With the European counterpart to the Solar Decathlon now complete, the team from University of Florida walks away as winner of the Internet Award based on online voting open during the competition. Their home, Project RE:FOCUS, blends three elements from historic Florida houses — a covered open porch, a breezeway oriented to prevailing winds, and a porous breathable skin — in a striking way.
This tiny house — the L41 House — has been sneaking around the internet over the past few months. It was on display at the Vancouver Olympics and visitors seemed to take a liking to the 220-square-foot beauty. Designed by Michael Katz and Janet Corne, L41 House is small, energy efficient, and sacrifices nothing but extraneous space.
Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture recently let us know of a newly completed Passive House in Borlänge, Sweden. It’s beautiful, prefabricated, contemporary, and, stating the obvious, circular. The 1,700 square-foot home features an interior atrium, lake-facing kitchen and living room, and more private bedrooms and bathrooms on the other side of the home.
If you've been to Bend, Oregon — smack dab in the center of the state on the dry side — you know it's a cool place with a ton of outdoor, vacation, and eco-friendly options. That's why the owners of this vacation rental, Helios NW Eco-House, decided to go ahead and earn LEED Gold certification. It's actually, according to the owners' research, the first vacation rental home in the state to receive this level of certification.
Last year we mentioned this ultra-green Active House in Denmark. Even with all the windows, it's paradoxically efficient enough to capture more energy than the occupants need for heat and power. In fact, over 40 years, the idea is that surplus energy will offset the energy required for construction and materials, too. It's a step beyond zero net energy or even Passive House.
If you liked the Ultimate Desert House, you’ll probably have some interest in this PopUp House from House Port. Pictured is a prototype of the PopUp House in Petaluma, California, which was built with SIPs and a metal house port. The actual home is shaded by a galvanized roof for natural ventilation, and the company has designs for one or two cube installations.