottom two images) to create somewhat traditional (but clean) and warm prefab homes. These homes are absolutely beautiful and built using reclaimed urban trees, which are removed for disease, storm damage, danger of falling, or construction clearing, etc. The home pictured above is Live Edge's one-bedroom prototype, and the one immediately below is a two-bedroom home.
This classic American home is the end result of smart planning, high performance materials, and passive design techniques. Designed on a $100,000 dollar budget by the Michigan firm of Dominick Tringali Architects, the project is set to be a prototype for the next generation of Habitat for Humanity homes. Lets take a closer look…
Design/build firm Aquidneck Fine Properties is getting ready for their next project called Swede Hill. Designed by Estes/Twombly, the green home will be planted on an incredible patch of ocean-front land on Block Island, Rhode Island. Aquidneck is seeking LEED Silver for the 3000 square foot home, which will be complete a little over a year from now. I thought it would be nice to preview Swede Hill, since many of our readers favor the less modern of green homes. In any event, here are some of the planned green features:
If you didn’t already know, or couldn’t already tell, we’re seriously interested in the prefab world. Showing off new companies and innovative homes is what we do, so it’s our pleasure to talk about a relatively new company on the scene: Stillwater Dwellings. The Seattle-based company was founded by two architects and one builder/developer about eight months ago, and they’re going to break ground on the first home in Bend, Oregon this month. Stillwater put a lot of work into elucidating the “all-in” construction costs of a home, and they’re targeting prices in the range of $130 – 195 psf — quite competitive really for the prefab market. They also have a refreshing philosophy about how to do things; these are their fundamental beliefs:
This is the Wedge House or Metheny Residence, which was designed by Studio B and built by BuildSense. You wouldn't know it just by looking, but the home gets its prominent wedge roof by resting on top of three, factory-built modules — naturally, one module on one side and two on the other. The 1,829 square foot house was designed with an efficient envelope using 2×6 wall framing and high performance doors and windows. But before even getting to that, the architect made sure to properly orient the place and provide shade with friendly overhangs.