The mkSolaire is currently the featured attraction at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) as part of the Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibition. As you can tell from the above video, it’s a prefab that includes cutting-edge green materials, energy efficient systems, a living roof, and a smart technology system. I love those rectangular, green tiles in the bathroom — check it out.
Thanks in part to the recent launch of FreeGreen, I think I’ve found the green house of my dreams. The home rendered above and below is called the Smart Box and it’s a stunner. Designed by FreeGreen, Smart Box is the newest free home plan that’s going to be available from the website in the next couple weeks. Smart Box was designed for practically any climate and can range in size from 1000 – 2200 sf. In addition, the plans will identify do-it-yourself type opportunities so that you can find ways to do more on a tighter budget.
The fulcrum of the green building revolution, I think, is conservation and living happily with less. It’ll be interesting to see how we get there, to see if we can live lighter. In the meantime, I like to monitor small projects to see what piques the interest of crowds. Lately Abōd® has been getting some quality attention. Abōd was honored by the AIA this year with a Small Project Award. The AIA explained the concept: "The design goal was to develop a breakthrough in value-engineered lowest cost housing with an extensive array of add-on options to personalize each home. The resulting design incorporating the Catenary arch is simple and structurally sound but also aesthetically pleasing and can be built by 4 people in just one day with only a screwdriver and an awl."
I pulled out the April issue of Dwell this weekend and noticed an ad for the Énóvo House. My interest was piqued by reading the copy, so I went online to research more. There’s a website for the Énóvo House, which is currently being built just north of Montreal. But from my research, the Énóvo name seems to represent something bigger — the idea that a green, modular home can evolve with the needs of the owner. According to the website, Énóvo can be adapted to most any terrain, and because it’s configured by modules, the design can morph according to the various particularities of an owner’s life and needs.
Architect Michelle Kaufmann has made a big splash in Chicago this week during the opening of her Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. The PrairieMod crew and myself were fortunate enough to be able to spend the past two days previewing the home and are excited to share some details with you. If you’re interested, feel free to check out our podcast interview with Michelle where she explains how the project came to be and the 5 eco-principles utilized by her firm.
The showcase "Smart Home" is Kaufmann’s mkSolaire plan, which is designed for a city lot and has a loft-like feeling to it. Its goal is to address the space challenges found with infill lots and standard row home configurations. The brilliant thing about this exhibit is that it is fully functional, not just a shadow of what the design could be. And in case you’re wondering, the house will be dismantled after the exhibit closes in January 2009.
This clever little house caught my eye the other day. Designed by architect Matthew Woodruff, The Gulf Islands House was completed a couple years ago in what seems to be quite the serene location. It’s a cozy second home that was built as an escape of sorts for Woodruff’s family. I’m not sure the owners were trying to set any green building records with the home, but the two-bedroom pad has some green features we can all appreciate, such as its solar orientation and design, small footprint, and use of locally harvested materials. The minimalist design seems to create just the right space for congregating with the family, too.