The Spanish architecture studio Abaton has developed a simple housing unit, the design of which was inspired by shipping container homes. The largest home in the company’s APH80 series, also known as Transportable House (Casa Transportable) as it is called, measures 27 square meters (9mx3m), and consists of 3 different spaces, namely a living room/kitchen, a bathroom, with a full, shower and a double bedroom, with a bed included. The house also has a gabled roof, which is 3.5 meters high and provides an added sense of spaciousness.
JAYZ Building Solutions of Melbourne Australia have come up with an innovative solution for providing modular, prefab homes. They have recently launched the fully transportable InstantSlide house model, which is part of the company’s latest series of SMART2 (Superfast + Modular + Affordable + Robust + Transportable) accommodation buildings. Most of their designs cater to companies wishing to provide temporary housing for their staff on remote locations, such as on mining sites for example, while they also provide single-family modular homes.
The first team from the Czech Republic to enter the Solar Decathlon is Team CTU, made up of 26 students who set their sights on designing and building a prototype for future housing while raising awareness of solar energy, energy efficiency, and Czech architecture and engineering.
Their submission in the Solar Decathlon 2013, for which judging takes place in October 2013 in Irvine, California, is AIR House, which stands for Affordable – Innovative – Recyclable. Utilizing energy effective materials and technologies, AIR House provides a comfortable environment for older generations that appeals to the senses and respects the environment.
One of four teams that are representing California in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, Team USC (from the University of Southern California) will be submitting its fluxHome, a net zero prototype, as an entry in the competition to be held in October 2013 in Irvine, California.
fluxHome reimagines the suburban tract home in an energy efficient and affordable combination of smart home technologies with readily available and customizable components that can serve as a single family residence for up to four people or be adapted to other lifestyle scenarios.
The first city-wide collegiate team to be formed in Washington, D.C. and compete in the Solar Decathlon is Team Capitol DC, made up of students and faculty mentors from Catholic University, American University, and George Washington University. Their entry is HARVEST HOME, taking its name from its harvesting of natural resources, and is designed to meet the needs of a wounded veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who will live in the home after the competition.
In August 2013, Green Builder Magazine showcased the best durable/sustainable green building products that are made in the United States, pointing out that American manufacturing creates domestic jobs, reduces the impact of overseas shipping, and often makes use of locally-sourced raw materials.
Among the thirty-one products featured was the Xero Flor Green Roof System (the only green roof system to be included in the issue), which enables builders to create vegetative roofing on surfaces that range from 0 to 45 degree slopes. The Xero Flor system comprises a pre-vegetated mat, XeroTerr growing medium (a mix of compost and porous mineral aggregate), a retention fleece that distributes and stores water within the root zone, drain mat, and root barrier.