After several years of concept and development, architect Ed Binkley came up with “the shelter series” — small, green, affordable abodes — to be used as relief housing, guest housing, small scale developments, or pretty much anything else. These homes range in size from 300-1,400 square feet and can be built without breaking the bank.
It seems like a major component of green building these days is reducing energy demand and building ultra-low energy homes. For instance, British Columbia-based Jenesys Buildings Corp. built this E Cube house with a superinsulated shell of SIPs in an effort to deliver a home that’s twice as energy efficient as a comparable home built to standard code requirements.
Colorado-based Ec Manufacturing started making structural insulated panels (SIPs) about a year and a half ago. The company was studying 2009 building code and thinking about how to innovate their products, when someone decided the building industry could use a thermally broken lumber material. That led to the creation of rSTUD.
This award-winning design will be constructed in downtown New Orleans with steel structural insulated panels, high performance windows, and rooftop solar panels. It was designed by Judith Kinnard, professor of architecture at Tulane University, and Tiffany Lin, assistant professor of architecture, who took first place in a competition involving steel SIPs from OceanSafe.
In Powhatan, Virginia, there’s this three-level home that Handcraft Homes built with SIPs. Designed by Watershed Architects, the project anticipates a minimum of LEED Silver certification and, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was built for about $280,000. The owners expect to recoup the extra cost of their green investment through energy savings gained over about seven years.