Here’s the story: A handful of entrepreneurs nurtured a graduate school business plan into an actual company called PFNC Global Communities. The acronym stands for “por fin, nuestra casa,” which is translated as “finally, a home of our own.” PFNC’s purpose is to convert shipping containers into affordable housing for those who most desperately need it around the globe.
A few months ago, I became interested in Samsø after reading Elizabeth Kolbert's column in The New Yorker entitled The Island in the Wind. Then, just this week, I noticed a photo essay of Samsø in The Guardian with pictures from Nicky Bonne. What's interesting about Samsø is that it's a producer of energy — the entire island produces more energy from renewables than it uses. They sell the rest and have been doing so since 2003.
I’ve been intrigued by ZEDfactory ever since I first started seeing their homes and designs. The three letters "ZED", which stand for Zero Energy Development, seem to show up in all ZEDfactory designs. But I must admit: their designs have a certain whimsical, if not playful, look. That’s no big deal, though, because future solutions are going to look different. Certainly, ZEDfactory is serious when it comes to pushing the envelope towards sustainable housing options. The above and below RuralZED was on display earlier this year at EcoBuild in Earls Court, London. To be clear, RuralZED is more than a house, it’s a system for developing zero carbon, zero energy, healthy homes.