Cars have carports, why can’t a house have a house port? Designer Hally Thacher was looking to build an eco-friendly home and was inspired by the structures that sheltered hay, alfalfa and farm equipment in the area of northern California where she had grown up. Her House Port and PopUP House designs make for a very interesting concept in home building.
The PopUP House is available in several configurations which are prefabricated and shipped flat-packed to the building site. The PopUP House consists of interior/exterior insulated panels. Over the top of the PopUP is the prefabbed House Port (the large freestanding roof) that protects the home against weather, keeps a consistent temperature throughout the hot summer and offers a covered outdoor area. Several smaller versions of the PopUP, called Cubes, can even be purchased and placed like a small village under the House Port. Continue Reading »
In response to shifting fundamentals in the ways people are wanting to live, Texas-based Kanga Room Systems has created a variety of tiny portable buildings that can be used as tiny homes, personal or office spaces, and investment properties. These eco-friendly kits are shipped ready to assemble into well-designed, well-engineered and aesthetically-pleasing tiny structures that Kanga describes as “dream-sized”.
Kanga chose the kangaroo to symbolize their company and product because of its strength, agility and the ability for a kangaroo mother’s pouch to be a natural portable home. Because of this, Kanga is also committed to using sustainable materials and energy efficient products whenever possible while still keeping their structures affordable.
Kanga currently offers several options: the Kanga Studio is available in the The Modern and The Country Cottage styles and the Kanga Cabin is a larger structure that can be constructed to accommodate a bathroom, kitchenette, a separate bedroom and a loft.
The Modern design offers clean lines, a progressive style and can be constructed to sizes large enough to accommodate a bathroom and a kitchenette. The Modern comes in eight sizes: the 8′x10′ for around $7,150, the 10′x12′ for around $7,900, the 12′x14′ for around $9,200, the 12′x16′ and the 14′x14′ for around $9,860, the 14′x16′ for around $10,670, the 14′x20′ for around $11,999 and the 14′x24′ for around $13,400. Continue Reading »
Sunset Magazine’s Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park, Calif. was held at the beginning of June, and one of the stars of the show was the cargotecture c-series Sunset Idea House by HyBrid Architecture. The c-series represents a group of pre-designed, factory built units made from recycled cargo containers that can be combined or customized as desired by the owner.
Hybrid coined the term cargotecture to describe any structure built partially or entirely from recycled cargo containers. The c-series consists of five models ranging in price from $29,500 to $189,500. The home featured at the Sunset show was the c192 nomad which costs $59,500.
The prices of the c-series include:
- Recycled ISO cargo container with new paint
- Soy based spray foam insulation
- Aluminum clad wood windows and doors (one 10 feet long opening and one side door)
- Bamboo finish floor
- 5/8 inch drywall ceiling and walls
- Panelized wet room bath with redwood decking.
- Duravit bath fixtures
- IKEA cabinets and kitchen fixtures and lighting
- Summit appliances
- 30 gallon electric water heater (gas if available on site)
- Convectair Apero heat
- Factory plans, State L&I permits and inspections
Green and off-grid options are offered including solar panels, composting toilets and “green machine” sewage treatment and roofwater harvesting.
All the models are insulated about 15 percent above IBC and UBC building codes in the floors, walls and roofs. The building can be placed in cold climates as well as moderate to hot climates. The recycled plastic and soy sprayed-in insulation creates R24 walls, R44 ceilings, and R32 floors. The roofs can handle 60psf snow loads.
The HyBrid homes are shipped complete. A local contractor will need to be arranged for electrical and sewage hook-ups as well as foundation work. In many jurisdictions, if your project is less than 200sf there is no permitting process required. HyBrid has completed residential and commercial cargotecture projects in California, Oregon and Washington and has designed over 20 projects on 5 continents. They will ship their cargotecture homes worldwide. Continue Reading »
Thinking big and building small is the philosophy behind the company BuildZing, located in Dripping Springs Texas. BuildZing builds small homes that are eco-friendly, affordable and can have customized exteriors and interiors based on the owner’s budget.
The company builds what they call “flex rooms” that can be used for offices, studios, workshop, retreats, rental properties, and cottages and tiny homes for a simplified lifestyle. Their designs can also be adapted to be ADA compliant to house disabled persons. The designs are energy efficient and specific to Texas climates.
Their 12 foot by 16 foot model costs $13,750 including sales tax. BuildZing can build directly on-site and will consult with you on foundations and utility and sewer attachments, or the building can be delivered ready to move in.
Photos courtesy of BuildZing
The modern prefab cabin company, Cabin Fever, in partnership with award-winning architect, Ed Binkley, has designed a new series of homes called the Shelter Series. The basis of these homes begins with the question: “We don’t buy cars by the pound, so why should we buy homes by the square footage?”
This series of homes meets all of the fundamental criteria in a house. The space is sized to be functional while also allowing flexibility. The uses for these homes include high density small lot urban and suburban infill, relief housing, student housing, auxiliary dwelling units, and specifically, affordable housing.
The Shelter Series homes range in size from 340 square feet to around 1,400 square feet and are also designed to meet a variety of green certification programs with the real emphasis being on energy and water savings along with a superior exterior shell.
Available now is the Shelter 640. This small home features 2 bedrooms, a full bath, generous kitchen, and ample storage/closet space. The interior is filled with light from the standard and clerestory windows. The lot for this design may be as small as 30 feet by 60 feet, and the 640 can be built on a concrete foundation or a raised floor system. The Shelter 640 is priced at $47,300. Continue Reading »
Smallworks Studios/Laneway Housing Inc. is a design and building company based in Vancouver, Canada. They specialize in small homes and laneway houses which are small cottages or homes that are built on the rear of a property lot, usually behind another house. Their designs range from around 100 square feet to 750 square feet.
Smallworks takes an active role in the entire process of building a small home including site inspection, custom design, permit applications, in house millwork, pre-fab and flat pack material delivery and on site construction management. The company uses LEED accredited designers and will walk a customer through various sustainability and green building options. Premium upgrades for each project include lifetime warranty metal roofing, upgraded siding, millwork and furniture packages and bamboo flooring. Continue Reading »