Kanga Room Systems Make the Perfect Office, Guest Room, or Studio Space

Whether your home is in need of a small studio space, office, or extra guest bedroom, Austin, Texas-based Kanga Room Systems is the perfect portable option. The modern, eco-friendly buildings are designed with portability in mind, and are custom-made to fit your existing home with bathroom, kitchenette, and multiple room options.

Prices for a Kanga Room System range from $7,150 to $15,500, with size options between 8’x10’ and 14’x24’. Each one comes with a treated skids foundation, EPDM roof membrane, galvanized fascia flashing, cedar accent siding, a metal door with full lite glass, and several other unique features made of quality materials.

The system is shipped right to your home from Texas as a kit, where you or a contractor can assemble it. Kanga uses eco-conscious, sustainable, and energy-efficient materials whenever possible, and they are always customizable for specific aesthetic or environmental needs.

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Read the original post: Kanga Room Systems Make the Perfect Office, Guest Room, or Studio Space

Windows That Help with LEED Certification

This is the third installment in our series called Energy-Efficient Windows 101 made possible by Marvin Windows and Doors. In the previous article, I discussed some of the product options available for your energy-efficient windows. For this article I want to focus on how Marvin windows contribute towards a home’s efficiency and LEED certification.

Windows and Energy Efficiency

Windows are a weak point in the envelope of a home and can make a home uncomfortable or drafty. However, that doesn’t have to be the case with products available from Marvin. Energy-efficient windows and doors can help reduce energy bills by up to 15%, according to the Energy Star website, and Marvin has more than 150,000 options for meeting or exceeding Energy Star requirements. Marvin has dual- and triple-pane windows, various low-E coatings, insulating gases like argon and krypton, and several choices of framing materials.

Windows and LEED Certification

As you probably know, windows themselves can’t obtain LEED certification but they may contribute towards certification for a project or home. Marvin windows may help contribute toward LEED-H points in several categories relating to energy performance, construction waste management, recycled content, regional materials,daylighting and views, and certified wood.

Try the Smart Performance Promotion

Marvin is running a Smart Performance Promotion giving one lucky homeowner $5,000 toward the purchase of new Marvin windows and doors. In connection with the promotion, the company published a collection of energy efficiency and other home improvement tips from Lou Manfredini, a homebuilder, contributor to the Today Show, and host of HouseSmarts TV.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Windows with Energy Efficiency in Mind
  2. Energy Efficient Windows with Marvin
  3. How to Read a Home Window Label

Continued here: Windows That Help with LEED Certification

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Greenfab Takes Prefab to IBS Las Vegas

If you’re planning on the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, expect to see not one but two modular homes built by Greenfab, the builder behind this modular, LEED Platinum home.  The first home is a modified version of Greenfab’s 2100 Series home with 2,100 square feet, up to four bedrooms, and a master suite that opens to a large roof deck.

The second has a 2,300 square-foot plan with an outdoor deck for entertaining.  Both prefab homes will pursue LEED Platinum certification, according to Greenfab.

Some of the green features of a Greenfab home include high R-value insulation, windows that allow natural lighting, durable siding, energy-efficient lighting, Energy Star appliances, water-efficient fixtures, dual-flush toilets, recycled-content materials, etc.

[+] More about the Greenfab modular homes going to IBS 2013.

Credits: Greenfab.

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Continued here: Greenfab Takes Prefab to IBS Las Vegas

Windows with Energy Efficiency in Mind

This is another installment in our series called Energy-Efficient Windows 101 made possible by Marvin Windows and Doors. In our first article of the series, I discussed some window basics and how to read a home window label.  Now I want to discuss more product options available for your energy-efficient windows.  When you buy Marvin windows, you’ll have the opportunity to decide how many panes you need and which glazing and gas options can contribute towards your home performance goals and well as maximize your comfort.

Dual- or Triple-Pane Windows

Marvin has window products with two or three panes of glass.  Triple-pane, or tripane, windows are usually thicker, heavier, and have a lower U-factor and are attractive for northern climates. That said, dual-pane windows are the most common and perform well. Your local dealer can help you select the right coatings for your climate; for example, some coatings are more ideal for the north while others for southern climate zones.

Insulating Glass Glazing Options

Marvin can cover glass panes with a thin layer of metallic material to improve the energy performance of the window.  Specifically, low-emissivity, also LoE or Low-E, coatings on the glass surface and gaps between each pane can be used to block heat transfer through a window.  The following coatings are available, depending on window and door needs:

LoĒ-180® – a single metallic coating blocks heat loss to the outside and reflects heat back inside a home.  This coating is used when a high SGHC is needed, such as in northern climates.

LoĒ2-272® – a double metallic coating on the inside glass surface reflects heat into a room and rejects the warmth in the summer.  This coating is better at reducing heat loss than the LoĒ-180 and may be suitable in all climates except the Southern zone of Energy Star.

LoĒ3-366® – a triple metallic coating of silver which provides a lower U-factor and lower SHGC than the other two coatings.  This option is recommended in areas with intense sun and high cooling costs.

Insulating Gases Between Panes

In addition, Marvin can inject gases between panes to improve window performance.  Standard windows have argon to increase energy efficiency, while a blend of krypton, argon, and air is available in tripane products for enhanced performance in northern climates.

Wood/Aluminum Frame Options

Marvin offers wood interior or exterior, as well as durable extruded aluminum exterior option.

Additional Window Options

A couple of other options merit a quick mention as well. Marvin offers glass from Cardinal, whose designs prevent heat loss around the window perimeter. Marvin also offers an Energy Panel, which is a removable exterior glass panel with glazing that can be used to improve the performance of single-glazing wood windows.

Marvin has a fall energy efficiency program with the Smart Performance Promotion giving one lucky homeowner $5,000 toward the purchase of new Marvin windows and doors. In connection with the promotion, Marvin has a collection of energy efficiency and other home improvement tips from Lou Manfredini, a homebuilder, contributor to the Today Show, and host of HouseSmarts TV.

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See the rest here: Windows with Energy Efficiency in Mind

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Efficient Prefab Homes, Cheaper LEDs, Sustainability Claims, + Generator Safety Tips

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for updates, article summaries, newsworthy links, and other site news.

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Read this article: Efficient Prefab Homes, Cheaper LEDs, Sustainability Claims, + Generator Safety Tips

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October Month in Review [Outline]

Happy Halloween!  Here’s another outline of coverage from the prior month.  From newly published posts in October, I noticed that these four were the most popular — Firefly VAWT, Deltec Homestead, Floating Autarkhome, and How to Read a Window Label. Also, if you like reading Jetson Green but want something in book form on a given topic, here’s a list of books on the popular topics we cover.  The article outline:

Innovative Prefab & Other Projects:

Technology & Products Innovation:

Know-How & Other Green News:

Also, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for updates, article summaries, newsworthy links, and other site news.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Autarkhome: Sustainable Floating Passivhaus
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Excerpt from: October Month in Review [Outline]

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Deltec Homes Intros The Solar Homestead

The Solar Homestead by Appalachian State University was the People’s Choice winner in the Solar Decathlon 2011, and now virtually anyone in the world can get the same home from North Carolina-based Deltec Homes.  Deltec, a pioneer of round prefab, will build and ship the self-sustaining home, and send royalties from their sales back to the university located in Boone.  This is apparently “the first time a Decathlon winner is being made available to the consumer,” according to Deltec Homes.

A prominent feature of the Homestead is the canopy.  Deltec provides an optional solar canopy with translucent, bi-facial solar panels or a tongue-and-groove finish (which can be retrofitted with solar in the future).

The Solar Homestead has a main house of 1,032 square feet with two bedrooms and one bathroom.  With the optional Flex OM outbuilding module, which can include a full- or half-bath with a bedroom or office, the Homestead grows 135 square feet.  Deltec also offers the Storage OMs that were in the Decathlon home.

Deltec said their new offering is designed to be a “net-zero” home with the combination of a highly efficient building enclosure and solar technology.  The construct includes fiber-cement siding, super-insulated double-stud walls, triple-glazed windows, a solar hot water kit, fresh air exchange system, and a climate-specific efficient heating and cooling system.

The company can ship a panelized building system package nationally or finish a turnkey house within about 60 miles of Ashville, North Carolina.  I’ve asked Deltec about potential pricing for both options and will update this article when I learn more.

[+] More about the panelized Solar Homestead by Deltec Homes.

Credits: Deltec Homes.

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Original post: Deltec Homes Intros The Solar Homestead

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Efficient Modular Duplex in Yellowknife

You may recall a practical green prefab by SMPLy Mod that we featured about a year ago.  This duplex is by the same design firm, SMPL Design Studio (Joel Tanner), with new partners 9 Dot Engineering and Mod Home Developments.  The team employed modular construction to finish the duplex at 133 Moyle, and the homes perform quite well for being so far north: they require 55% less energy for heating and power.

The 1,300 square-foot homes, each with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, received an EnerGuide rating of 82, according to Joel Tanner at SMPL Design Studio.

This was accomplished with super efficient wall and roof assemblies (2

The First Passive House in Salt Lake City

This will be the first certified Passive House in the city limits of Salt Lake City (not to take anything away from the Breezeway House located outside the city in Salt Lake County), if certification by PHIUS goes as planned. I visited the home on a nice sunny day a couple weeks ago, but the photos of this beginning photographer didn’t turn out as I’d originally expected.* That said, I hope you can get a feeling for the contemporary design and some of the materials and technology that went into this ultra-efficient home.

Ruby House, located in a historic district in the Avenues, was designed by Brach Design Architecture (Dave Brach) and built by Benchmark Modern (Garth Hare), who you may recall, depending on how long you’ve been a reader, also built the Maryfield House.

Homes in the Avenues can be colorful or aged, or some combination of the two, and I think it’s safe to say that a boxy modern home just wouldn’t be welcome by many. Yet I think Brach was able to deliver a contemporary, energy efficient design while still respecting what’s going on in the neighborhood.

The owners agreed, “[Dave] optimized the placement of our house to take advantage of natural lighting, surrounding views, while maintaining privacy. Dave also considered and respected the surrounding architecture of the historic neighborhood and worked closely with the historic landmark commission to obtain approval of the plans,” according to a testimonial on Brach’s site.

For the Passive House geeks, you may interested to know what’s inside: a Zehnder Comfoair 350 HRV, Fujitsu air-to-air heat pumps (7kBtu upstairs and 9kBtu main level), a AO Smith high-efficiency water heater, Verve lighting controls, and Energate 1202 windows.

The build includes Logix ICF foundation walls, Senergy EIFS stucco, Old Virginia Brick thin bricks in Chatham Gray, Accoya cladding, Certainteed dense-pack fiberglass insulation, exterior EPS foam, and a white vinyl roof. There’s also an abundance of rich wood detail including maple stair treads, rift-sawn oak cabinets, maple veneer MDF ceiling, maple flooring and door trim, and a front and back porch soffit of marine-grade mahogany plywood.

It’s really a handsome green home. Architect Brach said to me, “I do believe this is something downtown Salt Lake City and the avenues historic district can be proud of,” and I can say first hand that I definitely agree.

[+] More photos of the Ruby House at Dave Brach Architecture.

*I have a new DSLR that I’m trying to learn how to use, particularly with indoor photos. I’m reading all sorts of material to take better shots in the future.  Don’t hate the project for my photos! – Photo credits: JetsonGreen.com.

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More here: The First Passive House in Salt Lake City

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Hive Makes a B-Line Prefab for Calgary

While prefab home companies on the West Coast gather accolades and media for their efforts, there’s Hive Modular in Minneapolis doing some things that I think merit attention, too.  The company has placed 21 completed prefab homes and is really popular with the fine citizens of Calgary, Alberta.  Turns out this — the B-Line Medium 010 — is the sixth Calgary project for Hive Modular since entering the Canadian market in 2008.  The two modules for this ultra-efficient home are scheduled to be set next Wednesday, September 26, at about 9:00 am, if you want to see one of these homes come together.

When finished, B-Line Medium 010 will have an open layout on the ground level with the kitchen, living room, dining room, and a half bathroom, while the upper level will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. That’s a total of about 2,075 square feet.

Some of the products used for this modular home include custom Plyboo cabinets, Hardie fiber cement exterior, Cambria countertops, Ames tile, Insteon lighting controls, and various fixtures from Grohe, Toto, and Kohler.  There will also be no-VOC paints, skylights for natural lighting, and energy-efficient windows.

Hive Modular told me in an email that the modules ship for a price of about $160 per square foot.  This isn’t the “turn-key” price, which would include excavation, foundation, utility hookups, etc, but it’s a ballpark worth noting.  Plus, you’ll note below how complete these are when they leave the factory.

Again, if you’re in the area, the modules will be set at 1928 Broadview Road NW in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on Wednesday, September 26, 2012, starting at 9:00 am.  After the home is buttoned up, I’ll try to source some completed photos to show you the final result.

[+] More about B-Line Medium 010 from Hive Modular.

Credits: Hive Modular. 

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See the original post here: Hive Makes a B-Line Prefab for Calgary

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