As of this writing, this new book about ultra-green prefab homes is #1 on Amazon in the Sustainable & Green Design and Energy Efficient Design categories of books. With Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid, author Sheri Koones advances the green prefab movement with a discussion of 32 energy-efficient prefabricated homes using more than 200 photographs and sidebar detail of various construction elements.
This is Grow Community near downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island in Washington. The first three model homes — Ocean, Everett, and Aria — are finished and work is moving forward for the next 24 homes and two 10-unit rowhouse apartments. The eight-acre project is the first residential One Planet Community in North America (issued by U.K. non-profit BioRegional). However, in addition to this recognition, the aim is net-zero homes and an entirely net-zero energy community by 2020.
This is VOLKsHouse, and it’s a prototype for an affordable, net-zero energy family home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In terms of achievements, the home carries an Emerald rating from NAHB and is also the first certified Passive House on the New Mexico market. The project was developed by investor Bob Schneck, Certified Passive House Consultant Jonah Stanford and architect Vahid Mojarrab, all with MoSA Architects, as part of a Passive House Initiative which includes a linked home and office condo called the Balance House.
Jason Peacock has plans for a solar-powered cluster of compact homes on a plot of land in Wiscasset, northeast of Portland, Maine. The first house is complete — the Souler House — and it’s a 950-square-foot contemporary abode covered with a grid-tied 3.6 kW array. Peacock designed and built the home, and he’s also renting it out on VRBO for anywhere from $700 – $1000 per week, depending on the season.
When I mentioned a project by students aiming to build the greenest house in Canada (by means of the Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum certification), I noted that students planned to use “prefabricated straw bale walls.” It turns out they finished this portion of the project using BioSIPs from NatureBuilt Wall Systems in Ontario, Canada.
This is a net-zero energy showhouse in the Belgravia neighborhood of Edmonton. The home, built by Effect Home Builders, has been open on Sundays and displays the solar-powered approach to reducing the use of fossil fuels. A massive rooftop solar array feeds energy into the grid and produces as much energy as will be needed on an annual basis. In addition, the home has several other green aspects.