WFH House by Arcgency is a Sustainable Modular Home Made of Three Shipping Containers

wfh house 4

Located in Wuxi, China, the WFH House by Arcgency is made of three shipping containers combined to create this beautiful Nordic-style home. The sloping green roof sits atop an open, spacious interior, which is made of a single container on one side and a stacked set on the other. The style can be customized for various climates, layouts, and plots of land.

wfh house 1

wfh house 2

The containers are lined with insulation covered in bamboo, and the central space is airy and open with skylights that fill the area with natural light. The second floor consists of bedrooms for the kids, with a giant glass curtain overlooking the living area.

wfh house 3

The roof is lined with lush greenery that filters rainwater and provides natural insulation, along with solar cells and sustainable bamboo draped along the exterior. The home is a simple, cost-efficient modular design, especially for those living in areas with extreme heat or a high risk of earthquakes.

wfh house 5

The building components are simple and minimal, and undergo a graceful aging process that minimizes wear and tear and reduces maintenance costs.

See the article here: WFH House by Arcgency is a Sustainable Modular Home Made of Three Shipping Containers

Striking Modscape Prefab Point Leo Australia

Australian Modscape Prefab By The Sea at Point Leo

Australian Modscape Prefab By The Sea at Point Leo

Combining exceptional contemporary design with superior functionality, this two-
story modular prefabricated home is a striking addition to the seaside township of
Point Leo in Victoria, Australia.

Designed and constructed by Melbourne-based Modscape using seven modules, the
house comprises 1162.5 square feet of internal entertaining area, 624 square feet
of external entertaining space and 1205.6 square feet of accommodation, including
five bedrooms on the upper level. A feature of the house is a Corian kitchen bench
that continues out onto the exterior decking and incorporates a barbecue to create an
indoor/outdoor kitchen for year-round entertaining.

Externally, the house is clad in dark-stained Pacific teak plantation timber and rough
sawn Shadowclad, giving an affinity with its natural seaside environment.

All Modscape homes are based on sustainable design principles aimed at minimizing
environmental impact, maximizing year-round comfort and reducing running costs.
The upscale Point Leo house cost $AU681,000 with a build time of just 12 weeks.

The house is orientated to optimize passive heating and cooling and capture sea
breezes for natural ventilation. It incorporates high thermal insulation, double glazed
windows, a solar hot water service, 3+ star-rated water efficient fixtures and fittings,
rainwater collection for potable use, greywater recycling for toilets and irrigation and
drought-resistant landscaping.

Australian Modscape Prefab Kitchen Area

Australian Modscape Prefab Kitchen Area

All Modscape homes are constructed using fully welded steel frame modules
with structurally insulated panels. Modules can be arranged to create almost any
configuration of spaces and can be made to any size to suit the client’s site and
design. Homes are fabricated to completion prior to leaving the company’s Melbourne
factory, reducing site waste and environmental impact. All materials incorporated
are selected for sustainability, low embodied energy and minimal greenhouse gas

Modscape are located at 430 Francis Street, Brooklyn, Victoria. For more information
visit Modscape

Australian Modscape Prefab

Australian Modscape Prefab Living Area

Modscape Bedroom

Modscape Bedroom

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Continue reading here: Striking Modscape Prefab Point Leo Australia

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LivingHomes Intros Low-Cost CK Prefabs

Santa Monica-based LivingHomes just announced the launch of three new designs — the CK4, CK5, and CK7 — based on the affordable C6 (also featured here), which made headline news earlier this year.  CK Series designs are available for the price of $145 per square foot, not including installation or foundation, which is quite reasonable considering what’s available: a LEED Platinum level environmental program, high-quality modular build, and modern design inspired by Ray Kappe, FAIA.

All CK4, CK5, and CK7 homes will be built by Cavco and available in most states.  The build takes about two months, and the installation can be done in a day, according to materials from LivingHomes.

The prefab homes will achieve most of the company’s Z6 Environmental Goals of Zero Energy, Zero Water, Zero Emissions, Zero Carbon, Zero Waste, and Zero Ignorance with things like: energy-efficient lighting and appliances, low-flow water fixtures, floor-to-ceiling glass, clerestory windows, light tubes, transom windows, sliding glass doors, cork floors, a wood ceiling, formaldehyde-free millwork, wood siding, real-time energy feedback, etc.

CK Series homes are available in several floor plans.  Generally, they range in size from 1,300 to 2,200 square feet and carry a price that starts from $200,000 – $320,000, depending on the model.

The first CK home has been sold and will be installed next year on a property in Bell Canyon, California.  It’s a CK7 model with two stories, three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and about 2,200 square feet.

[+] More about the new, low-cost CK Series by LivingHomes.

Credits: LivingHomes.

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Connect Homes Innovates in Silicon Valley

Connect:Homes is a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of prefab homes founded by Jared Levy and Gordon Stott (formerly with Marmol Radziner) on a mission to reduce the delivery costs associated with modular construction and make sustainable homes more affordable. To make that happen, Levy and Stott spent the last three years designing, prototyping, and patenting a system to cost-effectively deliver prefab homes, and they put their awesome prototype on display at Dwell on Design 2012.

In summary, a large part of the solution is to size the modules to be transported by the intermodal shipping container network. All Connect:Homes, therefore, can be delivered virtually anywhere in the world by truck, rail, or ship.

But to be clear, these aren’t container homes, these are homes shipped on a framework designed for intermodal shipping containers.

Transportation can cost nearly $100,000 cross-country or $400,000 overseas for the typical prefab home, according to Connect:Homes, so designers and builders have been forced to use regional factories that may or may not offer a high-performance build or a desirable selection of finishes or materials.

Not satisfied with the high costs or other limitations, Levy said, “We asked ourselves if you can ship a shipping container full of 64,000 lbs of goods around the world for $5,000, why should it cost you so much to ship a house?Connect:Homes ships 90% completed modules and cuts delivery costs by up to 90% to deliver a more affordable home.

Shipping innovation isn’t the only advance that Connect:Homes aims to bring to factory-built housing. To avoid the cost of renting a 240-ton crane, which Levy said could be up to $15,000 per day, the company will use giant castors to roll modules into place. This is something that only applies to the ground-level modules, but like a skateboard, the home just rolls onto a finished foundation.

The company will test this installation method when sending the Connect:2.1 prototype to the Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Avenue, Los Altos, California, for the Dwell Silicon Valley Home Tour starting on November 3, 2012. Visit this page for more detail.

In terms of pricing, Connect:Homes start at $140 per square foot out of the factory and range to $165 per square foot delivered and installed, according to a company statement.

Connect:Homes come with house-wide LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, 100% recycled content glass countertops, in-wall dual-flush Duravit toilets, an insulation package to match any climate (standard of R21 walls, R30 floors, and R45 roof), and other materials that can contribute toward credits for LEED certification.

[+] More about Connect:Homes modular prefab from California.

Credits: Connect:Homes (#1-2); Bethany Nauert, West Elm (#3-4).

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See more here: Connect Homes Innovates in Silicon Valley

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Disney House Prefab in Joshua Tree

As mentioned earlier this week, a new Blu Homes prefab will open for tours this weekend, September 15-16, 2012, in Joshua Tree, California.  The home was built for Tim Disney with two Origin units and a separate guest unit.  Each Origin unit, to give you a ballpark on the value of a home like this, starts at $135,000 in California, according to information on the Blu Homes website.

One of the things about off-site fabrication is that it enables the construction of homes in places where homes may not have been built in the past, whether for reasons of cost or otherwise.  A prefab in Joshua Tree, for example, can be built almost entirely by available professionals in Vallejo for less cost.

But finding available land is still a tough nut to crack for most.  Cheap land usually has challenges, and infill land is hard to find without deconstruction.  A Blu Homes representative told me about 80% of their customers want a green prefab but they have no land.  That puts the Blu Homes’ land search partnership with Redfin in perspective.

For customers that can find a parcel, Blu Homes solidified its position as best of class.  The other day, the company announced a new round of funding led by Netherlands-based Skagen Group.  Blu now has a total of $69 million under investment since the founding in 2008.  New funds will be used to “[expand] sales and marketing efforts to keep pace with our technology and design innovations,” according to recent statement.

But land and investment aside, if you’re interested in seeing this modern Joshua Tree prefab, register here.  Ace Hotel is providing 15% off when registering by phone with the code “bluhomes.”

[+] Register to visit this desert prefab September 15-16, 2012.

Credits: John Swain Photography.

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View original post here: Disney House Prefab in Joshua Tree

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Wattvision Pursues Next Gen Energy Monitor

I mentioned Wattvision previously, and the company is now running a Kickstarter campaign to deploy its complete the next generation of hardware, cover more types of power meters, and deploy the new hardware by about January 2013.  Wattvision 2 includes a sensor that attaches to your home electricity meter and a gateway that connects up with your internet network.  With these in place, a user can check electricity use online or from a smart phone.

Wattvision may be used to compare electricity usage among appliances or other homes using the system, track electricity costs, and find appliances that are using too much energy.  It’s an expensive solution for tracking phantom energy, but this will help with that.

The founders say the product provides a “live view” of energy use.  Feedback is in real-time, and knowledge is power.  The product is “all-American” and the company wants purchasers to be able to set up the system in about five minutes or less.  The system on Kickstarter will cost between about $175-200.

[+] More about energy monitoring from New Jersey-based Wattvision.

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Follow this link: Wattvision Pursues Next Gen Energy Monitor

Study: Eco Labels Influence Home Values

A green label on a single-family home in California provides a market premium compared to a comparable home without the label, according to a new study co-authored by Nils Kok (UC-Berkeley) and Matthew E. Kahn (UCLA).  The authors found that a green home label — Energy Star, LEED, GreenPoint Rated — adds an average nine percent price premium, or about $34,800 more than homes without a green label using the average home price of $400,000 in California.

Kok and Kahn studied about 1.6 million homes sold in California from 2007 through 2012.  While controlling for variables known to influence home values — location, size, vintage, amenities — the authors claim they were able to isolate the added value, or premium, of green home labels.

In addition, the authors found two interesting points of research relating to the so-called green premium.  First, green homes sell for a higher premium in hotter climates.  The authors speculate that green labels are valued because homes in these areas cost more money to cool.  Second, the premium is positively correlated to geographies with higher registrations of hybrid vehicles.  The authors use hybrid registrations as a proxy for environmental ideology and believe the correlation suggests homeowners in these areas value the intangible qualities associated with having a green home.

In other words, “in communities with strong environmental values, residents may see green homes as a point of pride or status symbol,” said Kok in a statement announcing the new study, The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market.

Indeed, some of the benefits that homeowners may associate with green homes include: lower utility costs, higher quality of construction, better indoor air comfort, healthier indoor air quality, and proximity to amenities including parks, shops, and mass transit.  According to some research, demand for green building materials is expected to reach $70 billion by 2015 and green homes could become roughly 28-39% of the market by 2016.

[+] The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market.

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Jet Prefab Offers an Affordable One Story

*This was contributed by site partner Jet Prefab.

One thing you don’t want to do, if you’re interested in buying a prefab home, is pay some company to design something only to find out you can’t afford it in the first place. Or, as mentioned in a recent NY Times article about prefab kit homes, you definitely don’t want to get into the build without a clear vision of the total costs to complete the home. It’s mission critical that the prefab buying process be entirely transparent.

And that’s what Jet Prefab is out to do. The company, a division of American Green Home Builders, is a builder with its own design, framing, plumbing, painting teams, etc. Jet got into the prefab business knowing the company could guide homeowners through the entire process from start to finish.

In other words, Jet isn’t going to blow a deposit just to price a design. Jet will create a budget up-front so you have the all-in cost in the beginning. It’s their Upfront Commitment.

At the same time, Jet Prefab has worked hard to create a line of homes with palatable pricing. They’ve recently responded to requests and added an affordable home called The One Story. This is a modern ranch design with an open kitchen and living area, two bedrooms, a full bathroom, and an office.

The One Story has 1,040 square feet and is priced at $149,000, with the inclusions and exclusions detailed on the Jet Prefab website. If you’re looking at green prefab, and particularly a prefab with 100% Made in America materials, check this company out.

[+] Visit Jet Prefab for more about The One Story.

*This is a contributed article for a partner who compensated Jetson Green. All opinions are ours. We partnered with Jet because what they’re doing fits our focus on prefab homes.

Continued here: Jet Prefab Offers an Affordable One Story

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Bright Home Ideas, Dishwasher Efficiency, Simple Cost Savings, + Home Solar Subsidies

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Upfront Cost of Installing Solar at Home

California-based Sunrun and Harris Interactive recently announced the results of a survey of 2,211 adults (1,475 homeowners) about the cost and desirability of installing a home solar system.  The main sound bite is the one-liner that “97% of Americans overestimate the cost of going solar,” as well as the stat that “nearly 8 out of 10 of those who do not already have solar panels say they would install solar if cost were not a factor.

The survey asked respondents to guess: ** the actual cost to install solar panels with solar power service on an average-sized home.**

You may disagree but I view this as a trick question to see if anyone really knows what a “solar power service” is.  That is to say, only 3% responded with what could be seen as a correct answer of “less than $1,000.

With a solar power service – i.e., third-party owned solar in the form of a solar lease or a power purchase agreement, depending on the state – the purchaser doesn’t own the panels, so the upfront cost to the homeowner is nominal compared to purchase cost of the same system.  With a solar power service, one could “go solar” without buying the panels.

As a side note, it’s hard to tell if the question clarifies whether “actual cost” is viewed from the homeowner’s perspective or from the installer perspective.  Regardless of purchase, lease, or other financing, the actual cost is what it is – someone pays for the solar panels and that someone is probably the homeowner in the form of a lease or power purchase payment over time.

In any event, Sunrun found that nearly eight out of 10 homeowners who do not already have solar panels would install solar if cost were not a factor.  That to me is another way of saying: if the solar panels were free, would you like to have them?  Most likely (unless you’re thinking nothing in this world is free), the answer is yes.

Seems like the real takeaway from the survey is many Americans have no idea how solar panels can be leased or financed under various contractual models that tie into state laws.  And this lack of familiarity means the decision to “go solar” should be made after diligence, investigation, and full understanding.

[+] Americans Overestimate Upfront Cost of Installing Solar.

Credit: Sunrun. 

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