We’ve seen the container house and the pop up coffee shop, but what about the container construction shelter? Conceived by Dublin-based designer Richard Barnwall, the Linx is a two-story break room comprised of four 20-foot shipping containers. Easily shippable (obviously) and erectable, this temporary structure seems to have everything a construction worker would need, including (it seems) luxury. No more blue porta-potties, the Linx comes equipped with a bathroom, a changing room with showers, office space and a lunchroom. (Evidently Barnwall doesn’t advocate sleeping on the job because there’s no nap room.)
I believe we will all be living in a green world in the near future. The only real question is, how fast will we get there and what path will we take. If human history is any indication of the path, we are in for a messy ride. Humans tend to take the path of destruction and exhaustion, before moving on to better ideas. Take for example our use of fossil fuels. We will take that as far as we possibly can, before we really make a serious efforts to change the way the world produces energy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Infact, there is a better way to inspire the billions of people on the planet to adapt quickly and painlessly to a green lifestyle. That path, is through design.
Good design inspires the human imagination and draws us in. We never question what an object is made of, as long as the design is to our liking. Take for example Apples new line of notebook computers. They focus on design, not cpu speeds. It’s all about the shape, and construction of the case, the tactile feel in your hands. Yet, this notebook is Apples greenest computer they have ever made.
In the early days of the green movement, we had the hemp sandals, tied dyed t-shirts and teepees. Now we have the Tesla Roadster, pre-fab modern architecture and designers like Marc Newson.
There’s nothing like sashaying down the slopes on a snowboard (or it you’re old school like me, a pair of skis). Armed only with a Chapstick and a chocolate bar, you really feel alive and at one with nature…
Unfortunately, that experience can come to an abrupt halt when you’re greeted by a fleet of snow-chained SUVs at the end of your run.
But if you can get your head around skiing in June, it doesn’t have to be this way. Falls Creek ski resort in Victoria, Australia, is the world’s first alpine resort to be recognized by Green Globe 21, an international accreditation scheme for ecologically and socially sustainable tourism. No cars are allowed in the village for the entire season to “ensure the resort is fully ski in, ski out”.
Taking portable buildings to the extreme, Puma (the shoe company) hired the Architecture firm Lot-Ek to design a 11,000 sq. Ft mobile store, which they would send around the world on a cargo ship, accompanied by some Puma Sail boats.
Lot-Ek took 24 standard shipping containers, retrofitted and transformed them into what they are calling Puma City. The building was even built with international travel in mind, meeting international building codes, dramatic climate changes, plug-in electrical and HVAC systems and ease of assembly. This industrial tri-level super store, has an open design, with built in shelving, recessed lighting, large expansive outdoor decks and seems perfectly suited as a night club.
The time of the green prefab is quickly approaching. And the bright young minds of emerging architects are clearly focused on the key elements, which make a modern green building so appealing. Design, form, function and sustainability. Elements which make up the core of this house. But this shiny new green home wasn’t built in Venice California, or even Portland Oregon. No this one is in the dry desert just outside of Phoenix Arizona, at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
The building was designed and built by students of Taliesin West, in collaboration with Venice based Architect Jennifer Siegal and the schools Dean, Victor Sidy.
The building was constructed on site, using pre-fab structural insulated panels, know as SIP panels. A SIP panel is typically made by sandwiching a core of rigid foam plastic insulation between two structural skins of oriented strand board. This type of system allows the entire shell of the building to be delivered on a truck and erected in just a few days.
I’m not sure what I like more: the weeHouse website or the weeHouse itself. As far as prefabs go, the weeHouse is similar to the Micro-compact in that it arrives by truck, factory-built and ready to live in, and it can be set down just about anywhere. Even on your roof.
Framed in wood and steel and floored in sustainable bamboo, the house is can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. From the LiveRight studio apartment-sized to the 2 bedroom SleepTight, the weeHouse was “inspired by sustainable design principles such as building small and efficiently.” But unfortunately, that’s about as “G” as the wee gets in the base model. If wee want greener materials and systems (solar, a green roof, etc.) wee have to request them.
So, many of you might already know this, I am a product of the cow poking state of Texas. Yep, I know, it doesn’t seem possible, how could a good looking Twisted Green Juice Guzzling Black Monkie like me be from Texas? Well, I not from there, I was just trapped for a while. Most of my non-Monkie family still lives in Austin Texas, which just happens to be the greenest, most forward thinking city in that entire state. Austin is even the birth place of Whole Foods, how cool is that. So, when I saw this story about a green house made with Rammed Earth, in Austin, I had to post about it, even though it is not the type of place I would go for. It’s a very traditional designed home, and here at G Living we lean towards the sleeker modern side.
This 5000 sq. ft beast of a house is interesting because it uses one of the oldest building techniques know to man, Rammed Earth. Before humans ever figured out how to make concrete, they where using Rammed Earth, to build their cities, temples, and their high protective walls. By pounding a mixture of dirt, grass and clay between forms, ancient societies, build very efficient structures, which can stand for thousands of years. And since the rammed earth walls are so thick, they enable the buildings to maintain a steady temperature all year around.
We stumbled across a very cool green pre-fab building project in development in Italy, which shocking enough will only cost a little over $100k U.S.
Details from MC A
This research project explores the design of a 100m2 home that is low cost, high quality with zero CO2 emissions and a low environmental impact. A building that brings back the pleasure of living and repays the investment cost with the energy produced. The architectural design integrates photovoltaic panels, solar capture during the winter months, circulation of air in the summer months and other passive environmental strategies that render the residence a bioclimatic machine.
The building cost is kept to a minimum by using light and flexible pre-fabricated building systems: structural elements, integrated services, and mobile elements such as sliding-removable-supple wall panels for internal divisions in the apartments. External walls are made from modular panels. The material changes – glazed or opaque- creating an elevation that is dynamic materially and spatially integrating balconies, terraces and loggias. The structural framework allows a variety of apartment sizes adapting to the different spatial needs of the occupants.
London’s Docklands. Those two words used to strike fear in my heart. I once worked for a television network in the Docklands, and the only transport link to our studio was the dreaded DLR (Dockland’s Light Railway). This computer-controlled light railway was stationary as often as it was moving, for reasons as inexplicable as “leaves on the track”. God, I miss England.
But with opening of the Jubilee Line several years ago, transport links to the area are much improved. Ditto for local housing.
A look back at Architects Whitney Sanders Briard House
Now that the rain is gone (for awhile, anyway) we are back on track. The prefabricated shell was completed six weeks ago, and the erection of Green Sandwich Technology panels, and rough framing inside, has filled up the time since.
These images show the green sandwich being installed. It’s an amaziung material: able to create tall buildings at a single bound… it almost arrivces with a cape. These panels are 28 feet tall, and were erected in ten days. The material also allows for on-site changes. For instance, this week we will add and subtract: literally. I will direct our installer to cut a bit here, add a bit there, to sculpt, quite literally, a 28-foot tall sculpture. What I am trying to do, recalling our original model:
Marmol Radziner is one of my favorite designers when it comes to prefab. I love the modern style and use of natural materials. His architecture is very simple with lots of straight lines, glass and openness. The above photo is taken of his prefab in Palm Desert.
Better yet, these homes are GREEN–here’s why:
* Decks provide shade and reduce solar heat gain
* Wide doors for natural cross ventilation
* Architecture celebrates, rather than competes with, natural environment
* Indoor/outdoor enhancements, such as expansive deck spaces extend indoor living spaces to the outdoor Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
You may have heard of Kyle MacDonald, the guy who traded a red paperclip for a house on Craigslist. It was last year’s light news day darling: “We’ll leave you with an incredible tale of… blah, blah.” Well, after 14 trades, Kyle now owns a house in the town of Kipling Saskatchewan (wherever the hell that is). The point is this: that guy missed the point. The paperclip is a thing of beauty. If you ask me, he should have held on to it.
Luckily for us, the visionaries at Seattle-based Teague Design saw the inherent beauty of this everyday object. Born from an innovative internal program designed to nurture creativity, the paperclip lamp debuted at the Seattle DWR Lighting Exhibition and after gaining recognition internally shone at the Korean Gwangju Design Biennale, a festival which puts 21st century design trends under the spotlight.