When you think of manufactured homes, you might think of the ranch house with vinyl siding that you gingerly pass on the interstate as it travels on the back of a wide-load truck. You might also think about a LEED Platinum home and imagine a roof spotted with photovoltaic panels, windmill in the front yard, and geothermal dug deep into the ground. The newest offering from New World Home turns both of these ideas on their heads.
This modern, award-winning abode is the first LEED Platinum home in Virginia. Located at 5803 16th Street North in Arlington, the home was built by Metro Green and designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects (the firm that also designed the popular net-zero energy Bright Built Barn). Although it’s a little bigger than the ones we tend to mention — 3,825 square feet with a tight footprint — I think the home is worth mentioning for a number of reasons. First, annual heating and cooling costs are $180 and $125 respectively! In addition, 5803 has the following green elements:
This exciting new line of prefab houses comes to us from Bensonwood Homes, based out of Walpole, New Hampshire. Their Unity House, a Unity2 model built for the president of Unity College, has achieved a LEED platinum rating, making it one of a select group of homes around the country to reach such a lofty goal. And the small design-build company debuts not one, two, or even three, but four stunning models to the sustainable housing market. Reasonably priced and quickly assembled, all homes in the series are designed to be net-zero energy. The design aesthetic seems to lean towards the classic single family American home, while the high tech materials and features thrust towards the future of home building. The list of sustainable features is long to be sure, but here are a few key elements.
A home doesn’t need to be modern to be green, but I like the modern ones. I’d love to see entire neighborhoods of modern green homes. I like the idea of changing the way we perceive the single-family home, too. Denser neighborhoods? Sure. Residential wind turbines? Definitely. Solar on the roof? You bet. But right now, we’re still in the early stages of recognizing legitimate green homes.
This week’s edition of BusinessWeek has a feature on LivingHomes and entrepreneur Steve Glenn, founder of the company. Glenn is a leader in the growing movement that is green prefab — modern, prefabricated homes built with sustainability in mind. The BusinessWeek feature also includes a slide show of the first LEED-H Platinum certified home in the country, and some of photos are pictured above and below.