Malta Home Maximizes a Small Lot With Cantilevered Design

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Located on the tiny island of Malta, this sustainable home by Chris Briffa Architects was designed on a lot only 250 square meters in size. The green-roofed, energy-efficient Hanging Home has turned into a significant design challenge, incorporating the small space with eco-friendly features into this modern yet traditional home.

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In order to bypass the zoning challenges of the small lot, nearly half of the house is cantilevered over the outdoor space, with portions of the living and dining rooms literally floating over the outdoor pool on a slab of concrete.

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The home uses low-energy radiant floor heating to stay warm in the winter, and stays cool in the summer through natural ventilation. The design allows for plenty of natural daylight and cross ventilation, keeping energy use at a minimum. Overall, the natural materials and strategic design provide a sustainable, energy-efficient home that is simple, stylish, and comfortable.

50/10 Houses Aim for a Green Sweet Spot

When a large or expensive home is presented on this site, it’s common to get an adverse response from readers requesting that we feature smaller and more affordable homes.  Today, I’m going to take that opportunity to share something called the 50/10 House developed by Cellar Ridge Custom Homes and m.o.daby design in Oregon.

A 50/10 House aims for the sweet spot of performance and cost — it’s 50% more efficient than local code, and the construction requires a reasonable 10% upfront investment.

This graphic explains what goes into a 50/10 House to make it more efficient than code. There’s above-code insulation, heat recovery ventilation, energy-efficient lighting, air sealing in the gaps and cracks, a thermally broken wall system, Energy Star appliances, thoughtful overhangs, carefully placed windows, a high-efficiency water heater, and a mini-split heat pump system.

The homes range in size from about 1,200 – 1,600 square feet and will be oriented to optimize the sun. Roof lines are designed for solar panels, should an owner decide to spend a little more to reach net-zero energy or greater efficiencies.

Cellar Ridge and m.o.daby are currently offering 50/10 Houses from a starting price of $190,000, without land anywhere in the Portland metro area, or from $225,000 with the lot in McMinnville, Oregon.

Though more affordable than custom or architect-designed residential, a 50/10 House is not cookie cutter. Cellar Ridge and m.o.daby, who combined their efforts on the Morning Sun project, offer several architectural styles with alternative floor plans. Furthermore, owners have the ability to customize cladding materials and colors.

[+] More about the elements of a high-performance 50/10 House.

Credits: m.o.daby design. 

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LivingHomes Unveils Low-Cost C6 Prefab

This is C6, the first low-cost LivingHome and the only “Zero Energy, Zero Carbon production home ever to feature a LEED Platinum level environmental program and Cradle-to-Cradle inspired materials,” according to California-based green prefab company, LivingHomes.  It was designed by LivingHomes in collaboration with Make It Right, which was founded by Brad Pitt and Bill McDonough, and will open for tours this month in Long Beach and Palm Springs, California.

C6 is outfitted with James Hardie siding, Thermatru doors, Andersen windows, Verve lighting, GE kitchen and laundry appliances, a Nest thermostat, Kohler fixtures, Mosa tile, Millstead cork floors, Armstrong cabinets, and Staron countertops, etc.

C6 also features a patent-pending door handle designed by architect Bill McDonough that’s supposed to give the owners a dose of Zinc with every touch.

Together, the products and design facilitate a California-style, indoor-outdoor experience that makes a total 1,232 square feet feel a lot bigger than it is.

The three-bedroom, two-bath C6 sells complete for $179,000, depending on local costs, including permit-ready drawings and excluding things like permits, transport, install, landscape, and foundation.  A portion of the proceeds from each C6 sale will go towards Make It Right.

[+] More about the C6 Prefab by Living Homes/Make It Right.

Credits: Izumi Tanaka. 

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