Entries tagged as 'West Coast Green'
West Coast Green 2009 will be returning to California in October.
Two things to note on the prefab front:
title: West Coast Green 2009
where: San Francisco, CA
location: Fort Mason Center
date: October 1 - 3, 2009
cost: ranges from $45 for Tradeshow pass up to $895 for Full Conference
notes: Their registration page has more pricing info.
The article repeated a comment we've seen a few times:
The advantages of shipping containers?
SG Blocks facts:
Author: Paul Kilduff
Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
Section: G - 3
Length: 807 words
Date: September 24, 2008
This year's West Coast Green features a new Showhouse built of containers:
Jetson Green likes it:
Until August 18, you have the opportunity to come up with a name:
Name the Showhouse!
company: SG Blocks
where: West Coast Green building conference
when: September 25-27, 2008
This year's West Coast Green building conference and expo comes to San Jose, California at the end of September:
The long list of presenters includes Allison Arieff, former editor of Dwell magazine, and even Al Gore.
The show features a Showhouse built of containers; we'll cover that tomorrow.
what: West Coast Green Show
where: San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA
when: September 25-27, 2008
registration: $20 ($30 at the door) for Homeowner Day, September 27. $375/day before July 31, $400/day at the door for full conference access.
We missed this item last year when we covered West Coast Green 2007: the EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge. From a West Coast Green email:
The Challenge returns to this year's show. The ability to take apart a building and re-assemble it elsewhere seems like prefab in its purest form.
where: West Coast Green 2008
deadline: July 31, 2008
At the building conference last month, I spoke with a rep at ParcoHomes, a prefab start-up out of San Francisco. From what I gathered, the company plans to employ mass production techniques currently used for commercial buildings. Parts would be manufactured offshore, packaged, and shipped by sea and truck to your homesite. From the ParcoHomes website:
"We are designing, manufacturing and distributing resource efficient, modern, prefabricated homes employing a 'flat-pack' delivery approach. Our kit of parts is made up of metal-framed floor, roof and wall panels supported on a structural frame. The entire kit of parts is based on a four-foot planning module to allow for an ideal balance between constructability and flexibility."
EcoInfill is currently building the prototype of their Ei1 concept. The concept home's flexibility allows it to "be installed as a single family home, addition, or entire townhome project." I spoke with someone from Sexton + Lawton Architecture, the designers of the homes. He said that the homes will cost them ~$95/sf coming out of the factory; this translates to ~$175/sf installed. While the model home is not yet complete, they are hoping for a 3 month timeline from foundation work to move-in.
SG Blocks repurposes shipping containers for architectural purposes. Many companies building from recycled shipping containers are sourcing their product from SG Blocks. I spoke with a rep who explained that the $200/sf+ cost of building with recycled shipping containers is justified by the added strength and durability.
In addition to these prefab builders, there were a number of SIP manufacturers present. These include Alternative Building Concepts, Shimotsu Architecture and Distribution, and SIP Home Systems. I saw some interesting features, like pre-drilled mechanical chases for electrical connections.
The video features some interior views of the house and an interview with Rebecca Woelke, who's in charge of PR for Michelle Kaufmann Designs.
Author: Michael Kanellos
Publication: CNET News
Date: October 2, 2007
Other coverage of West Coast Green around the web:
The Contra Costa Times filed a report about the show.
The Las Vegas Wash gave an overview of coverage.
Home by sunset shared more photos of the mkLotus.
While MKD made the biggest impression at West Coast Green, there were a couple of other prefab vendors present. pieceHomes, a new prefab company out of Los Angeles, is definitely worth a look. The offering is a collaboration between LA-based architecture firm davis studio Architecture + Design and modular builder XtremeHomes.
From the pieceHomes site:
"The pieceHomesTM standard line includes homes ranging from the 320sf Container House to the 1,825sf Venice Two. Davis Studio A+D has focused on designing smaller homes that will be affordable to a wide range of customers and that are particularly well suited for infill urban lots. These homes will be available complete and installed for under $200 per square foot. Every home will use a simple palate of green materials, energy efficient technologies, and sustainable construction practices. Davis Studio A+D will provide services to locate the house on the property to effectively take advantage of solar orientation, prevailing winds, local views and privacy issues."
"PieceHomes plants to distinguish itself among the pack by providing custom and standardized, modern, modular architecture that is green and afffordable. With a variety of home designs taking shape, PieceHomes will be available this fall..."
size: 320sf - 2,600sf
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:
The show house was set right in front of San Francisco City Hall, out in the open for all to see. And see it people did. Visitors lined up to tour the home and looked to be waiting upwards of half an hour on Saturday's Homeowner Day (due to the home's size, the show staff were limiting the number of people in at any one time).
While the home was small, around 700 sf, it felt plenty roomy. The home featured a window wall system from NanaWall that opens accordion-style to create a near seamless indoor/outdoor room. The bathroom was luxurious for such a small home. And the ample outdoor living space (decks, patios, courtyards) was a welcome addition.
Some of the features and details that I saw as I toured the house:
All of these add-ons and options push the home out of many folks' price range though. For instance, the NanaWall system runs ~$1,500 per single panel (the mkLotus had xx). My understanding is that the home starts around $150,000, but can venture past $225k with all of the add-ons featured on the show home.
A note worth mentioning, and one repeated throughout the conference: these homes may seem expensive, but much of that is due to their "green" features, from rainwater catchment systems, to solar panels galore.
Jill and Emily at Inhabitat loved the house:
"Above and beyond all the green, however, the house is just a testament to thoughtful, smart design. Every material, system and design choice in the house seems to be thought out, and have purpose. The high ceilings, skylights, gently angled walls, floor to ceiling glass and copious daylight all work to make the 700 sf house feel a lot bigger and more spacious than it actually is."They also uploaded a bunch of photos of the house to Flickr.
CBS 5 San Francisco offered a video report from the home.
With the mkLotus as the star attraction of the show, Michelle Kaufmann had a sort of celebrity aura to her. She spoke a number of times, on topics ranging from the show house to "Women in Green." She shows great enthusiasm for her work (and the work is prolific). The talks focused on the green aspects of the different MK products. Their work is separated into three categories:
I'll share further info on a number of developments and new products from MKD in the coming weeks.
More West Coast Green coverage in the coming days.
From ABC 7 News in San Francisco: a live report earlier this week showed the near-complete house.
"This is a green house which aims to teach you how to be environmentally friendly in your home. Who knew that it could be so stylish? This is a modular home.The San Francisco Bay Guardian offered up a quirky article about the home and the show:
It has to be the most stylish one on the planet. It's only 725 square feet -- that's part of the message -- to be green, you don't need to build so big. Since it's modular, you can buy other pieces and add on to it."
"Builders plopped down the 800-square-foot structure in just a day....the one-bedroom house costs a mere $199 per square foot, and that's with all the fancy fixings like a stereo system and rosewood floors.The San Jose Mercury News wrote:
The home was dubbed the mkLotus house by its designer, Michelle Kaufman Designs. The exterior is smart and sleek, with double-paned, floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the living room and sustainably grown red balau wood and slabs of fly-ash concrete siding the back half....
According to XtremeHome CEO Tim Schmidt, without all the extras, an mkLotus could cost as little as $64,000, and he can have one good to go in less than six months."
"If building an eco-friendly house is a stretch, how about a green in-law cottage?More reports about the show in the coming days.
[The] house...'was designed as an oasis,' Kaufmann says. 'It can be perfect for a vacation home, or a home where you feel like you're on vacation.'
The popularity of the two- to four-bedroom Glidehouse brought countless inquiries for in-law units and cottages, said Rebecca Woelke, spokeswoman for Michelle Kaufmann Designs.
'We wanted to give clients a different type of design in a one-bedroom layout,' Woelke said, something that 'opens entire living spaces to the outdoors and brings the outdoors in.' To do that, mkLotus' signature feature is its NanaWalls, floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the living room that fold up like an accordion to welcome nature into the home. 'This house blurs the boundary between the interior and exterior.'"
mkLotus is a new prefab concept from Michelle Kaufmann Designs that will debut at the West Coast Green home show. The mkLotus™ modular home is built by XtremeHomes™. "The house features: a living roof, LED lighting, innovative green building materials, indoor & outdoor living." Further details can be found on the mkLotus showhouse page.
Jetson Green is excited about seeing the mkLotus:
"I'm wanting to visit the conference just to see this home and participate in what's going to be the future of residential real estate."
designer: Michelle Kaufmann Designs
size: 672sf - 1,400sf
br: 1 - 2