G-pod Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home Can Triple In Size

There have been a plethora of posts about shipping containers hitting the web recently – and why not? Shipping containers are cheap, durable, and available– and are as easy to ship as a traditional RV.  This particular shipping container home is a bit different, though: it can expand! Designed by G-pod, a Hong Kong and Australia based company, has introduced a shipping container home that expands to increase the available living space. Not only that- the Dwell can be set…

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passive house - energy plus home

Passive House Recognizes Net Zero, Plus Homes

Passive House is an international building standard developed by the Passive House Institute (PHI), which is located in Darmstadt, Germany.  Building to the Passive House Standard recognizes buildings which have been optimized through passive measures and components such as insulation, air-tightness, heat recovery, solar heat gains, solar shading and incidental internal heat gains.  Buildings which meet the Passive House Standard, then, could be said to reliably deliver up to a 90% reduction in heating and cooling demand- and up to…

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$4000 Prefab House Project From Vietnam

I recently discovered this very affordable prefab house on Gizmag from North Wales author, Adam Williams. I found the house to be attractive and livable, with a story very much worth sharing. Overview: a Vietnam-based firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects recently revealed an affordable prefabricated prototype house to potentially offer Vietnamese people on low incomes a safe and dependable dwelling. While still a work-in-progress and thus subject to change, the S House model prefab house costs just 4000 USD to…

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Smart home systems

Lowe’s Smart Home Survey – Results

A new smart home study released by Lowe’s found that while Rosie the Robot is the futuristic feature consumers would want most from “The Jetsons,” more than 70 percent of smart phone users in America just wish they could control something in their home from their mobile device without getting out of bed. Lowe’s 2014 Smart Home Survey examined Americans’ attitudes and experiences with home automation, with a particular look at the most important features and top reasons for owning smart home products.…

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Fitting In, Architecturally Speaking

One of the fundamental qualities of good architecturally designed buildings is that they fit into their own unique site. Two examples that couldn’t be more different but that are both beautifully designed buildings for their spaces are the Transustainable House and the Sempachersee Golf Course Club House. The Transustainable House is a residential home designed by Sugawaradaisuke Architects that was built this year. It is in Tokyo, Japan and it embraces the four major components of urban living. Those components…

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Treehouse in Memorial City, Both are More than a Name Suggests

As cities re-develop and re-define themselves in new urban and sustainable ways, mixed-used mini-cities are becoming popular oasises in the midst of traditional metropolitan areas. In Houston, Texas, one of such, ‘city-with-in-a-city’ exists and is called Memorial City. It is 7.6 million SF of a place that intertwines the living, shopping, working and play parts of its population’s lives. Memorial City is, “A privately-held real estate investment, development and management company headquarters.” Part of that headquarters is a 14,700 SF,…

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Tiny Places to Reside

An article in Country Living showcased 12 tiny houses and here are my favorite four that made the list: A 196 SF house built on a 24-foot flatbed in Boise, Idaho by Macy Miller. A transforming A-Frame home that expands 80 to 110 SF with a mini loft created by architectural team David and Jeanie Stiles. One of 14 cabins at Blue Moon Rising, an ecotourism retreat, in McHenry, Maryland. The retreat is for rent and was designed by Hobbitat…

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Guest Post: Most Popular Eco-Friendly Roofing Options for Your Home

Thanks to writer Jacob Petit for drafting this article on green roofing options. The roof is one area of the home that is often overlooked for purposes of energy efficiency, but it shouldn’t be. A large amount of the heat in a home is lost through the roof, which makes insulating it one of the easiest ways to cut down on costs. It also makes the roof a prime candidate for making a home more ‘green.’ Traditional roofing options are…

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Penda’s Unique Creations

In design, when concepts become creations that the world hasn’t seen before, then the job is well done. A young and upcoming firm is Penda and their goal is to create nothing that isn’t unique and thought out. Penda was started in 2012 by Chris Precht and Dayong Sun. Every project that they undertake becomes a work of art that is “custom-made” for that individual project. They specialize in architecture, interiors, industrial and installation. They have created residential spaces, commercial…

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First 3D Printed House

An architecture firm that was founded in 2004 in Amsterdam by Hans Vermeulen, Hedwig Heinsman and Martine de Wit called DUS Architects is in the middle of a 3-year research project that may change the construction industry forever. They are working on building the first 3D-printed house called the 3D Print Canal House. The 3D Print Canal House is an exhibition/museum where visitors pay to interact and see the 3D printing process in action. This is a trial process where…

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Green homes use less energy

Report Shows Growth In Demand For Green Homes

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) now estimates that there are as many as 150,000 LEED-certified green housing units worldwide, a number that more than doubled between 2011 and 2012 and continues to grow steadily, according to the organization’s LEED in Motion: Residential report released last week. The report is the latest in USGBC’s popular LEED in Motion series designed to equip readers with the insight and knowledge to understand LEED, the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system, and to…

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Rhino3 Creates Shipping Container Homes starting with a ‘Queen’

A new creation has come to fruition on the plains of Colorado. The first of its kind is called “Zulu Queen” and it is a Corten steel shipping container ‘high cube’ turned home. The designed home emerged from a team of an artist/architect and an outdoor woman/tech guru of Sam Austin and Jan Burton as they created firm Rhino3 (cubed). Their motto is: “Tiny dwellings at the intersection of art and sustainability” These containers were used to import goods to…

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House by Shutterstock

Home Performance with Energy Star Pairs Homeowners and Contractors

“Is your home cold, drafty, or uncomfortably hot?  Do you have high energy bills, ice dams on your roof, peeling paint or excessive dust?  These are common problems found in homes that may not be as energy efficient as they could be and can benefit from a whole-house energy improvement.  Investing in home performance work can make your home more comfortable, and at the same time improve its energy efficiency – saving you money on utility bills and helping to protect…

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New York City

New York to Provide Incentives for Zero-Net-Energy Buildings

The state of New York will provide $34 million of incentives to individuals and zero-net-energy homes (buildings which generate more energy than they consume). This works out to be $2,000 to $8,000 per household. The Real Deal says that “A zero-net-energy building relies on, among other things, solar panels, insulation and geothermal heating and cooling systems to balance out energy consumption”. This is often the case. However, geothermal heating and cooling systems are not required for this (but they do offer great…

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Strength and Design in Concrete Forms

There is something amazingly raw and beautiful in cast concrete forms and buildings. These forms can become any shape imaginable and all that is required is the form to hold the concrete as it dries. Panels of remarkable sizes can be placed on site in construction zones, allowing buildings to rise in record breaking time spans. Concrete’s developments have continued throughout the years with improvements in its strength and constructability techniques. New developments include high-strength concrete that can be reinforced concrete…

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The Role of Architectural History in the Development of Solar Passive Architect David Wright

The evolution of pioneer solar passive architect David Wright’s career demonstrates the importance of exposure to the solar works of the ancients, as provided in this guest column by John Perlin based on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. This is the first of five articles. David Wright was just another young architect trained conventionally in what he described as the school of just build it and then with heating and cooling equipment and…

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Letting Nature Live: Antony Gibbons Designs

One of the most interesting and inspiring topics in architecture, to me, is biomimicry. I’ve written about it before in different articles but every time a new structure is nature inspired I smile a little and have to share the innovative designs with everyone. Antony Gibbons is an architect whose designs are centered around nature and being a full part of their environment.  He uses native woods in his projects that will age and blend effortlessly into the surrounding wooded…

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Excellence in Design Awards

Excellence In Green Design Award Winners

ED + C Magazine announced the winners of its 2014 Excellence in Design Awards.  The projects were selected for their green design features from five building sector categories – commercial, residential, educational, government, and institutional.  Starting in May, each month ED + C will allow readers to vote on which projects they think deserved the awards.  The 18 selected green building projects completed in 2013 demonstrate unique sustainable design and innovative strategies. The winners of each category will be explored in greater…

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