Solar Decathlon 2017 Coming To Denver

The US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2017 student design competition, which challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive, will be held in Denver, Colorado in October 2017. Fourteen collegiate teams from around the world will be competing. “The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges and inspires students to become our next green energy industry leaders,” said Under Secretary of Energy for Science and Energy Dr. Franklin Orr. “The students in the…

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Cheap Off-Grid Cabin Built For Under $300

Alyssa Craft and Jesse Stafford completed a cheap off-grid cabin-add-on to the trailer they are living in while setting up their homestead in the Western US. The cabin was built to allow them to heat the air around the trailer and prevent the plumbing, and themselves, from freezing during the snowy winter months. The majority of the building materials for the cabin are reclaimed from a demolition project and found by scouring the internet, thus the low cost. Alyssa and…

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Visit A Small Writer’s Shed & Haven In London

A visit to Surman Weston reveals a delightful small writer’s shed situated in the heart of London. Surman Weston has indicated their firm was “…commissioned by an author and illustrator to design & build a ‘writer’s shed’ in the borough of Hackney. Capitalizing on their multi-disciplinary backgrounds the firm acted as designers, project managers, and lead contractors.” Simply take a step inside to get the feel of this tiny space. The result inspires one to hide inside, lock the door, and…

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Tiny Techtonics Timber Urban Infill Wins Passivhaus Trust Award

Techtonics Architects has won the coveted Passivhaus Trust award, featuring its tiny techtonics timber urban infill home. Designed by Techtonics Architects, the firm describes the design which was used: “We have just completed a new build ‘Passivhaus’, a very low energy construction following principles for comfort and energy developed in Germany by the Passivhaus Institute based on high insulation, low air leakage and control of ventilation. “The 2-storey house consists of an in-situ reinforced concrete lower level, half sunken from street…

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On The Smaller Side Of Houses, Meet GreenPod

A recent visit to treehugger has provided us with a great resource for the smaller side of the housing spectrum: GreenPod. It appears modular and prefab homes are finally gaining some mainstream traction, states treehugger author Kimberley Mok. For people interested in getting an eco-friendly home relatively quick, going prefab can be an easier route with less headaches. “Woman-owned GreenPod Development, LLC creates green-jobs by building new modular and sitebuilt homes with healthy interiors and furnishings. GreenPod assures basic human needs: clean water,…

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LEED Homes Award Winners for 2015 Announced

USGBC announced the recipients of its annual LEED Homes Awards, which recognize projects, architects, developers and homebuilders who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation in the residential green building marketplace. “Homes represent a critical piece of the buildings industry and our daily life,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “We applaud these amazing honorees for their significant contribution to greening the residential sector by implementing strategies that positively impact the environment and enhance the health and well-being of…

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Panama Jungle Features Plastic Bottle Village

Far south, a few degrees north of the Equator, the plastic bottle is being smartly repurposed as a residential building insulation material. We visit Panama, where on an 83-acre jungle locale, 90 to 120 planned homes will be insulated by thousands of plastic bottles which have been recovered from the waste stream. The individual behind the scenes of this eco-village named Plastic Bottle Village is Robert Bezeau, a Canadian with a passion for managing and cleaning the waste left behind from the…

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Hobbit House Micro-Community Growing In Washington

Inspired by the earth-sheltered tiny homes, often called Hobbit Houses, created by Simon Dale and others, designer, dressmaker and tiny house expert Kristie Wolfe is building a micro-community of three houses in Chelan, Washington. The first Hobbit Home is complete, and Wolfe hopes to have the other two done by the middle of 2016. Wolfe’s Hobbit House is located on a 5.5 acre plot, and built into the mountainside so completely that it could be easy to miss on first…

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Winner of the tiny house competition

Chicago Tiny House Design Competition Winners

The winners of the Chicago AIA’s tiny house design competition were announced recently. Launched in November 2015, the competition solicited entries to address young adult homelessness in Chicago as part of the Tiny Homes Summit. The winning entry, “A House for Living In,” is composed of 11 336-square-foot units and one interior community space gathered around a central courtyard. The project costs an estimated $73 per square foot, which is substantially less expensive than typical affordable housing, which is in the…

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A Shipping Container Home With Solar Power: The Jagpod

This post, written by Jake Richardson, recently appeared on our sister site, Cleantechnica. The founder of Jaguar Containers, William Coit, has created shipping container homes with solar power systems and is currently running an Indiegogo campaign. Mr. Coit answered some questions about his shipping container homes for Cleantechnica. How many square feet of living space does a Jagpod have? The 20 ft. unit has 144 square feet and the 40 ft. unit has 300 square feet of living space. The 20-foot…

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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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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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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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