German HUF Haus makes these beautiful, modern, post-and-beam homes through precision engineering and factory manufacturing. The homes are expensive but a HUF house is energy efficient, spacious, and high tech. HUF is a unique participant in the green prefab world with their signature floor-to-ceiling windows and clean lines.
Eric Corey Freed, architect and principal of Organic Architect, has a new book in stores this month — Green$ense for the Home — and Allison Arieff was able to pry a list out of Freed of simple green home projects for renters and homeowners. This is the low-hanging fruit, to use the proverbial phrase, but that doesn't mean there's no impact or benefit. To paraphrase Freed’s responses to Arieff, here are the nine green projects:
Last time we mentioned Reclaimed Space, the company had just finished selling a small home on eBay for about $75,100 (after a bidding war involving several celebrities). But business is good for the Austin-based company that builds homes out of materials reclaimed from deconstructed homes and old projects. This home was recently delivered to its owners and will be used as a custom sewing space in Marfa, Texas.
Older homes frequently aren't very energy efficient because power used to be extremely cheap and building codes varied widely. In mild climates, that tended to happen even more. Our home in Oakland was built in 1948 and was far from energy efficient when we bought it: single-pane windows and doors, some of which didn't close well; original floor furnace; no insulation in the ceiling or walls; drafty fireplace.
It’s interesting to see Passive Houses — like the Breezeway House in Millcreek, Utah — gain more and more recognition in both the mainstream media and design and construction circles. Another project worth keeping an eye on, Passive House in the Woods, is quietly moving forward with carbon neutral ambitions and a goal to be the first Passive House in the state of Wisconsin.
A new start up company based out of Boulder is making these Studio Sheds for use as equipment, storage, or office sheds. They're modern, green, and somewhat affordable with models starting at $4,900 (while the DIY flat-pack kit sells at a small discount). You purchase the shed, secure the permits, set the foundation, and Studio Shed installs the shed in about 6-8 hours.