Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category
October 26th, 2009
One of our favorite prefab home designers, Blu Homes, just completed a home in Colorado at the beginning of the October. The Fischer Chalet, a modern green prefab home in Breckenridge, Colorado, is a perfect example of what Blu Homes is capable of. While designed as a custom home built with the Colorado climate in mind, the plans for this home will be standard Blu design by mid 2010. The Blu Chalet combines a simple and practical floor plan, with sustainable materials, lots of natural lighting and energy efficient design.
Popularity: 37% [?]
October 18th, 2009
We’ve been watching in eager anticipation to find out which amazing solar powered green home would win this year’s Solar Decathlon. This year marks the fourth competition, with teams from around the world journeying to Washington DC to showcase their most technically advanced and energy efficient prefabricated homes. The best and brightest turned out this year modeling high efficiency home envelopes, solar systems, high-tech home control systems, advanced framing techniques and superb architecture and design. The winners of the competition were announced on Friday the 16th. Read more to learn about the top four winning designs.
Popularity: 27% [?]
September 29th, 2009
Blu Homes, a LIL favorite in the green prefab sector, announced today that they have purchased the assets of mkDesigns, the pioneering prefab company founded by architect Michelle Kaufmann that has been one of the most visible leaders in modular sustainable design. The plan is to bring some of mkDesigns’ leading models (Glidehouse TM, mkLotus TM, Sunset Breezehouse) to customers around the country via Blu’s proprietary manufacturing and building system innovations.
This could be an intriguing combination, for mkDesigns and Blu were targeting different segments of the market and didn’t overlap much. The combined entity should be able to target a much broader swath of the market, achieving economies of scale in manufacturing, design and sales. mkDesigns offered high-end homes that were often the stars of trade shows and green architecture exhibits around the country, while Blu homes combine eco-friendly features with more reasonable prices.
We won’t know for some time whether this will all work as planned. The assets of mkDesigns were bought out of bankruptcy, so there were clearly some issues with their original approach that must be worked out. And although Blu is building its first homes in locations across the country, we haven’t heard much from them yet about finished projects and future plans. And, all good intentions could be for naught if the economy doesn’t turn around soon. Let’s hope, though, that this combination is the first sign of a maturing and consolidating prefab market, and that Blu can deliver on the original promise of prefab - high quality, eco-friendly homes at mainstream prices.
Here are some pictures of the mkDesigns’ designs acquired by Blu:
Popularity: 35% [?]
September 22nd, 2009
Passive solar design is the most economical way to provide heat for a home and also reduce cooling loads. But what do you do when passive solar design is impractical because your lot or the surrounding terrain makes it challenging or impossible? You make sure the home is very well insulated and install a very efficient heating and cooling systems. That’s what Henry Siegel, an architect from San Francisco based firm Siegel & Strain Architects, did for his family’s weekend home in Sonoma County. (more…)
Popularity: 31% [?]
September 8th, 2009
When houses cost upwards of $150 per square foot, the prospect of building a new house can be downright frightening, even if it is green, sustainable and energy efficient. And for many, that price is absolutely out of reach. With prices skyrocketing and wages low, affordable housing is even more important these days, which is in part why Dan Phillips, a self-taught builder, is helping individuals get into their own houses for very reasonable prices. How’s he doing it when most builders in the world are looking to make a profit? He’s using salvaged materials and at the same time teaching unskilled workers about construction.
Popularity: 24% [?]