In the news, there’s a lot of talk about process journalism and using a feedback loop to evolve stories. It made me think about iterative design and the potential role of blogs and new media to transform projects. Probably, one of the most interesting and current examples I can think of comes from Michael Janzen, who’s behind Tiny House Design, Nine Tiny Feet, and Tiny Free House, among other ventures. Using Google SketchUp, Janzen transformed a shed cluster (through comments, analysis, feedback, and subsequent iterations) into a sustainable dogtrot home. Check it out:
Last week, Willamette Week Online published an article called "Futurehaus," which we linked to in our Saturday Week in Review. The article describes an Oregon Passive House project in the works by Root Design Build. The house is referred to as the Shift House, which, awkwardly enough, is not to be confused with the other Shift Home that we covered recently. But that's not to take anything away from it. With construction set to begin next month, upon completion in September, it'll be one of only a few certified Passive Houses in the United States.
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:
If you're anywhere near Menlo Park, California this weekend, you should head over to Celebration Weekend held by Sunset Magazine. This year, Sunset is featuring a Modern Cottage built by Modern Cabana as one of the magazine's idea houses. I guess the official name is something like the Sunset Modern Cottage Idea House. Made with two modular living spaces, 300 square feet and 120 square feet, respectively, this MC Studio Home is a striking combination of style, efficiency, and small living.
Simpatico Homes is a new prefab company that plans to break ground on their prototype home this summer. Simpatico has a simple philosophy based on three core elements: form (modern), function (modular prefab), and footprint (green building). The company was kind enough to provide these renderings of the prototype, which will be built in Emeryville, California. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2500 square-foot abode was designed by Swatt Architects to received LEED Platinum. It will include some of the following green elements:
On Cherry Street in Port Townsend, Washington, a confluence modern version of an ideabox prefab was installed. The 840 square-foot home has an open kitchen and living area flanked by two bedrooms / bathrooms on the ends. It sits perfectly on a small lot and the deck leads to a vegetable garden where the new homeowners will be able to live off the land, to a certain extent.