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.
This is The Shoebox House in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s an award-winning design — Citation Award from the Santa Fe chapter of the AIA — that also captured LEED Platinum certification with 88 points, a phenomenal feat given some of the challenges. Architect and builder Gabe Brown, Praxis Design/Build, was able to put a 1,700 square foot home on a 2,300 square-foot L-shaped lot, while still giving the owner a separate art studio, a gallery-like living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a study.
California-based Sunrun and Harris Interactive recently announced the results of a survey of 2,211 adults (1,475 homeowners) about the cost and desirability of installing a home solar system. The main sound bite is the one-liner that “97% of Americans overestimate the cost of going solar,” as well as the stat that “nearly 8 out of 10 of those who do not already have solar panels say they would install solar if cost were not a factor.”
This is the Castaway House, a renovation in Phoenix, Arizona that’s also the first project to be certified under the Phoenix Green Construction Code. The team* behind this Gold-certified project transformed an existing 1,000 square-foot, abandoned house originally built in 1951 into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient abode with 1,970 square feet, four bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Here’s a little more background.
A future homeowner inherits a chunk of land in Ulster County, New York and decides to put a dreamy modern prefab on it. I can understand that. The owner picks an LVL model home from Rocio Romero, and the kit costs $47,000, including such things as the plans, a construction binder, open wall panels, certain structural materials, and the exterior siding. The owner budgets just over $120,000 to finish the 1,669 square-foot home and hires a contractor to do the work, but that’s where things go wrong.