How high-tech Kasita microhomes could revolutionize homeownership

March 17, 2017 by  
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America’s affordable housing crisis is squeezing people out of cities, but one Harvard researcher believes he’s developed a beautiful and high-tech solution to the problem. In 2015, Jeff Wilson—also known as “Professor Dumpster” after his year-long dumpster living experiment—unveiled Kasita , a smart microhousing startup that aims at disrupting the housing market with prefabricated tiny homes that can pop up just about anywhere. After a couple years in development, Wilson just debuted the Kasita microhouse at SXSW this week with the announcement that the tiny stackable homes will be ready for nationwide delivery in June. Stylish, smart, and space-saving, the 352-square-foot (33 square meter) Kasita mobile home offers a beautiful split-level living space that uses transforming furniture , white walls, and ten-foot-high ceilings to make its small footprint feel airy and spacious. Most impressively, the home is outfitted with ultra-modern amenities and home automation such as the dynamic curtain-less windows that can be turned opaque with a smartphone app to the Amazon Alexa-powered lighting modes. The high-tech stackable homes can be moved around with a crane, placed virtually anywhere, and can be prefabricated in as little as three weeks. https://vimeo.com/207700762 Envisioned for installation in unused areas of land like vacant parking lots, the Kasita aims to keep land lease costs low by taking advantage of undevelopable real estate in prime urban areas. The flexibility and modularity of the Kasitas lend themselves for use as apartments, multi-family homes, student housing, workforce housing, and more. Related: Meet the Texas Professor Who Lives in a Dumpster The Kasita comes fully equipped with all the traditional home amenities—including a walk-in shower, fridge, convection oven, washer/dryer, cooktop, and queen-sized bed—as well as lots of space-saving storage and access to natural light. Each unit costs $139,000, which according to Wilson’s calculations comes out to an estimated $800 monthly mortgage not including land lease costs. Interested customers can pay $1,000 to hold a spot on the waitlist for preorders. + Kasita

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How high-tech Kasita microhomes could revolutionize homeownership

Apple design director perfects a prefab home into an ultra-minimal, modern dwelling

January 26, 2017 by  
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It should come as no surprise that when Apple’s Director of Store Design was in the market for a new house, he wanted a home that would be as modern and streamlined as his employer’s impeccable shopfronts. He, along with the team at Alchemy, tweaked the original designs of the Alchemy weeHouse to create the Sonoma weeHouse, a prefabricated home made up of two elevated open-sided boxes. The ultra-minimal home was swiftly assembled onsite between gnarled oaks and boasts fantastic views of the Santa Rosa valley in California. The 970-square-foot Sonoma weeHouse is based on Alchemy’s original weeHouse modified with several customizations and finishing requirements by the San Francisco-based client, who is also an architect. While the home’s design was finalized in Minnesota by the Alchemy team, the structure was mostly prefabricated in Oregon before it was shipped, 90 percent complete, to its California site. The steel accessories, which include stairs, porch railings, and lasercut trim, were prefabricated in and shipped out from Minnesota. The Sonoma weeHouse comprises two main modules—a 640-square-foot main house and a 330-square-foot accompanying guesthouse—set atop horizontally banded, board-formed concrete plinths . Both modules feature steel frames, nine-foot-tall sliding glass walls, custom corrugated weathering steel cladding, and ipe interiors with oiled oak cabinetry. The low-maintenance oxidized steel facade helps blend the home into the landscape of gnarled coastal oaks and seasonal grasses. Related: Alchemy Architects Build Tiny Prefab weeHouses that Connect with Nature The main house contains a whitewashed oak box in the middle that houses the bedroom and divides the open kitchen, dining room, and living room on one end of the box from the toilet and shower on the other. Sliding glass doors connect the interior to an outdoor bolt-on porch that cantilevers into the dramatic landscape valley of Santa Rosa. A rear walkway connects the main house to the small guesthouse. Doors, privacy screens, and insect screens are recessed to minimize visual clutter. + Alchemy Via ArchDaily Images © Geoffrey Warner

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Apple design director perfects a prefab home into an ultra-minimal, modern dwelling

KODA is a tiny solar-powered house that can move with its owners

October 3, 2016 by  
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Made primarily of concrete, the portable KODA prototype is constructed with factory-made components selected for their strength and energy efficient properties. Its sturdy structure allows the tiny home to be assembled on different surfaces without the need for foundations. Quadruple glazing and vacuum-insulated concrete walls minimize energy demands and help maintain a comfortable internal temperature. All finishing materials are non-toxic. The homes are modular and can be connected to create a larger living space. KODA maximizes its 25-square-meter footprint with an open-plan living area bathed in the natural light that pours through a glazed front facade. The full-height glazing is slightly set back to make room for a built-in terrace and to shield the interior from harsh solar gain. The kitchen, bathroom, and loft bedroom are located near the rear of the home for more privacy and are lit by LEDs at night. Rooftop solar panels power the KODA unit and are capable of generating more energy than the home needs. While the prefabricated home was designed with water, sewage, and electricity hookups, it can also be used off the grid for short periods of time. A built-in IT system also enables the home to learn from and adjust to its different surroundings. Related: Luxurious tiny home lets owner live off-grid and rent-free “In our minds KODA can become whatever you want: a city centre home, a lakeside summer house, a cosy café, an office, workshop or studio or even a classroom,” writes Kodasema. “Its clever design provides the inspiration to make best use of every square inch of space and envisage how the built-in components, even the walls, can be adjusted to meet their purpose most effectively.” Kodasema has plans of selling the home in Estonia later this fall at 85,000€ (VAT not included). The price, which is dependent on add-ons, includes the furniture and technical systems, such as the automated IT functions, heating and ventilation, electricity, and water. The design collective has not yet announced plans to sell KODA internationally. + Kodasema Images via Kodasema , lead image © Paul Kuimet, other images by Tõnu Tunnel

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KODA is a tiny solar-powered house that can move with its owners

Beautiful prefab home is built from repurposed shipping containers

July 15, 2016 by  
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? The asymmetrical Flying Box House is split into three levels, each of which is 100 square meters in size. The ground floor, which sits on challenging sloped terrain, serves mainly as a covered parking area for two cars and also comprises a sewing studio, laundry room, and utility spaces. Two bedrooms and the communal spaces, such like the open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area, are located on the upper floor. The topmost floor contains the master bedroom that steps out to a large landscaped patio. ? Related: Asymmetrical Happy Cheap House is a Quirky Prefab Retreat “The superposition of those different sequences shapes the house,” write the architects. “Now we are able on this little plot to organise a complete programme of the desired urban villa.” Natural light streams into the interior through the two large bands of windows on the second floor and through the third floor patio doors. + 2A Design Via ArchDaily Images via 2A Design

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Beautiful prefab home is built from repurposed shipping containers

7 clues climate change is here to stay

July 15, 2016 by  
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1. The curious cold spot that has scientists thinking their worst fears have come true: It reads like something out of a bad action movie: while temperatures climb around the globe, a single, ominous cold spot in the middle of the ocean has scientists more than a little freaked out. Problem is, it’s really happening. Last year, scientists at the NOAA discovered that a spot in the ocean just below Iceland and Greenland has registered temperatures colder than any time in recorded history. This cold spot suggests that water current circulation is slowing, which could mean rising sea levels and an altered climate for Europe and North America. 2. CO2 levels are likely to stay above dangerous 400ppm for the rest of our lives Scientists believe that CO2 concentrations of 450ppm are the turning point for climate change. If we stay below that number, we can probably keep global warming below the alarming 2-degree increase we are trying to avoid. But even if we manage to dodge the 450ppm bullet, researchers believe we are unlikely to get below 400ppm in our lifetimes. Even worse, if the trends continue as they are right now, we could hit 450ppm in just two decades. 3. We’ve already lost five Pacific Islands to climate change We talk about climate change impacts as something that will occur in the future, but we are already seeing the devastating results today. Case in point: five islands in the Pacific ocean have disappeared beneath the waves. Over 560,000 people live on the Solomon Islands and these inhabitants are facing increased threat from the rising oceans, while five vegetated islands have vanished since the mid-1900s. 4. Melting glaciers may be slowing down the Earth’s rotation Speaking of rising sea levels , earlier this year, scientists discovered some startling news: changing sea levels may actually be slowing down the Earth’s rotation. As the cold waters from the melting glaciers move towards the equator, it slows down the speed at which the mantle rotates. Meanwhile, the core has been speeding up. Think of an ice skater who opens her arms to slow her spin and you get the idea. 5. Alaska is so warm in the spring that the Iditarod race has been forced to truck in snow Global warming isn’t just impacting coastal cities or tropical islands. In Alaska, the 1,000-mile long Iditarod has had a rocky few years thanks to unusually warm winters and springs. This year, the Iditarod didn’t have enough snow cover to run sleds over the first 11 miles of the race. While it might not seem like a big deal if we can’t continue to participate in luxuries like winter sporting events, imagine the same impact on native populations and animals who rely on the existing environment for their livelihoods. 6. Grizzly polar bear hybrids are appearing in the warming Arctic Recently, scientists have noticed that grizzly bears and polar bears have been interbreeding as the Arctic continues to warm. Climate change has been altering the environment of the two species, bears have been forced to adapt. Sadly, the ones who aren’t so lucky have succumbed to starvation. 7. The current rate of climate change is completely unprecendented Despite what the naysayers may have you believe, the current rate of climate change is no cyclical event. Researchers have determined that what we are experiencing is without historic precedent. Even if you look at a climate event 120 million years ago when a massive period of volcanic activity altered global CO2 levels , the current rate of change is still far quicker. But it seems like folly to go down without a fight.

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Super Thin Solar Panels Crown the Spectacular ‘Green Zero’ Modular Getaway in Italy

June 3, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Super Thin Solar Panels Crown the Spectacular ‘Green Zero’ Modular Getaway in Italy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: clean tech , eco design , green design , Green Zero , italy , Modular Suite , Natural building materials , Natural Stone Foundation , Portable Shed , prefabricated home , Private Getaway , rainwater management , Solar Power , Studio di Architettura Daniele Menichini , sustainable design , thin film solar , treviso

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Super Thin Solar Panels Crown the Spectacular ‘Green Zero’ Modular Getaway in Italy

Super Thin Solar Panels Crown the Spectacular ‘Green Zero’ Modular Getaway in Italy

September 24, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Super Thin Solar Panels Crown the Spectacular ‘Green Zero’ Modular Getaway in Italy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: clean tech , eco design , green design , Green Zero , italy , Modular Suite , Natural building materials , Natural Stone Foundation , Portable Shed , prefabricated home , Private Getaway , rainwater management , Solar Power , Studio di Architettura Daniele Menichini , sustainable design , thin film solar , treviso        

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Super Thin Solar Panels Crown the Spectacular ‘Green Zero’ Modular Getaway in Italy

Mihaus Studio is a Highly Flexible Modular Space Built with Hemp

August 21, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Mihaus Studio is a Highly Flexible Modular Space Built with Hemp Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 2013 Houses Awards , australian architecture , green architecture , modular home , prefabricated home , Sue Harper Architects , sustainable design        

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Mihaus Studio is a Highly Flexible Modular Space Built with Hemp

The BFI Announces the 2013 Semi-Finalists for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge

August 21, 2013 by  
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This week the Buckminster Fuller Institute announced the 19 semi-finalists that will take part in the 2013 Buckminster Fuller Challenge . The competition recognizes projects that solve some of humanity’s most pressing problems through design. Named as “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award” by Metropolis Magazine , the Challenge received a record number of entries this year. Over the next six weeks, the jury will review the proposals and convene for deliberation in early October. The winners will be announced New York City ceremony in November, 2013. Read the rest of The BFI Announces the 2013 Semi-Finalists for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bfi , biodegradable packaging , Buckminster Fuller , buckminster fuller challenge , buckminster fuller institute , environmental sustanability , green design , inhabitat , Metropolis Magazine , new york city , preffered state model , science democritization , social responsibility , trimtab principle , waste treatment        

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The BFI Announces the 2013 Semi-Finalists for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Universidad Cardenal Herrera’s SML System House is a Solar Decathlon Entry that Adapts to its Occupants

September 14, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Universidad Cardenal Herrera’s SML System House is a Solar Decathlon Entry that Adapts to its Occupants Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , lego , madrid , photovoltaic panels , prefabricated home , Solar Decathlon , solar powered house , Valencia

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Universidad Cardenal Herrera’s SML System House is a Solar Decathlon Entry that Adapts to its Occupants

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