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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Empowerhome – The Sustainable Net-Zero Home of the Future


Empowerhome - The Sustainable Net-Zero Home of the Future

The Empowerhouse, a home that produces all of its own energy, has just been built in a Washington D.C. neighborhood. It was designed by students at the New School and Stevens Institute of Technology as part of a Solar Decathlon design competition, which partnered with the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. This made one of the competition’s homes a reality for the first time ever.

This “net-zero” home consists of a bright, bold exterior, with an interior built out of recycled materials and receives plenty of natural light. The exterior contains stormwater management systems that help control heavy runoff impacting polluted rivers. Each unit has a terrace with a green roof and small agriculture plot, with a rain garden in the rear that captures rainwater escaping from the roof gardens. There is also an underground cistern that collects rainwater and uses it to water the property.

Empowerhome - The Sustainable Net-Zero Home of the Future

The parking space is made of permeable pavers, allowing stormwater to sink into the soil. It is also placed on D.C.’s first residential green street, which contains a trough full of dirt and plants that soak up street runoff and absorb oily pollutants.

Empowerhome - The Sustainable Net-Zero Home of the Future

The house is a shining example of how sustainable, affordable housing is possible, even in inner-city neighborhoods. Now that Habitat for Humanity is involved as well, it is likely that more of these homes will be popping up around the country.

Altius Architecture’s Bala Park Island Cabin

This gorgeous Bala Park Island cabin designed by Altius Architecture is a 3-bedroom, 2,200 square foot seasonal home located near Lake Muskoka in Ontario, Canada. The home is separated into two sides, consisting of a public and open kitchen, dining and living areas, and a side with private bedrooms. The roof contains clerestory windows, offering views of the nearby ridge, and the Douglas Fir roof joists allow for a clean pattern across the ceiling on the ground floor.

Two of the first energy efficiency strategies put into place for the cabin were orientation and passive solar design. Since it is not intended for use during the cold winter months, the most important factor is to keep it cool in the summer and provide enough heat during the spring and fall to maintain a comfortable temperature.

A Contraflow Masonry Heater is used for heating, which burns over 90% efficiency with radiant heat on demand. Renewable materials and finishes are also used in the design, along with low energy lighting, a solar hot water system, non-toxic materials, and water-efficient appliances.

Additional information and photos are available at Altius.net

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Off-Grid Prefab Home on Cusabo Island
  2. Karo Cabin: Modular, Movable, Green
  3. Off-Grid NZE Mountain Cabin in Colorado

See more here: Altius Architecture’s Bala Park Island Cabin

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First Unity Prefab Assembled in Three Days

A couple months ago I mentioned the launch of Unity Homes, a new brand of prefab homes by Bensonwood, and this is the first Unity home.  It’s located in Brattleboro, Vermont and the on-site assembly took just three days — with a weather-tight shell in two days.  The Xyla plan has factory-built wall and roof panels that are wrapped and shipped vertically.  The walls are guided in place with a crane and anchored, and then the roof panels are set.  After that the crew works on taping seams, installing trim, and finishing the siding.  It’s quite the process!

[+] More about the first Unity Home in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Credits: Unity Homes.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Built in Germany, Assembled in Eight Days
  2. Unity is an Ultra-Efficient Factory-Built Home
  3. Unity College Gets Passive Haus Building

See the original post: First Unity Prefab Assembled in Three Days

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Modern Park Passivhaus in Somerville

This is Park Passivhaus in Somerville, Massachusetts.  The home was designed to the German Passivhaus standard and is currently being built on an urban infill lot.  With modern detailing, a slender structure, and a shapely New England form by Placetailor, also the builder, Park Passivhaus will incorporate a Zehnder HRV, two Mitsubishi Mr. Slim mini-splits, and a high performance envelope with an 18″ double-wall cavity, blown-in cellulose, Makrowin windows and doors, Fakro skylights, ZIP sheathing roof, Siga tapes, Siga-Majvest membrane, Cedar and Alucubond cladding, etc.  This is an excellent project to track, especially if you’re interested in Passive House detail.

[+] Follow the build of Park Passivhaus in Massachusetts.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Modern Prototype Passivhaus in Syracuse
  2. East Coast Passivhaus with a Green Roof
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See the rest here: Modern Park Passivhaus in Somerville

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New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

The media relations group for Oak Ridge National Laboratory just released more information about recent field tests by ORNL of a new roof and attic system that keeps homes cool in the summer and prevents heat loss in the winter.  The system is explained in the graphic embedded above (click to expand).  In addition, I’ve included some graphics below to illustrate more of what the system looks like and how it saves energy.

The system employs a passive ventilation strategy that is expected to cost about $2,000 for a retrofit situation with savings of roughly $100 per year, yielding a payback of about 20 years.

Foil covered polystyrene insulation (with the ventilation gap) is installed over and between rafters for new construction or on top of an existing shingle system in a retrofit.  With the new roof assembly, air moves from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof, according to an ORNL statement, so that “heat that would have gone into the house is carried up and out,” said Bill Miller of ORNL’s Building Envelope Group.

In the summer, the temperature of the attic is reduced as a result of the roof detailing and, according to observations by ORNL, the thermal load of the home is thereby reduced. Further, ORNL found improved efficiencies even if the attic floor is insufficiently insulated.

The research and findings are discussed in more detail in a paper, “Prototype Roof Deck Designed to Self-Regulate Deck Temperature and Reduce Heat Transfer,” published by the National Roofing Contractors Association.  A PowerPoint of the background research can be found here [PDF].

[+] More about this roof-attic system tested by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Glass Tile Roof Solar by SolTech Energy
  2. CertainTeed Intros New Apollo Solar Roof
  3. How to Insulate an Uninsulated House

Original post: New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

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.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Tiny Harbinger House in North Carolina
  2. The First Passive House in North Carolina
  3. Passive Makes Perfect in North Carolina

More: Prefab Living Structures in North Carolina

Reclaimed Getaway Cabin on the Hillside

Imre Kovacs, a reader of Jetson Green and architect/builder of this weekend getaway cabin, shared his project with us recently, saying it cost $4,350 to build, including labor for one worker.  Located in Pomaz, Hungary, the 107-square-foot cabin was built with mostly materials reclaimed from demolition sites (timber, bricks, roof tile, rocks, etc), as well as new roof insulation, two pieces of glass, and linseed oil to treat the wood.  Kovacs owns the cabin with his wife, and they use the place to escape the city.  There’s a composting toilet, but water is provided from a well downhill and lighting is from candles.

[+] More about Imre Kovacs and his reclaimed wood furnishings.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Cedar-Slat Tiny Sunset Cabin on the Lake
  2. Reclaimed Wood with a Rainscreen Install
  3. Reclaimed Joshua Collection by Amenity

See original here: Reclaimed Getaway Cabin on the Hillside

The First Passive House in Virginia

This is the first Passive House to be certified by PHIUS in Virginia.  Located at 229 Lankford Avenue in Charlottesville, Virginia, the project was designed by Giovanna Galfione-Cox and certified by John Semmelhack of Think Little.  Lankford Passive House has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and about 2,250 square feet, according to a local real estate listing, and is offered for sale at $598,000.

Lankford Passive House met the airtightness requirement with 0.42 ACH at 50 Pascal.  For systems, the new home has an UltimateAir ERV, GE heat pump water heater, and a Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump with two indoor units.

All of the appliances are Energy Star or better and include a Bosch EcoSense dishwasher, VestFrost refrigerator from Denmark, and Schott Ceran glass-ceramic cooktop.

In terms of the construction, the green home has triple-pane Serious Windows 725 Series, double-stud wall framing, FSC-certified framing lumber and plywood, structural insulated sheathing with taped seams, a hybrid wall with nine inches of Agribalance open cell spray foam and cellulose insulation, a roof with Agribalance open cell spray foam and two inches of closed cell roof foam, a white roof, and an exterior with stucco and Western Red Cedar.

The home is solar ready and includes several other green elements, including a 1,100-gallon rainwater harvesting system, locally-sourced slate, regionally-sourced red oak floors with a water-based low-VOC finish, and building finishes from cherry and locust trees harvested on the site.

[+] More about the Lankford Passive House from The Hook.

Credits: CAAR MLS. 

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

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  3. Passive House Retreat in Rhode Island

Read more here: The First Passive House in Virginia

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Factory-Built Micro-Homes in San Francisco

This is a rendering of a new form of sustainable development that will manifest itself in San Francisco in an infill project called SmartSpace SoMa.  SmartSpace will have 23 micro-dwellings each with ~150 square feet of living area, 300 cubic feet of storage along a wall, and nine-foot ceilings.  The project, which will be built with off-site fabricated modules from ZETA Communities, will also aim for LEED Gold certification and near net-zero energy.

In other words, SmartSpace SoMa is a dense, tiny-house community in a walkable neighborhood with a Walk Score of 98/100.  The location is 38 Harriet Street.

The project will be built with the cutting-edge of construction methodologies. Modules should be completed this month in a factory after two weeks of work, and the ribbon cutting is set for October 2012.  That’s quite the turnaround time for a four-level building.

Planned green elements include LED and CFL lights, EcoBatt insulation, low-VOC finishes, Energy Star appliances, formaldehyde-free cabinetry, low-flow fixtures, a cool roof, rainwater collection, solar-thermal water heating, and FSC-certified lumber.  Residents will also have secure on-site bike storage and access to various modes of transportation, including the local carshare.

[+] More about SmartSpace Soma micro-dwellings in California.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. How Are Prefab Homes Built in a Factory?
  2. Affordable LEED Homes Open in San Jose
  3. Stillwater Dwelling Built in Santa Barbara

Go here to see the original: Factory-Built Micro-Homes in San Francisco

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