The world of prefab and modular homes.
 Entries tagged as 'LEED'

Take a (long!) tour of the WIRED LivingHome

Link to Take a (long!) tour of the WIRED LivingHome
wired.com

Systm, a web video series from Revision3, files a long, detailed video report from the WIRED LivingHome:

This $4 million home in LA isn't exactly what we think of when wanting to integrate more green, eco-friendly aspects to our lives, but it does offer up some great options. LEED certified and designed by architect Ray Kappe, this home offers a great, simple way of constructing a house without compromising the uniqueness of a custom built home.

company: info_smallLivingHomes
length: 21:26
site: Revision3
release date: December 31, 2007

Check out the multimedia page on the WIRED LivingHome site for additional photos and videos.

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: WIRED LivingHome (Sep 02, 2009)
   2. New LivingHomes video and photos (Aug 03, 2009)
   3. WIRED LivingHome open for tours! (Nov 06, 2007)
   4. WIRED webcam (Sep 10, 2007)
   5. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes LEED green tours video Ray Kappe

WIRED LivingHome open for tours!

Link to WIRED LivingHome open for tours!
wired.com

We first announced the WIRED LivingHome back in July. The modules were installed in September.

And now: tours! From the WIRED blog:

Want to visit? The  Wired LivingHome is open to the public Thursday through Sunday until Nov. 19.

For ticket purchasing info and additional tour details, visit the WIRED LivingHome site.

when: November 1 - 18, 2007
where: Los Angeles

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: WIRED LivingHome (Sep 02, 2009)
   2. New LivingHomes video and photos (Aug 03, 2009)
   3. WIRED LivingHome still for sale; price reduced (Jun 30, 2008)
   4. Take a (long!) tour of the WIRED LivingHome (Jan 15, 2008)
   5. WIRED webcam (Sep 10, 2007)
   6. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
   7. LivingHomes (Mar 28, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes LEED green tours for sale

EcoUrban modulars in St. Louis Business Journal

The St. Louis Business Journal discusses EcoUrban:

"EcoUrban Homes is building houses where traditional contractors often choose not to venture.

The newly formed company, headquartered in downtown St. Louis, has embarked on an ambitious plan to eventually put 30 to 40 new "green" modular homes per year into neighborhoods that could use a bit of revitalization...."

Read the full excerpt for more details. The entire article is only accessible with a subscription.

Author: Julia M. Johnson
Publication: St. Louis Business Journal
Length: 206 words (excerpt; subscription required for the entire article)
Date: October 29, 2007

Related Posts:
   1. EcoUrban: update (Jul 03, 2007)
   2. EcoUrban: green prefab in St. Louis (Jun 25, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LEED green article St. Louis

CNET visits the mkLotus

Link to CNET visits the mkLotus
cnet.com

Last week CNET released a video report from the mkLotus (3:13). This follows last month's visit to the XtremeHomes factory.

The video features some interior views of the house and an interview with Rebecca Woelke, who's in charge of PR for info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs.

Author: Michael Kanellos
Publication: CNET News
Length: 3:13
Date: October 2, 2007

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
   2. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   3. CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory (Sep 07, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LEED green MKD video West Coast Green XtremeHomes mkLotus

West Coast Green: Altamont Homes and understanding the process

Link to West Coast Green: Altamont Homes and understanding the process
altamonthomes.com

I learn new things about the prefab business every day. Altamont Homes is a builder of modular homes throughout the West. The company had representatives at West Coast Green. Also at their booth was a representative from Details, a manufacturer of modular homes.

In the time I've been reading and writing about prefab housing, I haven't fully understood the relationship between those two entities until the relationship was explained to me by Craig Rosenberg of Details.

Basically it works like this: the homeowner goes to a "builder" (in this case, Altamont) and wants to build a house. Altamont shares a number of design options with the homeowner, ranging from small, inexpensive homes, to larger and more finely detailed homes. The home designs they are sharing are sourced from a number of "manufacturers" around the country (in this case Details is one of many that Altamont buys from).

Altamont is responsible for interacting with you, completing site work, securing permits (sometimes that falls to the homeowner), setting the home and completing site work. Details is responsible for the modules that are shipped to your site. The way that Craig Rosenberg from Details explained it to me:

"Some manufacturers supply products like doors or faucets; it just happens in our case that the product we supply is the entire home."

Details designs the homes that they offer to different builders, whether Altamont or another builder. The arrangement allows Altamont to offer a wide range of product choices to their customers. For instance, the Details models are all LEED-certified and highly energy-efficient; they generally end up costing ~$275/sf installed. Altamont offers other, non-LEED options from other manufacturers for less than half that cost.

The key point is that the builder and manufacturer are two different entities, with two different specialities:
Builders: expertise in site work, permit process, setting and finishing home
Manufacturers: expertise in designing and manufacturing the home modules

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: other prefab (Oct 15, 2007)
   2. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LEED green process manufacturer modular company West Coast Green

Dwell on Design preview

Link to Dwell on Design preview
dwell.com

The Dwell on Design conference is this weekend in San Francisco.

We won't be there, but here's who will:
info_smallAlchemy Architects
info_smallEcoSteel, aka EcoContempo
info_smallEmpyrean International
info_smallH-Haus
info_smallHive Modular
info_smallMichelle Kaufmann
info_smallkitHAUS
info_smallLivingHomes
info_smallModern Cabana
info_smallRocio Romero Homes

We heard from Alchemy Architects:

"Alchemy Architects will be at Dwell on Design 2007 with a weeHouse to 'tour'. Amazing, but we had a CA client who's weeHouse is just being finished...so it'll stop in San Fran on its way to San Diego. It's a very exciting opportunity for people who are interested in a weeHouse to see a weeHouse. We'll be in the outdoor, prefab section."

We know these vendors won't be attending:
info_smallCleverHomes
info_smallv2world

Some prefab-specific events that will be worth checking out:
• September 15 and 16, 2:45 - 3:15: "Prefab Discussion Panel" hosted by Michael Sylvester of fabprefab.com
• September 15, 2:00 - 2:30: "The Process Behind Prefab:The Design and Production of Green Modular Homes" with Jared Levy and Jason Davis of info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab
• September 15, 3:30 - 4:00: "Creating the First LEED Platinum Home" with Steve Glenn of info_smallLivingHomes

what: Dwell on Design conference
where: Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA
when: September 14-16, 2007
registration: $20 for Exhibition Only pass, September 15-16. $895 for full conference and exhibition passport.
features: over 80 exhibitors and vendors

Related Posts:
   1. Dwell on Design 2009 at the end of June (Jun 19, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design 2008 recap (Jun 11, 2008)
   3. Dwell on Design recap (Sep 24, 2007)
   4. Dwell on Design Conference (Aug 15, 2007)
   5. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse model CleverHomes method kitHAUS LivingHomes OMD v2world v2flat Muji small LEED green tours Empyrean Alchemy Architects H-Haus Modern Cabana Rocio Romero Dwell on Design EcoSteel

WIRED webcam

Link to WIRED webcam
wired.com

The WIRED LivingHome we've covered before was first announced back in June. Two months later, the house modules are being installed and you can watch via webcam.

One gripe: I wish the webcam shots were all from a wider angle to show the big picture.

Treehugger's been watching:

"...sometimes watching paint dry is more exciting but then some big module flies in front of the camera."

Jetson Green also tuned in:

"All the main parts are supposed to be complete by September 7, and we'll be able to get a pretty good picture of what the final home will look like."

Curbed LA mentioned the home last Tuesday.

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: WIRED LivingHome (Sep 02, 2009)
   2. WIRED LivingHome still for sale; price reduced (Jun 30, 2008)
   3. Take a (long!) tour of the WIRED LivingHome (Jan 15, 2008)
   4. WIRED LivingHome open for tours! (Nov 06, 2007)
   5. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes LEED green process large expensive website

EcoUrban: update

Link to EcoUrban: update
ecourbanhomes.com

I sent an email off to Jay Swoboda of EcoUrban in St. Louis asking about a discrepancy between the home listed for sale on their site and the standard specifications of the model. He says:

"The standard 1,600 square foot home has just 2 bedrooms. However, in our display home, we finished out 250 square feet in the basement and with a closet and egress, this can be considered a 3rd bedroom. Also, $279,900 is the price for our LEED-registered home at 3140 Pennsylvania (we will soon receive our Platinum designation) - we offer homes starting at $200k that are still LEED-silver certified...Another item that we are particularly proud of is our $100 per month utility bill (electric, gas, water and sewer), of which only $60 is gas & electric."

standard model:
name: EcoUrban
style: modern/traditional
size: 1,600 sf
br: 2
bath: 2.5
price: ~$200,000
method: modules
features: 8'/9' ceilings, Low-E windows, LEED Silver certified

upgraded display model:
name: 3140 Pennsylvania Ave.
style: modern/traditional
size: 1,850 sf
br: 3
bath: 2.5
price: ~$279,900
method: modules
features: 8'/9' ceilings, Low-E windows, LEED Platinum certified, $60/mo for gas & electric

Related Posts:
   1. EcoUrban modulars in St. Louis Business Journal (Oct 26, 2007)
   2. EcoUrban: green prefab in St. Louis (Jun 25, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model LEED for sale

LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million

Link to LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million
wired.com

WIRED and info_smallLivingHomes have collaborated on the green prefab dream home that "will serve as an example of how people can effectively balance green living with high technology and high design."

"Consistent with its focus on sustainable design, LivingHomes and WIRED are deconstructing rather than demolishing the property's existing house, reducing the amount of building materials sent to landfill. Working with The Reuse People, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to keeping usable building materials out of landfills, interior materials will be sent to the Habitat for Humanity Store for re-use, while the framing is being transported to Mexico where it will be used for low-income construction....Deconstruction is currently underway. Installation is slated for August 2007 and only takes one day."

Jetson Green is enthusiastic:

"At a price of $300 /sf, the WIRED LivingHome is going to be an incredible residence with the best in green + modern + technology. I can't wait to visit."

Treehugger calls it "a catalog of the best green eye candy that money can buy."

Future House Now adds:

"I tend to advocate smaller homes and affordability for regular families, but I'm not about to fire any criticism at the project, because it is meant to be a showcase house, and all showcase houses are top end....I think we'll see a lot of neat stuff come out of this project."

name:  WIRED LivingHome by Ray Kappe
style: modern
size: 4,057 sf
br: 5
bath: 4.5
price: $4 million ($300/sf)
method: full modules
assembly on-site: 1 day
features: LEED certified, "tricked out" game room, 4 kW solar system
for sale: late 2007/early 2008
more info: press release (PDF)

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: WIRED LivingHome (Sep 02, 2009)
   2. New LivingHomes video and photos (Aug 03, 2009)
   3. Ray Kappe multifamily by LivingHomes (Jul 09, 2009)
   4. WIRED LivingHome still for sale; price reduced (Jun 30, 2008)
   5. Take a (long!) tour of the WIRED LivingHome (Jan 15, 2008)
   6. WIRED LivingHome open for tours! (Nov 06, 2007)
   7. WIRED webcam (Sep 10, 2007)
   8. This week: XtremeHomes visit, JoT, Lot-ek, and more (Sep 01, 2007)
   9. This week: Micro Compact village, WIRED, iT House, and mkLotus (Jul 28, 2007)
   10. This week: Hive Modular, OMD, WIRED, and more miniHome (Jul 07, 2007)
   11. LivingHomes (Mar 28, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model LivingHomes LEED green demolition expensive for sale

EcoUrban: green prefab in St. Louis

Link to EcoUrban: green prefab in St. Louis
ecourban.blogspot.com

EcoUrban is a new prefab home builder based in St. Louis. Owner Jay Swoboda keeps track of the company's home projects in a blog.

For EcoUrban's first project, 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Louis, EcoUrban partnered with modular builder Contempri Homes:

"After what felt like decades of anticipation and wait, it took just six days after the first pieces of wood were nailed together in the factory for the units to be delivered. Our units arrived at 10 AM this morning and the 60 Ton crane that lifted them into place was packed up and gone by 2 PM. We had a nice crowd gather to watch the four "boxes" come together and by the end of the day we were weather tight and secure."

Other posts cover the foundation work and visiting the modular factory.

Currently, the company offers a single 1,600sf floorplan, but "if you are passionate about an EcoUrban Home and not crazy about our floor plan then we will passionately find a floor plan to match you and your lifestyle."

With a focus on green, it's no surprise that EcoUrban "is aiming for LEED Silver certification, at the very least, for all future homes."

name: EcoUrban
style: modern/traditional
size: 1,600-1,850 sf
br: 2-3
bath: 2.5
price: $200,000 - $279,900
method: modules
features: 8'/9' ceilings, Low-E windows, LEED certified

(Hat tip: Jetson Green.)

Related Posts:
   1. EcoUrban modulars in St. Louis Business Journal (Oct 26, 2007)
   2. EcoUrban: update (Jul 03, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LEED green process for sale website

Reducing waste

Link to Reducing waste
shelterarchitecture.blogspot.com

We previously covered some controversy over whether prefab homes have less material waste than conventional construction. For the 5IVE home, the answer is a resounding yes:

"What you see is the sum total of all waste produced so far. In case you didn't know, this is about a 75% reduction in waste from the typical home."

Impressive!

Related Posts:
   1. Thermomass walls and 5IVE (Jun 15, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LEED green process waste

Thermomass walls and 5IVE

Link to Thermomass walls and 5IVE
thermomass.com

Similar to SIPs, the Thermomass Building Insulation System consists of two layers of modified concrete with styrofoam between. The system is flexible enough to be "used in site-cast tilt-up, plant precast, modular precast, tunnel form and poured-in-place concrete panels and walls." The site-cast tilt-up method moves the process out of the factory, allowing rapid construction on site.

Architects John Dwyer & Jeff Gallo selected the energy-efficient Thermomass walls to help their 5IVE house achieve LEED Platinum certification:

"Using a technology developed by DOW, the walls will act as a thermal mass giving them a rating of R-30. By employing prefabrication, we were also able to control the quality of the finish on the concrete."

The walls for the 5IVE home are being produced by a company called Forecast Concrete. The benefits of factory precast concrete walls include:
• added precision
• controlled environment
• no form lines
• high strength concrete The company says that the process is adaptable for any style and size of home.

(Hat tips: Future House made a quick post on June 2, Lloyd Alter of TreeHugger added some detail on June 6, Preston Koerner waxed enthusiastic at Jetson Green on June 7.)

Related Posts:
   1. Reducing waste (Jun 20, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: method LEED green process concrete

Green homes and LEED certification

Link to Green homes and LEED certification
www.livinghomes.net

Many prefab vendors cite the "greenness" of their home models as a selling point. What exactly makes a home "green" and what is LEED certification?

According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC):

"...the residential sector accounts for 22% of the total energy consumed in the US and 74% of the water. Indoor air pollutants can often be four to five times higher than outdoor levels. Twenty-one percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are contributed by the residential sector....

Green home building addresses these issues by promoting the design and construction of homes that have much higher performance levels than conventional homes....Generally, green homes are healthier, more comfortable, more durable, and more energy efficient....

Green homes rely upon established and proven design features and technologies that do not have a significantly large cost. Many green measures will reduce long term costs, particularly those features that involve energy and water efficiency. In many cases, these reductions in operating costs will more than offset the additional up-front costs of a green home."

The USGBC has developed an objective rating system which quantifies these "green" characteristics:
"The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality."

The LEED rating system scores a home on a 109 point scale and assigns a rating of certified (30 points minimum), silver (50 points minimum), gold (70 points minimum) or platinum (90 points minimum). The USGBC explains that "there are 36 topic areas included in the LEED for Homes Rating System. Each topic area has a unique intent or goal." These goals include:
• Avoid development on environmentally sensitive sites.
• Design landscape features to minimize demand for water and synthetic chemicals.
• Design home features to minimize the need for poisions for insect and disease control.
• Offset central water supply through the capture and controlled reuse of rainwater and/or grey water.
• Reduce energy consumption of lighting and appliances
• Reduce waste generation during construction
• Reduce occupant exposure to indoor pollutants (a full list of the qualities of a green home can be found on the usgbc website)

As of this post, only info_smallLivingHomes' prefab model has achieved LEED certification, with a platinum rating (91 points). LivingHomes' website explains:

"As a company, we're committed to building homes that are as healthy as possible, and that minimize their "ecological footprint" with respect to the resources they use for their construction, operation and eventual decommission. Homes built using traditional stick methods can be very unhealthy and extremely resource intensive. In contrast, our homes use sustainable, healthier building materials, as well as energy-efficient environmental systems and products."
Further explanation of the LEED certification of LivingHomes' models can be found on the company website.

Related Posts:
   1. Big Ideas on the Sundance Channel (May 01, 2007)
   2. The Dwell Home II and the Green Sandwich (Apr 30, 2007)
   3. Greenwashing (Apr 24, 2007)
   4. LivingHomes (Mar 28, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes LEED green
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