A couple months ago I mentioned the launch of Unity Homes, a new brand of prefab homes by Bensonwood, and this is the first Unity home. It’s located in Brattleboro, Vermont and the on-site assembly took just three days — with a weather-tight shell in two days. The Xyla plan has factory-built wall and roof panels that are wrapped and shipped vertically. The walls are guided in place with a crane and anchored, and then the roof panels are set. After that the crew works on taping seams, installing trim, and finishing the siding. It’s quite the process!
Laneway houses, like this one on 19th and Slocan, seem to flourish in Vancouver. This is another contemporary, small home by Lanefab, which is the firm behind the Mendoza and Net-Zero Solar laneway houses. The 800 square-foot home (including a 200 square-foot flex-garage) shelters a young couple that built the property on their parent’s property — an intergenerational phenomenon made possible with flexible laneway zoning.
The Solar Homestead by Appalachian State University was the People’s Choice winner in the Solar Decathlon 2011, and now virtually anyone in the world can get the same home from North Carolina-based Deltec Homes. Deltec, a pioneer of round prefab, will build and ship the self-sustaining home, and send royalties from their sales back to the university located in Boone. This is apparently “the first time a Decathlon winner is being made available to the consumer,” according to Deltec Homes.
Today New Hampshire-based Bensonwood, an innovator in home building, announced the launch of a new brand of prefab homes called Unity Homes. With Unity Homes, the company expects to raise the bar for home construction without raising the price tag, too. There will be four diverse home collections — renderings of which are shown in this article — each with several configurations and two-four bedroom options, and all of the homes will use at least 50% (and up to 75%) less energy than a typical home on the market.
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.
Marken Projects is working on another Passive House in British Columbia. This 3,500-square-foot home, made with a panelized prefab system like the Rainbow Duplex, will house two families and three generations under the same roof in Surrey, British Columbia. The aim is an affordable structure that uses 90% less energy for heating and cooling than a standard home. It’ll have triple-pane windows, an HRV, solar hot water, rainwater harvesting, no-VOC materials, and the ultra-efficient and airtight shell. Construction will take about five months, and I’ll provide an update with more detail at that time.