Two fresh, bold green design/building projects to report on today. I’ll start with the little guy.
Yesterday, Design Boom shared images of the “Shed for Living,” a cozy crib from Manchester, UK-based FKDA Architects. The Shed — available in 13- or 24-square-meter sizes — was designed to achieve zero-carbon status. However, it's suggested that the super petite home is just as influenced by economics as it is energy efficiency:
"The idea of creating such a tiny living environment came from growing reports of people being forced out of their homes unable to make mortgage payments, and turning to living with family, in garden sheds and even in cars."
In terms of construction, the Shed can be prefabricated and delivered by biodiesel truck or it can be delivered in bits and pieces and erected on site by DIY builders. Giving its Brit origins, FKDA is happy to take on bespoke Shed structures. Green features include FSC-certified timber framed walls, recycled newspaper-based cellulose insulation, LED/low-energy lighting, no-VOC paints, double-glazed windows, and optional, renewable energy features like photovoltaic panels that can help the structure achieve zero carbon status. Heat is provided via electric underfloor heating or an optional wood-burning stove.
And the Shed is not just an exercise in cutesy-cramped … its efficient design allows for storage ample space thanks to a unique “inner sleeve.”
Obviously not for the claustrophobic or for families of four, I still dig the Shed’s clever versatility, efficient design, and affordability.
It’s hard to say. First off, Proportion, the Berlin-based company marketing and distributing Libeskind's villa is reluctant to say it technically is prefab. While much of the home is manufactured off-site, it also requires months of assembling at the building site. And according to The New York Times, it seems that the villa be marketed more as “a piece of art” than a green prefab. Over at TreeHugger, Lloyd Alter is branding the project as part of modern prefab's slow death (Michelle Kaufmann's exit being another).
I'm hoping that there’s room for both the huge-ish/high-end and the modest/micro in the growing prefab market but I do worry the former runs the risk as being tagged a novelty no matter how serious the architect attached. However, Proportion is confident that moneyed buyers will bite, especially with Libeskind involved. In fact, the company plans on producing more unique homes designed by marquee-name architects.
A prototype of Libeskind’s prefab villa is currently being built in Datteln, Germany; sales are expected to start this summer and the home will be available worldwide. This is only Libeskind's third residential project in his decades-long career.
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