[Run time: 54:30 min.] I was reading the Scobleizer and found a fairly substantial video interview with Toby Long, founder of the San Francisco-based, design-build firm CleverHomes. Cleverhomes is one of those companies swimming upstream in a construction river of anti-progress, anti-innovation, and staunch traditionalism. I love the Scoble laugh, seriously, it makes the interview pretty good. Long talks about the interface of technology + construction, or what I’m calling Construction 2.0, with an added dimension of sustainability. Going forward, the environmental consequences associated with construction need to be figured into a given project’s analysis. He also mentions structural insulated panels (SIPs), building information modeling (BIM), sustainability, and modern vernacular. Get past the beginning and give it go…
Jeriko is Different… Design… Strength… Green… Flexibility… Living. Jeriko House: It Lives in you
Jeriko is Different… Design… Strength… Green… Flexibility… Living. Jeriko House: It Lives in you. Today, New Orleans-based CEO of Jeriko House, Shawn Burst, announced his company’s plans to enter the modular/prefab home building market with 5 different models (each with an infinite number of configurations). Burst teamed up with a German engineer to use a patented, interlocking aluminum framing system–one that is strong enough to meet the strictest U.S. earthquake and hurricane building codes. The plumbing, appliances, lighting, hardware, interior finishes, and exterior cladding are all integrated into an advanced structural system through the collaborative efforts of a team and network of design/construction professionals. Starting at $175 per square foot, a Jeriko House will have such luxuries as Asian teak wood finishes, coconut skin walls, Indian rosewood door handles and stone, and marble + ceramics from around the globe. Homes will also include "biometric systems and homeowner-friendly technology." Bourne-style, I presume.
The first home will be completed in New Orleans and the company anticipates orders of 100 more relatively soon. Actually, they’re taking orders right now for May delivery. Their website says a purchaser is responsible for permits, site work, foundation, plumbing, electrical, HVAC rough in, and landscaping. Shipping is included in the cost of the home, and Jeriko will help you build it.
Straight from the website: "We feel it is our duty at Jeriko House to take a leading role in the efforts to save our planet. Sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness are at the core of our beliefs. With a R&D team searching the globe for the latest and greatest green innovations and technology Jeriko will fulfill its roll as a socially responsible company at the forefront of the Green Revolution." I like what Jeriko’s saying, but we can’t forget that acting locally, rather than globally, has its green benefits as well. Also, take a look at today’s press release. For every 10 houses sold, those 10 owners form a committee that votes to give a Jeriko House to a family in need somewhere in the U.S. I think Jeriko is taking an innovative perspective to all facets of the business and can’t wait to see the first home! Maybe I’ll just drive down and see it when they’re done.
It looks like LivingHomes is lighting up the blogosphere again with more news. I’ve talked about Living Homes here + here, and I really like the company, big-time. So there are a few tidbits of news that you may find interesting: (1) LivingHomes has committed to make all its homes LEED Silver, at a minimum, and will work with owners to pay for certification costs, and (2) LivingHomes has entered into a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) to take some proceeds from LivingHomes sales and put them into a fund for affordable green home communities. So we see LivingHomes expanding its target consumer base to allow for broader adoption due to possibly lower prefab costs–that said, these are green, architect-designed homes that command a price premium.
Interestingly, you’ll also find Ray Kappe’s second design (RK2) on the newly redesigned LivingHomes webpage. Pictured above, RK2 will be LEED Silver (Total Points = 50.5) and will have the following green benefits: yearly energy savings enough to power the home for 2 months; yearly water savings enough to fill 2 swimming pools; 80% of construction waste diverted from landfills; and 67% construction from recyclable materials. It will be about 2,215 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. RK2 looks to be the perfect fit for large lots with expansive views. It will include an interior garden as well.
I was in Utah over the weekend for Equity Green‘s wedding. He’s a real estate tax guy named Garrett, so visit the archives if you want to learn about green real estate from that perspective. While in town, I picked up Utah Business magazine, which included an article on the state’s 2007 Economic Forecast, and I noticed a list of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies [Registration required]. Guess who was on the list as the state’s #22 fastest growing companies? 3Form. The magazine says 3Form is company that "creates resin products for design and construction industries." More specifically, 3Form is committed to environmental solutions for their industry and was recognized by BuildingGreen in 2006, for having a Top-10 Green Building Product. I’ve written about both 3Form and the Top-10 Green Building Products list previously at the links above.
Guest post contributed by Chris Hurst, President/Contractor at Hurst Construction since 1986. Over the past five years, I’ve focused on energy-efficient construction, passive solar design, and sustainable construction; here are a few observations on the green building movement from a nuts and bolts, contractor’s perspective.
Challenge #1: Lack of Knowledge and/or Awareness
The average consumer, architect, or designer has no clue what I am talking about when I describe energy-efficient, sustainable construction. To build a super-insulated passive house is not really difficult–sure it costs more, but the payback averages about 5 years for the extra cost. Then you’re insulated from future energy price hikes (i.e., you can pay me a little bit more now or the utility/oil company can take a lot more for the rest of your life!).