Marc Rutenberg, the CEO of the Florida company Marc Rutenberg Homes, has recently successfully designed and built a luxury home that complies with and even surpasses all Energy Star standards and is LEED Platinum certified. The Castaway III, as the house is called, measures 4,552-square feet, which is about 3,100 square feet larger than the average zero-energy home. This house proves that there is no need to sacrifice comfort and luxury to reduce one’s carbon footprint.
Early last month, Canada got its first recycled shipping container housing development. It is located in the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver, at 502 Alexander St. The housing project was developed by Atira Women’s Resource Society, which wanted to create affordable and quality non-market housing units to be rented out to older women.
The housing development is comprised of 12 studio units, each with a net living area of 280 – 290 square feet. All of the units are entirely self-contained, complete with bathrooms, kitchens and an in-suite laundry. With its colorful navy blue and burnt orange exterior walls, the housing blends in perfectly with the other building in the neighborhood.
The Philadelphia home builders John Westrum Homes have recently built a model modular home in Seaside Heights, NJ, the area where last year’s hurricane Sandy destroyed or damaged 2,200 of 2,400 bungalows and homes. The prototype was constructed to exceed post-hurricane Sandy construction standards of modular components.
Shipping Containers will be used in a luxury multifamily home build; the site of construction is located in Detroit and will start in early 2013. Recycling 93 Shipping containers, this project is thought to be the first in the US and the hope is to easily replicate the build.
Three Squared Inc (environmental consulting firm) is the company behind the Rosa Parks condo project and it was designed by local architect Steven Flum. The containers will be converted and stacked to make a 4 story dwelling which will make 20 separate liveable units, each with ducted reverse cycle air and tankless water heating. The actual construction time per unit and cost efficiencies make this project attractive, though the total costs will be a test as to the feasibility of future multifamily container home projects.
This is an interesting project, as it will offer a significant price reduction on singular dwelling container home projects. We will follow this closely and keep you updated on the progress when more information is released.
Popular Science just published an interesting roundup of green communities in an article now titled, "Nine of the World's Most Promising Carbon-Neutral Communities." You'll recognize several of these communities as we've mentioned them previously. What's important is the notion that reducing an environmental impact can be ultra effective when done on a large scale.