Last October we blogged about the Inhabit prefab prototype built in Washington and designed by Mithun and Hybrid. Since then, there hasn’t been much news about the prototype, except that the initial two units are for sale right now. Now comes news, however, based on an article in The Seattle Times, that Unico Properties is planning to bring Inhabit to market in a legit, 62-unit apartment complex that includes a few live/work spaces. The development is planned for a site on Dexter Avenue North above Lake Union. Unico has been quiet about the project because the land is still under contract and the permitting process has just begun. But long and short, Seattle is on the cusp of becoming a major demonstration city for green, prefab apartments in the U.S. — fantastic news for proponents of healthy, affordable, and stylish living spaces.
The fulcrum of the green building revolution, I think, is conservation and living happily with less. It’ll be interesting to see how we get there, to see if we can live lighter. In the meantime, I like to monitor small projects to see what piques the interest of crowds. Lately Abōd® has been getting some quality attention. Abōd was honored by the AIA this year with a Small Project Award. The AIA explained the concept: "The design goal was to develop a breakthrough in value-engineered lowest cost housing with an extensive array of add-on options to personalize each home. The resulting design incorporating the Catenary arch is simple and structurally sound but also aesthetically pleasing and can be built by 4 people in just one day with only a screwdriver and an awl."
Gwendolyn Bounds invested about 16 months and $83k in her posh, green kitchen remodel. The process was slightly more difficult than she imagined, but nonetheless, as you can see from the below video: the result is quite nice. David Johnston, green building and renovation expert, unofficially inspected the work and gave her high marks for the eco renovation. Her remodel included Energy Star appliances, locally made fly ash concrete countertops, Plyboo and Arreis cabinets, no-VOC paints, FSC-certified wood floors, Nu-Wool recycled newspaper insulation, LED lights, and double-paned efficient windows.
Canühome is an impressive 850 sf home with a smart design that includes a kitchen, bathroom, living room, dining room, and bedroom. Designed by Institute Without Boundaries, canühome is a healthy, sustainable, and affordable home. Perhaps, it is best suited for young couples, seniors, singles, and/or small families as either a “starter” or “finisher” house, but the possibilities are truly infinite.
A Detroit-based group has a container project in mind for a blighted chunk of land near Wayne State University. News of the project hit the press this morning and local citizens didn’t quite know what to expect (see comments). The project is currently being called "Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks" and would feature containers stacked four high with windows and doors cut out into various places. In total, the 17-unit condo project would have units ranging in size from 960 – 1,920 and price from $100k – $190k. Pretty good price for a modern, green pad.
I pulled out the April issue of Dwell this weekend and noticed an ad for the Énóvo House. My interest was piqued by reading the copy, so I went online to research more. There’s a website for the Énóvo House, which is currently being built just north of Montreal. But from my research, the Énóvo name seems to represent something bigger — the idea that a green, modular home can evolve with the needs of the owner. According to the website, Énóvo can be adapted to most any terrain, and because it’s configured by modules, the design can morph according to the various particularities of an owner’s life and needs.