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 Entries tagged as 'West Coast Green'

West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009

Link to West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009
http://www.westcoastgreen.com/

West Coast Green 2009 will be returning to California in October.

At West Coast Green you’ll find over 300 exhibitors showcasing the latest in resource-efficiency among a stunning array of green and healthy building products. Over 100 experts and visionary leaders will be presenting their latest developments, insights, and inspiration at the expanding frontiers of the field. And over 14,000 attendees including the entire chain of professionals and decision-makers rarely reached by other conferences are expected.

Two things to note on the prefab front:

  • info_smallGreen Horizon Manufacturing will be showcasing their new info_smallSFH40 model.
  • Michelle Kaufmann of info_smallMKD will be running a session on Friday called "Housing 2.0: Re-thinking the Prefab Model"

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.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House (Oct 08, 2008)
   2. West Coast Green container Showhouse from SG Blocks (Aug 15, 2008)
   3. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   4. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
   5. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   6. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD conference West Coast Green event

The SF Chronicle looks at the Harbinger

Link to The SF Chronicle looks at the Harbinger
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2008/09/24/HOR71301UK.DTL&o=0

Last month, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article on West Coast Green's showhome, the Harbinger House from info_smallSG Blocks LLC:

What makes this year's showcase home different from the prefab modular model seen last year [MKD's info_smallmkLotus] in San Francisco is not all the green bells and whistles ... it's the actual framework of the house that is truly innovative. This year's showstopper is made from five 40-foot-long shipping containers that once roamed the high seas

The article repeated a comment we've seen a few times:

a layman can't tell that, underneath its sleek lines, Harbinger was once a collection of lowly shipping crates

The advantages of shipping containers?

They're made of heavy-gauge steel, which holds up nicely in a hurricane or earthquake, but is usually too expensive to use in construction. [SG Blocks] gets the containers cheap - $500 to $2,000 a pop - because the fuel costs to ship them back empty to China or other places overseas are prohibitive. Because of the United States' huge trade imbalance, there are many empty containers lying around.

Harbinger details:

  • made from 5 shipping containers
  • 2 stories
  • 1,700 square feet
  • about 5% less expensive than building in wood or other conventional materials
  • can be built 40% faster

SG Blocks facts:

  • founder: David Cross
  • location: St. Louis
  • has built 6 single-family homes in the US (designed by Lawrence Group)
  • 400-unit elder-care facility in Oceanside, CA will be unveiled soon

Author: Paul Kilduff
Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
Section: G - 3
Length: 807 words
Date: September 24, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House (Oct 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model containers article West Coast Green

West Coast Green container Showhouse from SG Blocks

Link to West Coast Green container Showhouse from SG Blocks
http://www.westcoastgreen.com/program/showhouse.php

This year's West Coast Green features a new Showhouse built of containers:

At its core, the 1,700 sqft two-story home will be made of reused shipping containers, which will make construction, in any environment, sustainable, fast, and safe.

Being built right on the tradeshow floor, the home will open to a series of outdoor living spaces and decks, showcasing a dramatic outdoor kitchen ... and a stunning garden of native and naturalized plants and mature olive trees.

The stats:

  • 1,700 sf
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2 stories

Jetson Green likes it:

It's a 1700 sf container home, but you probably can't tell just by looking. Sustainability will be number one, with GreenPoint and LEED certification in the plans. Plus, it seems that ecofabulous will be doing the interior design work, so the home, you can believe, will be modish, posh, and green.

Until August 18, you have the opportunity to come up with a name:

Name the Showhouse!
We’ll pick the top submissions, and post them for everyone to vote on.
Whatever name gets the most votes, wins!
We will announce the winning name on September 1st

company: SG Blocks
where: West Coast Green building conference
when: September 25-27, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. CNN: SG Blocks (Jun 15, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers conference West Coast Green

West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27

Link to West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27

This year's West Coast Green building conference and expo comes to San Jose, California at the end of September:

You’ll find over 380 exhibitors showcasing the latest in resource-efficiency among a stunning array of green and healthy building products. Over 100 experts and visionary leaders will be presenting their latest developments, insights, and inspiration at the expanding frontiers of the field.

While there aren't many prefab-specific agenda items worth noting, the conference's educational agenda includes a presentation by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann on "The Art of Mass Customization".

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.

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.
features: SG Blocks™ Showhouse; speakers Al Gore, Allison Arieff (former editor of Dwell magazine), info_smallMichelle Kaufmann

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House (Oct 08, 2008)
   3. Allison Arieff in LA Times (Mar 18, 2008)
   4. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD conference West Coast Green

The EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge; July 31 deadline

Link to The EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge; July 31 deadline
http://www.lifecyclebuilding.org/

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:

... a design competition for students and professionals focusing solely on innovation regarding deconstruction and building material reuse.

And the Lifecycle Building Challenge was born! Submissions from architects, students, planners and builders poured in, ranging from de-nailer guns to radio-tagged, re-useable wall panels to design that considers reuse as it's primary function.

The awards were presented last year at West Coast Green.

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

Related Posts:
   1. 3 prefabs among winners of the second annual Lifecycle Building Challenge (Nov 20, 2008)
   2. groHome can be taken apart (Jul 02, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green system process West Coast Green

West Coast Green: other prefab

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.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
   2. West Coast Green: Altamont Homes and understanding the process (Sep 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model SIPs solar company West Coast Green

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 round-up

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.

EcoGeek discussed the features of the info_smallmkLotus.

Home by sunset shared more photos of the mkLotus.

The Marin Independent Journal wrote about info_smallMichelle Kaufmann.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   3. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
   4. West Coast Green: Sheri Koones (Sep 28, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green: Altamont Homes and understanding the process (Sep 27, 2007)
   6. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD West Coast Green mkLotus

West Coast Green: pieceHomes

Link to West Coast Green: pieceHomes
piecehomes.com

While info_smallMKD 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."

Jetson Green reviewed the home prior to Dwell on Design:

"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..."

company: pieceHomes
style: modern
size: 320sf - 2,600sf
bedrooms: 1-3
how: modules
manufacturer: info_smallXtremeHomes

Related Posts:
   1. pieceHomes introduces extraPieces, modular additions for existing homes (Jun 17, 2008)
   2. This week: pieceHomes, Res: 4, Magic and more (Mar 02, 2008)
   3. This week: IKEA, pieceHomes (Oct 28, 2007)
   4. West Coast Green: other prefab (Oct 15, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
   6. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model modular pieceHomes West Coast Green XtremeHomes

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

West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house

Link to West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house
© copyright 2007 Peter Bernheim

By far the most popular and exciting prefab presence at West Coast Green was info_smallMichelle Kaufmann and the info_smallmkLotus showhouse.

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:
• angled walls to make spaces feel larger
• translucent doors to divide spaces but not block all light
• high ceilings
• tons of glass
• control system for house lighting and temperature
• plants on the roof (a "living roof") help to limit rain runoff and provide natural insulation
• quality materials
• built in iPod audio system

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:
• pre-configured options: pre-designed with finish and fixture options available
• custom designs: feature the MKD aesthetic but fully flexible in design configurations
• modern green communities: multi-family housing (which helps reduce costs significantly)

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.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   2. The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Nov 13, 2007)
   3. This week: Jeriko House, Drop House, and more (Oct 13, 2007)
   4. CNET visits the mkLotus (Oct 12, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
   6. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: small green MKD process conference West Coast Green mkLotus

A little more Green

Link to A little more Green
abc7news.com

I'm at West Coast Green, and just wanted to link to a couple more pieces of coverage of the event and the info_smallmkLotus.

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.

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."

The San Francisco Bay Guardian offered up a quirky article about the home and the show:
"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 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."

The San Jose Mercury News wrote:
"If building an eco-friendly house is a stretch, how about a green in-law cottage?

[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.'"

More reports about the show in the coming days.

Related Posts:
   1. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   2. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   3. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
3 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD conference West Coast Green mkLotus

The mkLotus show house

Link to The mkLotus show house
westcoastgreen.com

mkLotus is a new prefab concept from info_smallMichelle 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."

model: info_smallmkLotus
size: 672sf - 1,400sf
br: 1 - 2
manufacturer: XtremeHomes

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
   2. A little more Green (Sep 21, 2007)
   3. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   4. CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory (Sep 07, 2007)
   5. This week: XtremeHomes visit, JoT, Lot-ek, and more (Sep 01, 2007)
   6. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
   7. This week: Zigloo, A Prefab Project, mkLotus, and more (Aug 04, 2007)
   8. This week: Micro Compact village, WIRED, iT House, and mkLotus (Jul 28, 2007)
   9. This week: mkLotus and Hive video (Jul 21, 2007)
   10. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
   11. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green MKD conference West Coast Green mkLotus
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