The San Francisco based studio, Klopf architecture, in collaboration with mechanical engineering firm Monterey Energy Group has successfully completed a net-zero energy house in Cupertino, California. The renovation of the existing home on the site was aimed towards scoring as high as possible on the “GreenPoint Rated System.” The result is a two-story home that is filled with natural light and is capable of producing as much energy as it requires. The net-zero status of the home was achieved through features such as insulated concrete forms, structural insulated panels, high-performance windows, cementations siding and a rooftop-mounted solar photovoltaic array.
Designers Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann from Denmark have come up with an innovative way to produce affordable housing for people living in cities. Rents in most major cities have gone through the roof in recent years, and more and more often the solution is micro housing, as well as more lenient zoning laws. But in their micro-apartment plans, the two Danish designers have gone a step further and eliminated the need for even needing vacant land for the new houses to be built on. Their innovative infill concepts are designed so that the micro-houses they propose can fit in the residual spaces between existing buildings, while still letting in plenty of natural light and being quite spacious.
Jeffery, a homebuilder specializing in using only natural materials for his construction projects, recently completed a tiny house in the woods. His main goals were to construct a house that was comfortable to live in and cheap to built, and made from materials destined for the landfill as much as possible. The cabin he built contains a bed, desk and a small wood stove. It is intended to serve mainly as a shelter, and therefore encourage the occupant to go out and enjoy nature.
The future Earthship residents Kris Plantz and Nicole Bennett, along with a group of enthusiastic volunteer helpers, have been busy constructing the first Earthship home in Manitoba, Canada for over a year. Their future off-the-grid, eco-friendly home will be made from mainly earth, concrete and recycled materials such as old tires, pop cans and glass bottles.
Why not build a prefab almost entirely out of reclaimed materials? That’s what Reclaimed Space founder Tracen Gardner wants to do. Mr. Gardner was in between contracting jobs and began constructing a portable building using primarily reclaimed materials. In the process, he liked what he was doing so much that he decided to create Reclaimed Space to continue building modular, passively-designed cabins. To start off with, the company will build spaces from 240 square feet and at prices in the range of $115 to $160 psf (min. $25k).
I was blown away by Alberto Mozó‘s simple and clean design for the Edificio BIP Computers building in Santiago de Chile. It’s an unassuming three-story structure built on a lot that’s zoned to allow a larger structure of up to twelve stories in height. Knowing that the building may not last very long (due to the favorable location and zoning), the design makes use of standard-sized, laminated timber beams that can be dismounted and used to reconstruct the entire building somewhere else. Mozo calls the idea "transitivity" — designing structures that can be easily broken down and reconstructed elsewhere.