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.
While prefab home companies on the West Coast gather accolades and media for their efforts, there’s Hive Modular in Minneapolis doing some things that I think merit attention, too. The company has placed 21 completed prefab homes and is really popular with the fine citizens of Calgary, Alberta. Turns out this — the B-Line Medium 010 — is the sixth Calgary project for Hive Modular since entering the Canadian market in 2008. The two modules for this ultra-efficient home are scheduled to be set next Thursday, September 27, at about 9:00 am, if you want to see one of these homes come together.
This is Grow Community near downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island in Washington. The first three model homes — Ocean, Everett, and Aria — are finished and work is moving forward for the next 24 homes and two 10-unit rowhouse apartments. The eight-acre project is the first residential One Planet Community in North America (issued by U.K. non-profit BioRegional). However, in addition to this recognition, the aim is net-zero homes and an entirely net-zero energy community by 2020.