The firm ISI Technology of South Carolina will soon begin producing a smart water heater, which is designed to cut energy use by 40% over conventional water heaters. They have recently successfully met their funding goal of $125,000 through Kickstarter to begin the production. The Heatworks MODEL 1 compact water heater will measure 12.5 inches by 6.5 inches, meaning that it will fit in most spaces. The water heater will also have Wi-Fi connectivity, so that temperature, power levels and duration can all be monitored and controlled remotely.
Sukup Manufacturing is a small company based in Sheffield, Iowa, which primarily manufactures agricultural products, which includes grain bins. About three years ago, Sukup also began manufacturing grain silo homes to be used as disaster relief housing in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. They called this grain silo home a Safe T Home, and it was developed in partnership with Global Compassion Network and Iowa residents. In 2012 a shipment of these homes was transported to Haiti where volunteers and residents built the so-called “Village of Hope” from the silos. Safe T Homes proved very successful as relief housing, and they are now also available for purchase in the US through Sukup Manufacturing. Safe T homes can easily be used as vacation houses, or even tiny sustainable homes.
Some years ago the architecture firm LOT EK completed an innovative expansion on the NYC residence of the Guzman family. The resulting 1500 square foot penthouse is made up of a transformed mechanical room and a 20-foot shipping container. The bedroom is located inside the container part of the structure, while the designers also added a patio, and now the whole penthouse has a spectacular view of the Empire State Building.
The transformed mechanical room serves as the main living area of the home, while the master bedroom was moved to the upstairs shipping container part of the penthouse. The bay window at the main level, which is made from the back part of the shipping container, was wedged into the south wall of the building. The shipping container bedroom was then placed atop this structure.
The green building expert John Wesley Miller, working with the company Green Builder Media recently completed the latest innovative project in the Vision House Series, namely the Vision House Tucson. This home is located in the Armory Park del Sol neighborhood of Tucson, AZ. The house is fitted will all the latest fixtures and features of a net zero home, yet the basis of its energy efficiency lies in its traditional block and cement construction.
When Phoenix and her 24-year old son decided to downsize they opted to move into 2 joined tiny houses built by Jeff and Brad of Portland Garden Cottages. The home is located in the Mississippi Historic District of Portland, Oregon and measures only 364 square feet. This is quite a change from their former 3500-square-foot home in Maryland, which they left behind. Phoenix and her son are much happier living in the new home, which despite its small size still fits a kitchen, living area, bathroom, an art studio and several spaces to practice yoga in.
The unique tiny house builder Hobbitat Spaces from Maryland is now taking individual orders for their hand-built homes. The company is the brainchild of Bill Thomas, and the homes are hand crafted and built to withstand even the harshest Northeastern winters. Hobbitat Spaces recently completed 13 Hobbitat cabins for Blue Moon Rising, an ecotourism retreat in Maryland. All of the houses in the retreat were built with reclaimed, local and recycled materials.