Wood-Panel Passivhaus in British Columbia

Marken Projects is working on another Passive House in British Columbia.  This 3,500-square-foot home, made with a panelized prefab system like the Rainbow Duplex, will house two families and three generations under the same roof in Surrey, British Columbia.  The aim is an affordable structure that uses 90% less energy for heating and cooling than a standard home.  It’ll have triple-pane windows, an HRV, solar hot water, rainwater harvesting, no-VOC materials, and the ultra-efficient and airtight shell.   Construction will take about five months, and I’ll provide an update with more detail at that time.

[+] More about Surry Passive House by Marken Projects.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. A Wood Panel System for Passivhaus
  2. Passivhaus Rainbow Duplex in Whistler
  3. Affordable Passive House in Whistler

See the original post: Wood-Panel Passivhaus in British Columbia

SmartThings is a Universal Smart System

There’s an interesting Kickstarter campaign right now for an innovation called SmartThings.  SmartThings is a Minnesota-based company and an open platform to connect everyday things to the internet to monitor, control, and automate.  The company wants to add “intelligence to everyday things in your world, so that your life can be more awesome.“  It consists of a hub, “things,” maker tools, a cloud platform, and mobile app.

For example, at launch, SmartThings will be able to connect with a smart power outlet, open/shut sensor, motion sensor, and presence sensor.  Developers and makers will be able to use the platform to connect all sorts of devices and create new SmartApps.

SmartThings will use funding to bring the system to market and enable more devices, such as door locks, thermostats, temperature and humidity sensors, in-wall switches, smoke alarms, CO alarms, moisture and flood sensors, vibration and pressure sensors, etc.  Kickstarter pre-order pricing includes the hub and three connected things for $199.

[+] More about making home smart with SmartThings.

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  1. Allure Intros EverSense Thermostat System
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See the rest here: SmartThings is a Universal Smart System

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Gut Kitchen Renovation in Philadelphia

This is a gut kitchen renovation by owners/designers Matthew D. Emerson, LEED AP, and his wife, Courtney, in Philadelphia.  The Emersons employed a team of local Northern Liberties construction professionals and a sustainable approach with reclaimed materials, energy-efficient technology, greater insulation, low-VOC paints, and a green roof visible from the upper level of the 1907-built brick rowhouse.

Emerson told Jetson Green in an email that he gutted the original 70 square-foot kitchen and sold existing cabinetry and appliances for reuse.  With general contractor Greensaw Design/Build, the structure was bolstered with framing salvaged from movie sets.

The envelope was refitted with R19 or greater insulation in the floor, wall, and roof framing, while interior natural light was enhanced with a large Energy Star glass door, operable skylight, and expanded opening to the main house.

David Wing of Greensaw Design/Build built the cabinet boxes out of FSC-certified plywood and finished them with water- and soy-based oils.  The cabinet faces are also a custom creation from locally-sourced, reclaimed cypress from Kennett Square mushroom beds acquired at Provenance Architectural Salvage.

Other materials include 50% recycled-content Daltile floor tile, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, an in-cabinet compost bin, a backsplash made with 100% recyclable waxed steel plate (Bill Curran Design), a green roof (Urban Ecoforms), and countertops from reclaimed oak library tables.

If you’ve completed a similar project lately, submit your green kitchen renovation to the editors for potential publication on JetsonGreen.com.

Credits: Steve Gengler. 

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. LEED Platinum Gut Rehab in Chicago
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  3. Castaway House is a Deep Green Renovation

Originally posted here: Gut Kitchen Renovation in Philadelphia

LEED Platinum Avant Garage in Fishtown

This is Avant Garage, a four-unit residential project by Postgreen Homes in Fishtown Proper.  Designed by Interface Studio Architects, these homes are targeting LEED Platinum and Postgreen’s President Chad Ludeman tells me he can see no reason why they won’t achieve that level of certification (just like the 100k House which also took home the USGBC’s 2010 LEED-H Project of the Year).  Here’s a little background on this stunning new development in Philadelphia:

This project was unique in that we inherited the zoning of homes with garages on a back alley street with no parking on it. To help get the owners of the land out of a bind, we partnered with them and ran with the zoning in place,” according to Ludeman in an email to Jetson Green.

In other words, Postgreen embraced the situation with a full pass-through garage and doors on both ends.  With three units already sold, one owner turned the garage into an arcade and music room and another pointed an entertainment center out one end for backyard movie nights with neighbors.

Postgreen is an open book in terms of how they’re building these homes, but to give you idea, they have super insulation (12″ double-stud walls with dense pack cellulose), extreme air sealing (ZIP System sheathing and tape), triple-pane windows, HRVs, air-to-air heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, green roofs, and rainwater collection, etc.

The four green homes average about 2,100 square feet, including the garage, and have a base price of $360,000 – $375,000.  If you’re in the area, Avant Garage is located at 401-407 Memphis Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

[+] More about Avant Garage by Post Green Homes in Fishtown Proper.

Credits: Daniel Sandoval.

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See the article here: LEED Platinum Avant Garage in Fishtown

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Energy Bill Guaranty, Passive Solar, Green Roof Movement, + Liquid-Cooled Lighting

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More: Energy Bill Guaranty, Passive Solar, Green Roof Movement, + Liquid-Cooled Lighting

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Prefab Living Structures in North Carolina

If in a pinch for extra living space at home, a detached structure could be just the solution.  Especially if an addition isn’t an option, there are companies all over the country that provide prefabricated structures that can be used for a home office, studio, in-law suite, or cabana, etc.  North Carolina-based Outdoor Environs is one of these companies with a backyard shed from about $40,000.

A 251-square-foot Outdoor Environs is delivered in four to six weeks, though pricing doesn’t include things like foundation, delivery, assembly costs, etc.

The prefab shed by Outdoor Environs is built with Marvin Integrity windows and doors, a galvanized metal roof, the Open-Built Wall System by Bensonwood with dense-pack cellulose (R22), roof panels by Bensonwood with dense-pack cellulose (R32), and HardiePanel siding, etc.

[+] More about prefab living structures by Outdoor Environs.

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More: Prefab Living Structures in North Carolina

Contemporary Prefab Home for a Writer

Last time I mentioned Jet Prefab,* the company had just released an affordable home plan called The One Story.  That contemporary design has been tweaked and expanded for a new design called the Tess House that I want to share.  It was inspired by a customer dreaming of a writer’s house on Shelter Island in New York.

The three-bedroom Tess House has two decks — both could be used to relax outside and write — and an isolated bedroom that’s connected to the house only with a narrow breezeway.  This same bedroom is next to a home-office den, a convenient location for the writer’s middle-of-the-night inspiration.

The total plan includes 1,645 square feet and carries a price tag of $279,000.  This includes the floor system, walls, roofing, double-pane windows, interior and exterior insulated doors, cellulose insulation thermal envelope, electrical outlets, switches, recessed lighting fixtures, cedar and Hardie siding, drywall, flooring, plumbing, etc.

In terms of process, after the design phase, the Jet home is built in a factory in about 3-5 months.  During that time, site work is completed.  Thereafter, Tess House is delivered and assembled within 1-2 weeks.  At this point, the home is about 90% complete and the rest is just utility connections and other finish work.

[+] Visit Jet Prefab for more about the Tess House prefab.

*This is a partner article for Jet Prefab who compensated Jetson Green. All opinions are ours. We partnered with Jet Prefab to share more about their modern prefab homes.

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Read more: Contemporary Prefab Home for a Writer


Denim Insulation Now Available at Lowe’s

There’s been a lot of talk about cotton insulation, but I’ve seen it used in countless projects.  It’s probably worth noting that Bonded Logic’s recycled-content product hit the mainstream with a roll-out of UltraTouch Denim Insulation to 165 Lowe’s stores this month.  The product is made with 80% post-consumer recycled natural fibers and doesn’t have added formaldehyde, VOCs, or chemical irritants, according to Bonded Logic.

Lowe’s offers the R13 and R19 versions, though R21 and R30 can be special ordered.  Pricing is available in select stores; however, for example, I’ve seen a 5-pack of the UltraTouch R19 (15″ x 93″) for $39.97.

In terms of installation, this insulation doesn’t itch like fiberglass insulation and “a portion of each package contains perforations that allow consumers to tear the insulation by hand, similar to a paper towel,” according to a statement by Bonded Logic.

[+] More about Bonded Logic UltraTouch Denim Insulation.

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Here is the original post: Denim Insulation Now Available at Lowe’s

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Wind-Oil: Homemade Food from Small Wind

Recall for a second a project called Rubble Floor by Dave Hakkens.  Hakkens recently published another project called “Wind-Oil” to show how to use industrial processes at home to create good food.  He made an oil pressing machine that’s powered by a small-wind turbine.  The machine has a worm drive that presses nuts and seeds — walnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, etc — and spits out oil in one bottle and a food pulp in another.

[+] More about Wind-Oil by Dave Hakkens.

Credits: Dave Hakkens.

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Continued here: Wind-Oil: Homemade Food from Small Wind

Rocio Romero LV Prefab in Pope Valley

If you’re in the Napa County and have an interest in modern prefab, an LV Home by Missouri-based Rocio Romero will be featured in open house public tours on September 22, 2012 (register here).  So you know, the LV model comes as a fabricated kit of parts — post and beam, exterior wall panels, faux wall panels, roof framing, select connectors, and siding material — and forms the shell of a home with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and about 1,344 square feet.  We’ve mentioned at least two LV homes in the past, one in Pacifica and another in Whidbey Island, and these homes generally get finished by a local contractor for $120 – $195 per square foot with the LV kit starting at $39,500.

[+] More about the LV model prefab home by Rocio Romero.

Credits: Karl Petzke. 

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See the article here: Rocio Romero LV Prefab in Pope Valley