Turns out the Rhône Alpes team from France with the Canopea house won Solar Decathlon Europe held in Madrid. Their home is actually the top of a conceptual “Nanotower” that the team proposed to bring single-family style living back to the urban core. The top level acts like a rain forest’s canopy — hence the name — by collecting 95% of all solar energy and 30% of rainwater for the tower. Canopea was built of a prefab CORE, site-built SKIN, and a SHELL capable of off-site fabrication as well.
Cali Bamboo offers indestructible bamboo floors and bamboo decking, as well as a new cork wall panel under a new company brand referred to as GreenClaimed — a reference to a material that’s been reimagined, revived, or recovered and then transformed into something new. In this case, the new Designer Cork Tiles are panels made with the bark of cork oak trees.
If you’re a designer, builder, or future owner of a high performance home, you’ll probably be interested in knowing that fiberglass window products previously sold under the SeriousWindows brand will now be sold under the Alpen brand. Boulder-based Alpen High Performance Products announced the purchase of assets including the fiberglass window and architectural glass operation from California-based Serious Energy, Inc.
Hammer and Hand, a high-performance builder with offices in Seattle and Portland, recently announced the production of ultra-efficient custom doors for use with Passive House projects. The doors are designed and built in southeast Portland to the rigorous requirements of Passive House and help project teams avoid a potential economic premium and the carbon emissions associated with importing a similar product across the Atlantic from a European supplier. The company’s first door — shown in video here — was installed at their Karuna House project, which is pursuing PHIUS+ Passive House, Minergie-P-ECO, LEED for Homes Platinum, and net-zero energy designations (which I’ll explore in a subsequent article). More about custom Passive House doors.
This will be the first certified Passive House in the city limits of Salt Lake City (not to take anything away from the Breezeway House located outside the city in Salt Lake County), if certification by PHIUS goes as planned. I visited the home on a nice sunny day a couple weeks ago, but the photos of this beginning photographer didn’t turn out as I’d originally expected.* That said, I hope you can get a feeling for the contemporary design and some of the materials and technology that went into this ultra-efficient home.
As of this writing, this new book about ultra-green prefab homes is #1 on Amazon in the Sustainable & Green Design and Energy Efficient Design categories of books. With Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid, author Sheri Koones advances the green prefab movement with a discussion of 32 energy-efficient prefabricated homes using more than 200 photographs and sidebar detail of various construction elements.