The Graham Residence, a desert prefab that we previewed last February, is now complete. The Blue Sky Homes project is located in Yucca Valley and was designed by o2 Architecture. Solterra Development was the general contractor and completed the kit home with a galvanized, light-gauge steel frame and several energy-efficient elements.
California-based ZETA Communities recently announced a new project worth noting. It’s an affordable, net-zero energy community with 22 starter homes in Stockton, California called Tierra del Sol. ZETA says the homes are being built in Sacramento in an off-site fabrication process that results in higher quality, faster construction, lower first costs, and lower operating costs.
This new home supports the notion that a Passive House doesn’t need to look a certain way. It turns out that a Passive House (certification pending in this case) can take on a what’s being referred to as a “mission revival style.” Called Menlo Passive, this “Old World,” luxury home was built by California-based Clarum Homes, a builder of high performance custom homes, and is currently listed for sale at the price of $2,695,000.
Fireclay Tile, manufacturer of Express and Debris tile, recently introduced a new line of 100% recycled-content, glass tile called Crush. Fireclay acquired the technology to make Crush from Sandhill Industries (Idaho) and now makes the eco-friendly product in California with locally-sourced, pre-consumer window glass. Crush is available in gloss or matte finishes in 40 colors and 17 sizes. In addition, it’s fit for both residential and commercial applications and may contribute to various LEED credits.
KB Home recently unveiled one of the largest communities of LEED Platinum homes in Playa Vista, California. Called Primera Terra, the community has 52 luxury condos certified to green building standards and each home will have an Energy Performance Guide sticker. These homes are about 40% more efficient than Title 24 standards and could cost as low as $57 per month on heating and cooling.
Encino-based Cyber-Rain, maker of what the company calls a “sprinkler controller with a brain,” recently introduced a new feature that gives users the ability to monitor and control landscape watering from the cloud. The Cyber-Rain controller works similar to, for example, a Rainbird or Orbit system, except an owner can control sprinklers, manually run valves, and check watering activity from a computer or through a free iPhone app.