This is a gut kitchen renovation by owners/designers Matthew D. Emerson, LEED AP, and his wife, Courtney, in Philadelphia. The Emersons employed a team of local Northern Liberties construction professionals and a sustainable approach with reclaimed materials, energy-efficient technology, greater insulation, low-VOC paints, and a green roof visible from the upper level of the 1907-built brick rowhouse.
Last time I mentioned Jet Prefab,* the company had just released an affordable home plan called The One Story. That contemporary design has been tweaked and expanded for a new design called the Tess House that I want to share. It was inspired by a customer dreaming of a writer’s house on Shelter Island in New York.
If in a pinch for extra living space at home, a detached structure could be just the solution. Especially if an addition isn’t an option, there are companies all over the country that provide prefabricated structures that can be used for a home office, studio, in-law suite, or cabana, etc. North Carolina-based Outdoor Environs is one of these companies with a backyard shed from about $40,000.
If you’re in the Napa County and have an interest in modern prefab, an LV Home by Missouri-based Rocio Romero will be featured in open house public tours on September 22, 2012 (register here). So you know, the LV model comes as a fabricated kit of parts — post and beam, exterior wall panels, faux wall panels, roof framing, select connectors, and siding material — and forms the shell of a home with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and about 1,344 square feet. We’ve mentioned at least two LV homes in the past, one in Pacifica and another in Whidbey Island, and these homes generally get finished by a local contractor for $120 – $195 per square foot with the LV kit starting at $39,500.
I’ve seen several projects pursue both LEED Platinum and Passive House certification, but I can’t think of any that actually went through with the aim other than this Passive House, Platinum-certified home in Taos, New Mexico. The 2,400 square-foot home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, and 1.1 acres of land with a serene, scenic view of Taos Mountain to the east, Truchas Peaks to the South, and pasture land to the west.
I’ve been watching plug-and-play solar systems like the one offered by SpinRay Energy to see how viable and affordable these can get. It turns out GoGreenSolar.com just unveiled a similar system called the SunPlug Plug n’ Play Solar Kit. The kit includes one 235-watt polycrystalline panel, a 120 VAC/60 Hz grid-tie inverter, racking mount, WiFi module for monitoring, and a connector to plug directly into an AC outlet.