Clayton Homes, maker of the popular i-House, is the largest producer of homes in the country and accounted for 7% of homes constructed in 2011, according to the annual report of parent Berkshire Hathaway. They have a large residential footprint, and their efforts to educate home purchasers can go a long way. So it’s great to learn of their recent announcement of a new home energy label along the lines of what we’ve discussed previously with other builders.
This is the first and only UL-listed, 120-volt, plug-and-play solar kit in the world, according to SpinRay Energy. The DeckPower120 comes with one, 240-watt solar panel and can be hung on a deck or elsewhere outdoors using a simple mount bracket. The system allows for up to 1,300 watts of AC power with five solar panels and should qualify for available federal (and sometimes state) tax credits.
Today, two prefab veterans launch their website for a new company called Connect:Homes with a mission to “deliver modern homes that are affordable, green, and available wherever your are.” The co-founders Jared Levy and Gordon Stott, both formerly with Marmol Radziner Prefab, started the Los Angeles-based enterprise to reinvent modular prefab and deliver homes that are predictably priced, inherently green, and shipped most anywhere at a lower cost.
This is the first Energy Star qualified home in British Columbia, according to builder Mandala Homes. The company’s been around since 2000, and this is their new, round showcase with passive solar design, tuned windows, non-toxic finishes, a custom greenhouse, and all sorts of materials that emphasize energy efficiency. It’s owned by Mandala Homes president Lars Chose and partner Rachel Ross.
FreeGreen, an online source for green house plans, recently announced a strategic pivot to make homes better and cheaper. The company wants to give homeowners the opportunity to save money by helping them get involved in some of the finish work. FreeGreen has a DIY series of house plans, and the first design — the DIY Shed — isn’t value engineered to meet a budget. It’s designed so that certain portions can be finished by the homeowners themselves.