Leaf-like Solar Shade Both Functional, Educational

Veil Solar Shade

Buro North, a design firm located in Melbourne, Australia, has partnered with Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) to develop this interesting solar-collecting sun shade called the "Solar Shade" for Australian elementary schools.  The Solar Shade concept is part educational and part functional.  Of course, when used in clusters, Solar Shades provide a shaded gathering place that generates energy for the school.  But in addition, the device demonstrates and educates students on the dynamics of harvesting solar energy.  The foundation of the Solar Shade includes LED lights that provide feedback as to whether the orientation is/is not optimal.  When the LEDs turn red, students can grab the handle and rotate the device to absorb more of the sun’s rays.   Although still a concept, it’s kind of a cool idea — maybe enthusiasm for the project will push it into production?

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By |May 20th, 2008|Modern design, Solar|0 Comments

Gulf Islands House Blends Minimalism and Green

Gulf Islands Home

This clever little house caught my eye the other day.  Designed by architect Matthew Woodruff, The Gulf Islands House was completed a couple years ago in what seems to be quite the serene location.  It’s a cozy second home that was built as an escape of sorts for Woodruff’s family.  I’m not sure the owners were trying to set any green building records with the home, but the two-bedroom pad has some green features we can all appreciate, such as its solar orientation and design, small footprint, and use of locally harvested materials.  The minimalist design seems to create just the right space for congregating with the family, too. 

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By |May 7th, 2008|Modern architecture, Single Family|3 Comments

Magic Box, is this the Future of (Green) Prefab?

Magic Box Prefab

I put ‘green’ in parenthesis because the future is green, whether you, I, or anyone else likes it.  That’s where this whole thing is heading.  And several countries rely heavily on prefabrication for construction of homes and buildings.  So I ask, after looking at the photos, does this Magic Box represent what’s to come in the future?  The Magic Box is cubic and versatile and small.  It can go anywhere and be used as anything.  But is this the future of (green) prefab?

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By |January 25th, 2008|Modern architecture, Modern design, Prefab, Single Family|0 Comments

MetroCabin Shrinks for 2008

Metrocabin

MetroShed, in collaboration with its Miami-based partner Cabin Fever, recently announced that it would produce a smaller version of the popular 16′ x 20′ MetroCabin in 2008.  The smaller MetroCabin will be 12′ x 16′, with prices starting at $17,460 (which includes flat-packed shipping and delivery).  The new MetroCabin features curved steel roof beams (or the straight roof package), Duro-Last roofing, prefab SIP walls, and premium heavy-duty sliding doors. 

And although the company’s MetroShed product is built with greener materials such as FSC-certified woods, I’m not sure if this one is.  That said, if you live in this, and this alone, I’d say you’re pretty green. 

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By |January 12th, 2008|Modern architecture, Prefab|0 Comments

miniHome DUO SE Modern Green Marvel

Minihome Duo

This is the miniHome DUO SE, which is basically the combo of an add-on and the SOLO 2008 version that was recently announced.  Starting at $149,900, it’s a well-designed home of 475 sf.  The DUO uses 1/10th the water, fuels, and materials, and 1/100th the electrical energy of a conventional home: it’s a net-zero energy home.  And as you can tell from the renderings, you can outfit your DUO with a stylish green roof and contemporary wrap-around decking.  Really, anything is possible with this little treasure home.  Small.  Stylish.  Green.  Affordable.  Looks like Sustain MiniHome is offering financing now on their homes, too.

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By |December 28th, 2007|Modern architecture, Prefab|0 Comments

Marfa weeHouse and a Whole Lot More

Marfaweehouse

I just got a weeMail and spent the last couple hours navigating through Alchemy Architects' newly redesigned weeHouse website.  I love it because you can see houses they've built, projects in planning, and you can even build your own weeHouse. 

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By |December 20th, 2007|Modern architecture, Prefab, Single Family|2 Comments