25+ Shipping Container House Plans

This article has been arranged so the shipping container house plans are first, because that is probably what you want to see. Below the plan information are a number of tips and issues to familiarize yourself with so that you can make good decisions before you spend a lot of money on the containers and getting the contractor help you might need. Dozens of Shipping Container House Plans 1 Container Bunkhouse A very simple design for a cabin or hunting…

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Remarkable $20K Houses From Rural Studio

Auburn University’s design team at Rural Studio has achieved the lofty goal of building affordable houses for somebody living below the poverty line. Here’s how: The team did so by completing two pilot project houses priced at $20,000 apiece. Materials for the homes totaled $14,000 each. The Design Challenge For over a decade, architecture students at Rural Studio, Auburn University’s design-build program in West Alabama have worked on a daunting problem, reports FastCompany. “How do you design a home that someone living…

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Home design trends

Top 10 Home Design Trends

The American Institute of Architects recently came out with its Top 10 list of upcoming Home Design Trends. Here is what we all have to look forward to in homes built in the next 10 years: Technological integration will become more prevalent, with dedicated support for personal devices, along with automated controls for temperature, security and lighting. Increased consumer awareness about environmental health issues, leading to more widespread use of low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for paint and…

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Wireless holiday lights by Aura

More Holiday Tech — Wireless Holiday Lights

This is another article for those who simply must have the latest and greatest that technology has to offer. In this case, it is wireless holiday lights, and it will be the next great thing for 2015. Powered by Aura has developed a system that allows lighted ornaments to be powered wirelessly from a central source. The Aura Power Ring can be placed at the base or center of the tree, depending on its size (range is about 5 feet).…

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Three Ways to Grow Green Things at Home

I propose that the next thing you add to your home to-do list on the weekends is the goal of growing something—anything! All the reasons and ways to grow flowers, plants, herbs, and vegetables—heck, even a tree once a year, if you can manage it—are of course too numerous to cover in one post. However, I’ll start with three benefits for both yourself and the planet.   Build a green roof! You might be wondering the purpose behind them, but…

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Team Orange County's entry into Solar Decathlon 2015

Team Orange County Focuses On SoCal Issues In Solar Decathlon 2015

Team Orange County’s entry into this year’s Solar Decathlon addresses some of the issues found in the Southern California home market, including the use of solar energy and landscaping without water. Casa del Sol, as their entry is called, is inspired by the resilient and diurnal characteristics of the California poppy. It is designed with appropriate shading and natural ventilation to allow it to open and close in tune to the path of the sun. Strategically positioned windows automatically open…

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Yale Team's entry into this year's Solar Decathlon - Y House

First Yale Team Ever Provides Efficient Design for Solar Decathlon 2015

For the first time, Yale is participating in this year’s Solar Decathlon. The design focuses on the use of modules, with all of the unit’s plumbing, ventilation, and electrical components being housed in just one section of the house. “Our team has been really looking at how we can embed sustainability into the house itself,” said Kate McMillan, a senior architecture student from Houston. The team, composed entirely of students, has been working on the project for two years. “We’ve…

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DURA House, designed and built by NYC College of Technology

New York City Team DURA Designs Stackable Post-Disaster Home for Solar Decathlon 2015

One of the teams in this year’s Solar Decathlon, is from New York City’s College of Technology. This team focused on the issue of providing disaster housing that can be easily transported and stacked, if needed, to provide a high density of housing in a small footprint. Team DURA (Diverse, Urban, Resilient, Adaptable) created a stackable design to provide relief after catastrophic storms that can also be used for mobile and low-income housing in urban areas. “A lot of our…

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2005 Solar Decathalon entry from NYIT

Collegiate Teams Target Net Zero At Solar Decathlon 2015

Sixteen collegiate teams from over 27 different schools will soon be vying for the ultimate in home energy efficiency. The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon – America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy efficient, solar-powered houses – will open October 8, 2015 in Irvine, California. Teams are already working on the construction of their homes, as they have to be shipped and erected in California in just a…

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Building Materials, Fossil Fuels’ Ugly Cousin

We still live in a time when we do plenty things that are very harmful to our planet. It seems we’re all aware that fossil fuels like oil and coal create a considerable portion of our greenhouse gas pollution. But many people don’t understand that we also do a lot of harm to our planet with the materials we use to build and remodel our homes and buildings. If you examine some our most prominent building materials, it quickly becomes obvious…

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Drought-stricken California

Program Offers Water Saving Help for Drought-Stricken Californians

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown issued the first-ever mandatory water reduction order in the history of the State of California. The executive order directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year. Homeowners and business owners will be the ones who ultimately must make the sacrifice, but there is financial assistance available to help pay for water…

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Energy saving tips

10 Energy Saving Tips for Spring

Now that the flowers are beginning to bloom and warmer weather is on the way, there are some easy things anyone can do to save energy and money both around the house and at the office. Here are 10 energy saving tips courtesy of the Department of Energy: 1. Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also check your air conditioner’s…

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Healthy home

9 Keys to Building a Healthy Home

Using the right materials is one step in ensuring good indoor air quality and a healthy home. It also takes a range of building science-based strategies—from proper ventilation and moisture control to radon mitigation and conscientious construction practices–to make sure a home is healthy. Thanks to Brandon Weiss and Evolutionary Home Builders for sharing this list of strategies. 1. Conduct a third-party laboratory certified indoor air quality test. Testing for the indoor air quality by using a professional third-party lab will…

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Grow Community

Northwest Energy Star Program Provides Insights Into Efficiency

The Northwest Energy Star program is tracking the energy use of green homes for 13 months after they are occupied in an attempt to learn more about what features and technology enhance energy efficiency. The homes in this pilot program, begun in late 2012, are at least 30% more efficient that similar homes built to code. Many spend $200 or less to heat their home throughout the year. The program is being developed by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA),…

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