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Interface Studio Architects (ISA)’s LEED Platinum Roxbury E+ townhouses are paving the way toward more energy-efficient housing in Boston. Completed in collaboration with local developer Urbanize, the energy-positive townhouses were created as part of the city’s E+ Green Building program, an initiative to pilot net-zero energy housing prototypes. The energy-positive homes include many green technologies, such as solar panels, green roofs, rainwater harvesting, and triple-glazed windows.
International studio Urban Think Tank are currently exhibiting the ‘empower shack‘ in zurich. The project is developed as an adapting response to urban informality, offering not only improved housing but a strategy that allows the citizens of self-built urban communities to dynamically structure their urban environment as an instant response to their needs.
An economical protoype two story metal-clad modular structure can be self-built. Each home is allotted a determined amount of space that allows the structure to expand as the inhabitants need it, still fitting within a more organized framework. Transsolar has also made it possible to incorporate solar energy on every rooftop.
The ongoing project is intended to alleviate the housing crisis in informal settlements during a time when the government has begun incrementally improving the housing situation.
A unique prefab house by Sebastian Irarrazaval architects uses recycled shipping containers on a sloped site in Santiago de Chile to create a family home.
To reduce construction time and costs in architecture, the option is quite simple: prefab. In Santiago de Chile there’s a prefabricated house that reinforces this statement by using second hand shipping containers as the main module for the design of this unusual home. The challenge was to adapt these modular pieces to a very sloped site near the Andes Mountains. An ingenious solution was adopted by letting the containers rest on the slope, following the natural topography of the site… hence, the name of the project: Casa Oruga, whichs Caterpillar House.
Pico Place is a 32-unit affordable apartment building consisting of 2 and 3-bedroom units, featuring an interior courtyard that provides a pedestrian connection with Pico Blvd.
Sustainability is an important component, with appropriate shading, natural light and ventilation, along with proper building orientation to induce buoyancy and natural breezes. A green roof is positioned to contribute to the pedestrian nature of the street.
The exterior consists of recycled cement board siding in different colors and textures, creating a contextual and varies façade. Drought tolerant/native landscaping provides a rich living environment and provide a transition from the busy commercial area immediately to the west, to the residential district to the south and east...
An industrialized modular housing prototype that allows growth and changes over time, with all systems installed without complex construction procedures.
Manufactured in specialized factories composing single complete units, including all the interior finishes, modules are the maximum size supported by conventional transport.
Interior partitions, storage and fixed furniture are incorporated to the vertical walls, which house highly qualified technical facilities, automation and electronic systems, tailored to the program for each configuration. The resulting collection provides quality, increased control with regard to construction scheduling, maintenance plans and offers flexibility for future growth.
The principles of sustainable economy and the spirit of recycling guide and support all the project decisions.
It’s hard for homes to be green. Despite long-term energy savings, it’s even harder for low-income homes to afford upfront costs of some sustainable materials. But ecological design doesn’t have to mean more “green” from your wallet. In fact, using recycled and sustainable material, as one local project has shown, can be both economically viable and environmentally friendly.
The San Antonio Alternative Housing Corporation (SAAHC) is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services for low and moderate income communities in the central Texas area. When they construct new housing units, they want to minimize up-front construction costs as well as long-term operational expenses. They were open to exploring alternate construction techniques, but wanted an opportunity to test the viability of these options.
As it happened, Taeg Nishimoto, Associate Dean of the UTSA College of Architecture, had been working for several years to develop a program that would give architecture students experience throughout the entire process of realizing a project from conception through construction...
This design seeks to accommodate privacy while allowing for comfortable living in the dense downtown area of central Tokyo. The rooms that need maximum privacy, such the bedrooms and bathroom, are located on the first and second floors. The living room and kitchen are on the third floor, with the study area above in a loft. The rooms are situated to maximize sunlight, and high ceilings at the upper floor allow for ample natural sun light from the windows on the south side of the structure.
The handrail design at the deck and translucent windows enable maximum privacy, and teel frame system allows for large spaces, while maintaining the budget and keeping project costs down...
C. F. Møller Architects have designed a proposal for the pilot-project Housing+, for 60 zero-energy housing units on the Aalborg Waterfront. The design adhered to stringent energy goals through a combination of architectural design and user-focused technical innovation.
The Housing+ concept sets the ambitious target of a zero-energy housing scheme, which also includes the tenant’s primary household energy consumption. The complex will thus be 100% relying on renewables.
Central to the concept is the use of integrated energy-design to generate the concept of tomorrow’s housing, producing more energy than it consumes. This is achieved by optimizing the inherent passive gains of the main volume, and shaping it to take advantage of the orientation and potential for active solar energy-collection.
Visit the link for more images and details on this contemporary, green design that incorporates solar, passive strategies, and on-site renewable energy.
A team of architects have designed a series of townhomes which are (wait for it...) inserted into an artificial hillside. You'll see from the photos that this make-believe hillside is covered by a unique carpet of grass.
The complex is located near the historic Prague city centre and is called the “Central Park Praha (Prague)”. The concept was designed by A96 Architects and AED Project. According to the architects, the residence will have its own 1.5-hectare park. It also happens to be right next to one of the largest parks in Prague, Parukáøka.
The layout of the complex was inspired by the natural environment, transforming its sharp features into a park through an artificial green embankment.
“The embankment is actually a terraced building with a green roof and façade. The compact green façade is used as the roof of two-storey townhouses interrupted by balcony frames playfully distorting the layout by connecting several smaller units into one larger unit...
Using Structural Insulated Panels as a modular unit, this house is the result of extensive research by two young architects into prefabrication of low-cost housing and self-customisation.
The SIP Panel House from Having decided to create a constructive system from components already available in the construction market, Alejandro Soffia & Gabriel Rudolphy took the Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) catalogue and studied its simple topology to define minimum spatial modules, which when multiplied and related could be used to build structures.
The house is conceived as an attempt to rationalise the construction material and achieve maximum optimisation of its structural and dimensional qualities. The totality of the house was configured with two kinds of components: wall panels and split-level panels. In just 10 days, 71 wall panels and 40 split-level panels were built with a negligible loss of material...
LivingHomes has just announced the launch of their first well-designed, affordable and sustainable prefabricated home known as C6.
Starting at $179,000, the home is nearly half the cost of most other LivingHomes models and includes 34 tons of carbon offsets. It is the first to achieve LEED® Platinum and feature Cradle-to-Cradle inspired materials.
C6 was designed by the architects of LivingHomes in collaboration with Make It Right, a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt and renowned architect William McDonough to build 150 Cradle to Cradle inspired LEED Platinum homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. A portion of the proceeds from each C6 will help support the efforts of Make It Right...
'Prefabricated components, solar power, airtight construction and a small footprint at this home, designed and built by a team of students at New Zealand’s Victoria University, earned third place in 2011 in the U.S. Solar Decathlon.
Now relocated to a picturesque beach at Hawkes Bay, its ecocredentials are quite possibly the greenest in New Zealand.'
Spatial efficiency meets energy efficiency in this Bay Area home designed by an architect for his parents.
Designed by San Francisco-based Spiegel Aihara Workshop (SAW), the Cotton Street residence integrates elements of the ranch house and adapts them to our increasing need for a greener architecture. The architects drew from a wide array of design strategies in order to make the building more sustainable, striving for maximum flexibility of living configurations along with high energy savings. Designed with a sense of consideration for the site, the residence takes advantage of natural lighting and passive ventilation, while its owners equipped the spaces with energy efficient appliances, radiant floor heating, and a solar system for energy generation.
A net-zero prefab home design is set to reinvigorate a down-at-the-heels Los Angeles neighborhood.
In 2011, Restore Neighborhoods Los Angeles (RNLA), a nonprofit that invests in housing, sent out a request for affordable, sustainable designs for lots in the city’s South Central area. “We very much want to introduce new design ideas and new technologies to low- and moderate-income districts,” explains John Perfitt, executive director. “Good design and new construction methods can, over time, have a very positive influence in restoring neighborhoods.”
After whittling down the field from nine proposals, they selected a net-zero prefab design submitted by Habitat for Humanity and Minarc, a Santa Monica–based architecture firm known for its innovative, energy-efficient kit houses. Thanks to a streamlined, waste-free construction method and affordable materials, like cement board cladding and Cradle to Cradle–certified panels, the firm’s three 1,200-square-foot homes came in at the requisite $150 per square foot—including foundation, trans- portation of the modular components, and rooftop solar panels that offset 95 percent of the structures’ energy demands...
GREEN ZERO by Studio di Architettura Daniele Menichini is a new interpretation of the modular housing suite that can be placed just about anywhere: from the woods to the beach to your own backyard. It’s small, a private retreat that acts as a sanctuary from the everyday for you or for guests that goes beyond the backyard shed: this one has a deck/patio area and a bathroom. Essentially, it’s a modular hotel room.
The benefits of using prefabrication are many, and can result in beautiful homes that function just as well or better than custom ones built on site.
Using modular techniques for construction allows for stronger purchasing power. The process of building on site is also much quicker—and cheaper. Prefabrication is also greener since it uses computer technology to manufacture the modules, which creates 50% to 75% less material waste. The one limitation of prefabrication is that the pieces of the home need to be able to be shipped from the factory to the site of assembly.
But the benefits of prefabrication are many, and can result in beautiful homes that function just as well or better than custom ones built on site.
Check out these 10 examples of prefab architecture at the link.
Stockholm-based studio claesson koivisto rune have has created 3 sleek typologies for prefabricated homes that draw from the distinctly scandinavian landscape and approach to efficient living.
The 'Tind' residences draw their name from the norwegian word for 'mountain peak', a concept informed by the remarkable lack of sharp pointed peaks in scandinavian mountain systems. The softened edges of the range lend the landscape a particular beauty that finds its way into the architecture in the form of a truncated, single pitch roof. Floor-grazing windows are relegated to major walls and all apertures lie flush with light-drenched interiors. Rather than a perforated volume, the home is a rhythmic composition of built material and void, and despite the various models of kit houses, every interior is organized by a central entrance way or staircase and seeks to blur notions of interior and exterior.
While prefabricated homes have many historical iterations, the architectural integrity of the 'Tind' series is preserved through culturally relevant approaches to living...
Suburban housing development in Essex by Alison Brooks Architects that reinterprets the local rural architecture of wood and sloping roofs..
London firm Alison Brooks Architects used dark-stained timber and sloping rooftops for this suburban housing development.
Describing the goals of the development, Alison Brooks says she wanted to create "a completely new and more sustainable suburban housing typology where open-plan flexible houses are integrated with outdoor spaces to increase the sense of space and light".
The architect also emphasised the importance of creating "dedicated working spaces" in each house, adapting to the growing number of people who work from home and "helping to create an economically active suburb". In line with this, each house comes with an accessible loft that can be converted into an office and the larger houses also include a ground-floor study that doubles up as a spare bedroom...
Lendager Architects announced their first prize win in the competition to build the first DGNB-certified housing project in Denmark in Næstved.
DGNB is a new green building certification system expected to become the scale for sustainability in Europe. DGNB-Certification focuses on three equally weighted parameters: Environmental-, Social- and economical sustainability, for a holistic evaluation of built projects.
In total, the project will have 24 single family homes, built around a shared courtyard to encourage community and shared resources. Passive solar design with optimized window and shade placement allows for passive cooling and heating. Energy efficient design, including a tight thermal envelope with energy saving systems reduces power consumption, while rooftop photovoltaics produce electricity. Green roofs protect the home and provide further insulation. A close connection with nature and gardens encourages residents to live off the land.
As Lendager Architects told us about the project, “We wanted to answer the questions of how we can build without affecting the environment, how we can build without using new materials, how we can build houses that produce more energy than they use, and how sharing becomes a natural part of the daily life.”
In urban areas across the country, young professionals are clamoring for close-in, transit-oriented apartments that are as high-performance as they are luxurious.
In fact, nearly one-fifth of them will pay more for a green residence, according to a recent survey, and developers are responding with posh rental communities that encompass energy efficiency, healthy indoor air, and a walkable lifestyle.
Visit the link for six recently completed projects that provide sustainable, stylish multifamily living...
The FLOAT House, design by Morphosis Architects, is a Make-It-Right home developed for the needs of the families in New Orlean's Lower Ninth Ward, and it is now on track for LEED Platinum.
Designed by Morphosis for Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation, it is a housing solution for the floodwater-prone regions around the world. Optimized for efficient mass-production, the home is a culturally, economically, and environmentally responsible structure designed to break free from its moorings and rise to a height of twelve feet in the event of flooding. The two bedroom, 945 square feet model was first introduced in 2009, and as it continues to grow in popularity it is now on track for a LEED Platinum rating with a net-zero annual energy consumption...
Situated in Denmark, the 'Hedonistic Rooftop Penthouse' project was completed by JDS Architects in the year 2011. The projects was executed is one of the most densely populated areas of inner Nørrebro, Copenhagen. This 9,50,000 Euro project is reflected in a playground with shock-absorbing surface and a playful suspension bridge, a green hill with varying accommodation backed by real grass and durant vegetation, a viewing platform, an outdoor kitchen and barbecue, and a more quiet wooden deck.
According to the architects, "We seek to optimize and fully exploit the situations the site has to offer, and thereby design a potential for the future exploitation of the roof to the delight of all the co-op’s residents. Usually a roof defines a final measure of any construction. We imagine cities where people will be the last measure of the environment."
Studioninedots + HVDN shared with us their winning proposal for the student housing competition for TU Delft Campus.
The project parameters were to design a volume of 67 meters long and 5 storeys high, with its own strong identity and a collective space on the roof including a rain water harvesting element.
Along with a collaborative bid of contractor Jan Snel, the winning entry was defining in its dynamic façade, with the collective space having a central location in the building instead of on the roof. This creates a more interactive relationship between the residents, the building and its surroundings, leaving the roof to be fully planted with moss-sedum. The new building will be finished to all probability at the start of 2013...