When Kam Kasravi and Connie Dewitt were faced with the decision on how to build a cabin on their woodland property in the Santa Cruz mountains they first considered buying a prefab house. But after realizing that there simply wasn’t enough room to bring in a prefab house down the narrow forest path that leads to their property, they started considering building the cabin out of recycled shipping containers. They enlisted the help of architect David Fenster of Modulus Architects, who designed for them the modern yet spacious shipping container cabin.
Last week, the Zero Net Energy (ZNE) house was unveiled in Clovis, California. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has a living area of 2,064 square-feet and was built as a join effort between BIRAenergy Consulting and De Young Properties. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) offered technical assistance to the builders in trying to find ways of getting the home to use only one-third of the energy needed for a house built to minimum code. ZNE House was built to become a model for future net zero homes in the area.
The house features numerous energy-efficiency improvements, which are in accordance with California’s Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. This plan stipulates that all new residential construction in California will be net-zero by the year 2020. The house will not be made available for purchase yet, as it will serve as a prototype to study how well it functions and what improvements have yet to be made.
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.