One of the entries to this years Solar Decathlon competition is the so-called FluxHome project, envisioned and designed by a team of University of Southern California students. Their 1,000-square-foot solar-powered entry will be controlled by a single iPad. This ability to control all the complicated automation systems of this sustainable home offers the team an edge in the competition. FluxHome also uses the advantage of ample sunlight of the Southern California region to improve the indoor quality of life in this home.
Designed by Feldman Architecture and located in Menlo Park, California, this 2 bar house is not only cost-efficient, but is also a renovation of an old home that incorporated a variety of sustainable materials and systems. Designed for a family of four, the open floor plan accommodates their love for spending as much time as possible in the outdoors.
Located in the gorgeously serene Big Sur mountains of California, this green-roofed Hawk House is only 90 square feet and seven-by-nine feet in size. Architect Alex Wyndham created the cabana entirely out of timber and redwood bark, providing a tiny, cozy space that blends seamlessly with nature and maintains a virtually insignificant footprint.
If you want something more in a chicken coop, we know of a few stylish options. Like Moop, for example, the Modern Coop for Design-Minded Chickens. This is designed by prefab and architecture firm Nottoscale and includes four cantilevered nesting boxes, hinged side-panel walls for easy access, a redwood screen for ventilation, a removable tray for easy cleaning, predator-proof latches, extra-strength chicken wire, and custom watering accessories. Moop is priced with one run ($600) or two runs ($800), and the water accessories sell for $95 each.
Zero Cottage — a net-zero energy project pursuing Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, Green Point Rated, and Passive House certifications — is finishing nicely. Part of the exterior has a handsome rainscreen of vertical cedar battens and salvaged maple flooring. The maple strips were charred with a roofing torch shou sugi ban-, or yakisugi-, style for longevity and aesthetics. The result is a clean and modern look.
This 1,200 square-foot home was built with six used shipping containers in Felton, California. Designed by Modulus, the home was the subject of a 2012 Citation Award from the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the AIA. The architect camped on the site to study light and other characteristics, according to Dwell, and designed the layout to reduce construction grading. The containers were left exposed but painted, and the walls were covered with drywall for a clean interior look. Inside, an atrium was used for light and to radiate heat throughout the home.