Timber Frame Cabin Built on a Waterfront

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.

FabCab frames are CNC milled with douglas fir in a factory and labeled for assembly.  Once the timber frame is assembled, dual-pane windows and pre-cut structural insulated panels are installed (R24 walls, R40 roof).  The roof is a 24-gauge, standing steam metal.

Inside the home, FabCab assembles a package of Energy Star appliances, bamboo flooring, water-saving fixtures, non-slip cork tile bathroom flooring, recycled-content countertops, and telescoping pocket doors, etc.  The result is an open plan with high ceilings and ample natural light.

FabCab has home designs from about 550 square feet to 1,400 square feet, not counting custom projects, and pricing from about $95,000 through $172,000, respectively, not including delivery, permitting, site prep, foundation, or contractor assembly.  The construction phase generally takes less than three months.

[+] More photos of this timber-frame Fabcab on Camano Island.

Credits: Fabcab. 

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Here is the original post: Timber Frame Cabin Built on a Waterfront

green coffee bean prices

BioSIPs in the Greenest Home in Canada

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.

These BioSIPS are 16″ thick with an insulation value of about R35. The walls consist of tightly-packed straw that’s covered in 1″ of cement and lime plaster, according to NatureBuilt.

With the high level of insulation and thermal mass of these walls, NatureBuilt indicates that a homeowner can save money on heating and cooling costs, particularly through the specification of a smaller HVAC unit.

In terms of installation, BioSIPs can be unloaded with a boom truck or crane in about one day, and the actual work to attach the walls to the foundation takes maybe a couple days. Endeavour Centre students shared the process of making BioSIPs and installing BioSIPs online, in case you’re interested in reading more detail.

[+] Follow the construction progress of Canada’s Greenest Home.

Credit: The Endeavour Centre.

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Go here to see the original: BioSIPs in the Greenest Home in Canada

Compact Souler House Finished in Maine

Jason Peacock has plans for a solar-powered cluster of compact homes on a plot of land in Wiscasset, northeast of Portland, Maine. The first house is complete — the Souler House — and it’s a 950-square-foot contemporary abode covered with a grid-tied 3.6 kW array. Peacock designed and built the home, and he’s also renting it out on VRBO for anywhere from $700 – $1000 per week, depending on the season.

The Kyocera PV system produces a surplus during the spring, summer, and fall, according to Peacock, and the surplus credit is used during the winter for heat and everything else. The near net-zero energy home is all-electric but supplemented by a high-efficiency wood stove in the living room.

During the first winter, Peacock said he was able to maintain temperatures in the 70s while only burning one cord of wood in the stove.

In addition, this two-bedroom home was built with zero-VOC and formaldehyde-free finishes and materials. Peacock specified products such as Yolo paint, American Clay walls, PaperStone countertops, built-ins made from sunflower board and bamboo ply, a Marathon water heater, and a Venmar HRV.  The fiber-cement siding has a rainscreen detail for longevity.

Over time, Peacock plans to build four to six other homes on the same land and expects that all of them will be smaller than 1,000 square feet and powered by the sun.

[+] More about solar-powered Souler House by Platinum Green Inc.

Credits: Samuel Strickland (#1, 7); Jason Peacock (others).

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See the original post: Compact Souler House Finished in Maine

Dimmable Smart LED Bulb from Insteon

California-based Insteon just announced the new Insteon LED Bulb 8 Watt, which is the first networked, remotely controlled, dimmable LED light bulb in the world, according to the company. The bulb sells online for $29.99 and is designed to conserve a significant amount of energy over the standard 60-watt incandescent.  Nonetheless, intelligence, not efficiency, is the name of the game with this controllable screw-type light bulb.

For years, home automation has controlled light fixtures with plug-in lamp modules, wire-in switches, and keypads. But, until now, no one has controlled the bulb itself. It’s exciting to be the first to introduce a new product to the world,” said Joe Dada, CEO of Insteon.

The new bulb can be linked and controlled by any Insteon controller, such as a handheld remote, wall keypad, or Android or iOS smartphone or tablet (provided you install the $99 Insteon SmartLinc Controller).

Further, Insteon also has an entire suite of products available for those wanting more than just light bulb automation. Plug-in modules and in-wall switches allow for the wireless control of appliances, etc, without a bunch of custom wiring.

On a related note, keep in mind Google and Lighting Science Group announced a smart LED bulb more than a year ago, but that was supposed to be available by the end of 2011.  TechCrunch asked Google for comment on the status of the bulb in December 2011 and received no comment.  So for now, it seems Insteon will remain alone with the “world’s first networked dimmable light bulb.

[+] More about the Insteon LED Bulb 8 Watt.

Credits: Insteon.

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Read more here: Dimmable Smart LED Bulb from Insteon

Eco-Pak is a New Home in a Container

James Green is an aircraft structural engineer who found a creative solution when designing a home for a remote site in Turkey (that wouldn’t allow a concrete foundation).  Green decided to structure the house around a shipping container with an extended skeleton of removable frames.  Seeing more potential, he then patented the idea and teamed up with architect Matthew Coates of Coates Design Architects in order to deploy “Eco-Pak” as modular and sustainable housing.

Eco-Pak is an interesting twist on the standard shipping container home in that the structural parts of the home are packed and shipped in a container.  The container is then integrated as a module in the structure of the home, such as for the kitchen, living room, or bedroom.

We are doing something ENTIRELY different … it’s one thing to renovate the inside of a shipping box but quite another to create an eco-friendly home that uses the box as structure,” according to a statement by Coates, an architect at the firm that designed the green-roofed Ellis Residence.

Coates and Green plan to adapt Eco-Pak to affordable, off-grid, emergency, and maybe even luxury housing.  A prototype is scheduled for completion in 2013, and I’ll keep tabs on the new modular venture to provide updates as they happen.

[+] More about the Eco-Pak at Building Container.

Credits: Coates Design Architects.

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Read more: Eco-Pak is a New Home in a Container

Cozy Connect:2 Prefab Wows California

I mentioned the launch of Connect:Homes recently and how the founders of this company hope to reinvent modular prefab with a unique approach.  They took a big first step towards doing that with a prototype home on display at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles last weekend.  The crowds, from everything I’ve heard, deeply enjoyed this warm, contemporary abode and the interior touch of style by Kishani Perera.

This is the Connect:2.1 plan with one bedroom, one bathroom, and a galley kitchen that greets a covered outdoor deck space.  Treat this as a detached studio, backyard guesthouse, or vacation retreat, and you’ll be hard pressed to go wrong, I’d say.

Perera outfitted the place with all sorts of product from West Elm.  There’s also a design package that includes Energy Star appliances, water-efficient fixtures, non-toxic materials, recycled-content surfaces and tiles, LED and CFL lighting, low-VOC sealants, and no-VOC paints.

For the new purchaser, Connect:2.1 has a base price of $105,000, though upgrades, delivery, installation, and site work will push the price up a little more.  If you missed the green home at Dwell on Design 2012, it’ll be relocated to Venice for open houses and other events in the next couple months.

[+] More about modern sustainable prefab by Connect:Homes.

Credits: Bethany Nauert, West Elm.

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Visit link: Cozy Connect:2 Prefab Wows California

Beyond Efficiency, Greenest Approval, Hydroponic Container, + Electricity Redesign

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for updates, article summaries, newsworthy links, and other site news. Also, check out the latest green jobs in our list.

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More: Beyond Efficiency, Greenest Approval, Hydroponic Container, + Electricity Redesign

Roofs Do Double Duty with Dow Shingles

Since I last shared photos of the Dow POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle, this line of business has picked up.  In October 2011, the Solar Shingle launched in Colorado, and Dow expanded the launch to Texas and California in April 2012.  As part of the launch, this commercial — lazy roof — aired recently to show these markets how Dow is helping to reinvent the roof so that it not only provides shelter but power, too.

POWERHOUSE is offered as an easy, turn-key roof solution.  For example, in San Antonio, the system includes a custom-designed solar array, a DC-to-AC inverter, and a monitoring system that shows real-time production.

In California, the first install in the state was documented by Ucilia Wang for Forbes recently.  The owners Frank and Cyndy Ann Madrigal needed a new roof and wanted power production to go with it.  They opted for POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles because they’re integrated into the roof.  All told, the Madrigals purchased a 5.47 kW system for ~$44,100, after utility rebates and the federal ITC, according to Forbes.

The design is what makes these solar panels work.  The CIGS-based shingles have plug-in connectors from shingle-to-shingle.  This allows for a flush install and eliminates what could be a spider web of wires behind the shingles or in the attic.

[+] More re: technical/financial aspects of POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles.

Credits: Dow Solar (top); Ucilia Wang (#2-3)

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Read more: Roofs Do Double Duty with Dow Shingles

Loll Intros Throwback Eco-Friendly Rapson

Loll Designs recently announced a new line called the Rapson Collection.  As background, it turns out that Toby Rapson, son of the famous Ralph Rapson (architect of Greenbelt Case Study House No. 4), met Loll at an AIA event in Minneapolis and decided to work with the company to resurrect certain of Rapson’s chairs originally designed for Knoll in the 1940s.  Loll and Rapson-Inc. came up with a couple prototypes and shared them at ICFF and Dwell on Design this year.

The result is a comfy collection that includes a high back rocker and low back lounge to begin with.  More Rapson designs will be released in the future.

In terms of pricing, the high back rocker (without arms) and low back lounge (with arms) sell at Loll Designs for $999 and $1099, respectively.  The rocker is made with 344 old milk jugs and the lounge is made with 332.

Minnesota-based Loll Designs creates modern outdoor furniture with recycled materials.  The company uses 100% recycled HDPE, or milk jugs, which can be used with a vivid palette of Loll colors.

[+] More about the Rapson Collection at Loll Designs.

Credits: Loll Designs. 

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Read the rest here: Loll Intros Throwback Eco-Friendly Rapson

Metem is a Vibrant Recycled HDPE Panel

This is Metem, a material distributed by Minnesota-based Intectural, a sister company of Epicurean Cutting Surfaces and Loll Designs.  Metem is made with old milk jugs — like Loll’s Rapson Collection — or to be more specific, post-consumer recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE).  It’s highly durable and requires no maintenance, according to Intectural, and can used inside or out in wet or dry applications.

Metem comes in 4′ x 8′ panels in three thicknesses, 1/2″, 5/8″, and 1″, as well as custom sizes and thicknesses.

The panels can be used for indoor and outdoor furniture, cabinetry, partitions, and more demanding applications such as, for example, playground structures and water park amenities.  So the material is versatile.  Plus, it will not off-gas VOCs and may contribute to various LEED credits, according to Intectural.

[+] More about 100% recycled HDPE Metem panels.

Credits: Metem. 

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See original here: Metem is a Vibrant Recycled HDPE Panel