As of today, the first house designed and built to the Passivhaus standard in Arlington is now on the market. The million-dollar home — referred to as the Arlington Passivhaus — was built by Southern Exposure Homes, a builder run by brothers Eric and Roger Lin, with an emphasis on airtightness and energy efficiency. But there’s also a 700-square-foot green roof, contemporary interior finishes, and landscape that reduces stormwater runoff.
I’ve mentioned some of the various living walls available for home interiors — Fyto Wall, Woolly Pockets, Minigarden, Ballavaz, Urbio, etc — and most of these require a modicum of wall structure and planning for light and water. Along these lines, The Wall Street Journal recently took on the topic of living walls and how various pockets, trays, and assemblies are being used inside for home decoration.
Lindsey Hutchinson and husband Todd — both with design backgrounds and a passion for gardening — decided to build “green curtains” or exterior trellises covered in edible vines, according to the Statesman. The 15-foot living walls will shade the home and rain barrels from the sun, but the Hutchinson’s also intend to harvest the vines for grapes, passionfruit, and Scarlet Runner Beans. Thusly, these green curtains perform double duty in the form of food production and energy conservation. What a great idea!
When I first saw what Vine Saccento was doing with v100 Mod Box, I was impressed. And I’m still impressed as his prototype has been rolled out recently in the form of three prefab homes at the southern end of downtown Phoenix at 749 S. Second Street. One is rented by Tom Kelly, CEO of Schaller Anderson, and designer Saccento is living in another.
This home in McMinnville is a 2011 Northwest Energy Star Home of the Year. Showcasing an environmentally-considerate approach to the construction of a custom home, Cellar Ridge built the Cozine Creek Cottage for owner Pat Britton with the design by Matthew O. Daby of m.o.daby design. The cozy cottage has 1,287 square feet and was completed for $139 per square foot with a focus on energy efficiency.
One thing you don’t want to do, if you’re interested in buying a prefab home, is pay some company to design something only to find out you can’t afford it in the first place. Or, as mentioned in a recent NY Times article about prefab kit homes, you definitely don’t want to get into the build without a clear vision of the total costs to complete the home. It’s mission critical that the prefab buying process be entirely transparent.