The innovative company Ecovative recently “grew” their first tiny house. Or more precisely, after putting together the pine walls of the tiny house, they filled it with the so-called Mushroom Insulation. This insulation proceeded to literally grow in place inside the wall cavities, which already contained all the wiring and plumbing. In this way, the insulation actually glued together the pine boards used to build the framework of the house. The house measures around 62 square feet and is mounted on a trailer so it can be transported anywhere. The tiny house is a prototype and a test of Ecovative’s Mushroom Insulation and they are currently touring the country showing their creation.
Charles Pickering, the founder and CEO of architectural and engineering firm Pickering Associates, recently received a LEED-Platinum rating for his project at 12 Faith Meadows in Williamstown, WV. This is the first LEED Platinum certified home in West Virginia, and boasts of 11 kWDC of generation capacity. The solar system is located in an optimal array on the house and garage roof, and provides all the energy usage needs for the household, with some to sell back through the power grid. The house received a LEED Point Score of 113 and a HERS rating of .43.
Laneway houses, like this one on 19th and Slocan, seem to flourish in Vancouver. This is another contemporary, small home by Lanefab, which is the firm behind the Mendoza and Net-Zero Solar laneway houses. The 800 square-foot home (including a 200 square-foot flex-garage) shelters a young couple that built the property on their parent’s property — an intergenerational phenomenon made possible with flexible laneway zoning.
It’s been a couple years since we last checked in on the work of Seattle-based FabCab, a company that makes prefab and kit-built, eco-friendly homes and accessory dwelling units. Short for “fabulous cabin,” FabCab has several timber-frame houses under construction in Washington and recently shared photos of this two-level cabin on Camano Island. It has a timber frame, SIP panels, and a soaring water-front wall of windows.
When I mentioned a project by students aiming to build the greenest house in Canada (by means of the Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum certification), I noted that students planned to use “prefabricated straw bale walls.” It turns out they finished this portion of the project using BioSIPs from NatureBuilt Wall Systems in Ontario, Canada.
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.