This 566-square foot modern home sits on an infill lot in Toronto and has been getting a lot of attention in the last few months. That’s partially in response to the design and maybe some general interest in small homes — this one is roomy for an urban condo but small for a single-family house. The owner, Patrick Flynn, wanted something modern, low-maintenance, and minimalist and this place is all of those things.
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.
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.
This Berkeley tiny house has been getting a fair amount of attention recently. Built by New Avenue, Inc., the 420 square-foot backyard cottage is spacious enough to include a living room, kitchen, dining area, loft, and bathroom. It was built for $98,000, which includes all the bells and whistles one could ask for in any home regardless of size.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Thomas McGrath, owner of this gut-rehab in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Before talking, I figured the home was like many others seeking LEED Platinum certification. It has energy-efficient appliances, modern finishes, and on-site green power. But there’s really a lot more to it. This is a fascinating case study of salvage and reuse.