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.

Gulf Islands Cabin by Olson Kundig Provides a Single-Room Retreat in British Columbia

This gorgeous Gulf Islands Cabin by Olson Kundig Architects is the perfect spot for nature lovers to escape for a cozy weekend retreat. Located in British Columbia, the minimalist space consists of one wood-paneled room, with a secure exterior made of corten steel that ensures safety from storms and fires.

The single bedroom is secure on a concrete foundation, and provides just enough room for a bed, chair, toilet, stove, and kitchenette. There is a shower outside on the porch, and the roof overhangs on each side for plenty of shade and protection from natural elements. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide plenty of natural lighting through the front of the cabin, and a movable steel exterior can be closed over it for protection while not in use.

As the steel and exterior begins to weather, it will blend in more with its natural surroundings and begin to emulate a rustic cabin in the woods. There’s even a small section of outdoor wood storage, which enhances the log cabin look and provides plenty of material for campfires all summer long.

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Japanese Home Offers a Minimalist Design With Natural, Earthen Floors

IdeaPaint Makes a Clear Dry-Erase Surface

It’s been a few years since I last mentioned IdeaPaint.  The company now has black and clear versions of the popular product to go with the white.  Now the dry-erase surface can be any number of colors with CREATE – Clear.  IdeaPaint sells a kit that’ll cover 50 square feet for the price of $225, which includes the paint, a roller, and several other odds and ends.  The product works best on sealed, non-porous surfaces and is a low-VOC product that meets GREENGUARD Children & School requirements.

[+] More about the clear version of dry-erase IdeaPaint CREATE.

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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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Bespoke Green Railing by BOK Modern

In the midst of an effort to reduce costs associated with standard pipe railing on a multifamily project, the founders of BŌK Modern happened upon innovation.  Their epiphany came when they decided to use laser-cut flat metal formed using computer-automated machines (to reduce welding, grinding, and other unnecessary hand labor).  Some of the panels were on display at the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference, and editor Dan Gregory said they were “striking.

The panels can be used for balcony railings, stair panels, guardrails, juliet balconies, fences, gates, wall screens, green screens, and canopies, etc, as shown in the above diagram.

BŌK Modern is available in several thicknesses, materials, and finishes.

BŌK is made in California with completely recyclable aluminum or steel with up to 100% recycled content.  Generally, the architectural panels can be purchased with a anodizing or low- or no-VOC powder coat finish.

[+] More about architectural metal panels by BŌK Modern.

Credits: BŌK Modern.

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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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New Blueair Air Purifier Just Makes Sense

This the new Blueair Sense designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune.  It was designed to shatter barriers in the bland world of air purification with a contemporary design, touch-less control, compact size, low energy consumption, quiet operation, and optimal clean air delivery rate.  All Blueair units are Energy Star certified and use “HEPA Silent” technology, and I understand Blueair Sense will be no different.  I’ve asked Blueair for pricing and availability information and will update this article when I hear back.

[+] More about air purifiers by Blueair USA.

Credits: Blueair.

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Stratum is a Bamboo-Filled Surface Material

So, what do you get when you sandwich a plywood bamboo material called PlyBoo with two sheets of a paper-composite called RichliteStratum, a new surface material made through a venture between Smith & Fong and Richlite Company.  The material was inspired by nature and the majestic basalt cliffs of Palouse Canyon in eastern Washington.

I first noticed the material when the Chad Ludeman mentioned that he was chomping at the bit to put Stratum in play as an upgrade for a new project called reNEWBOLD.

Stratum combines the green benefits of PlyBoo and Richlite so it’s FSC-certified and may contribute towards LEED points.  Richlite is made with FSC-certified fibers, while PlyBoo is made with rapidly renewable bamboo and soy adhesives.  Stratum contains no added urea-formaldehyde.

The material is non off-gassing and heat, scratch, and stain resistant, according to Richlite.  Stratum is available in a 1″ thickness and 48″ x 96″ sheet sizes with any of the ten available Richlite Northwest colors.

[+] Get more technical detail about Richlite Stratum.

Credits: Richlite.

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Seattle Alley House Aims for LEED Platinum

This is Alley House 2, a modular prefab home aiming for LEED Platinum certification, located in the Madison Valley neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.  We looked at the home during site assembly and note that it’s complete and listed for sale at the offering of $599,000.  The home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a one-car garage (that could be used as a workshop or converted to an ADU), and 1,687 square feet.

Alley House 2 was developed by Cascade Built, designed by David Foster Architects, and assembled by Method Homes.

The green home features advanced framing, ample natural light, a mini-split heat pump, on-demand hot water, WaterSense fixtures, low-VOC paints and finishes, strand bamboo flooring, rainscreen siding with fiber cement and cedar, pervious paving, drought-tolerant plantings, and a roof ready for vegetation and solar PV.

Alley House 2 is located at 216-B 26th Ave E, Seattle, Washington, 98112 and is currently listed under MLS# 264959.

[+] More about Alley House 2 from Cascade Built.

Credits: Infinite Real Estate Development.

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