Curbed NY shares the welcoming news that Brooklyn will be getting two more passive houses. Multi-family passive houses, that is. Both will be super-energy efficient 24-unit apartment buildings; both will in the Bushwick section (one at 424 Melrose Ave. is currently under construction); and both are designed by architect Chris Benedict. She relays to Curbed that the biggest obstacle with passive house building in New York City is that "there's a sense of security New Yorkers have about their hot, blasting radiators … A New Yorker who feels a cold radiator experiences fear." 


ArchDaily extends a hearty welcome to Beachaus II, InHaus Development's stunner of a prefab located in the Vancouver suburb of White Rock, B.C. Located just a couple of blocks from Semiahmoo Bay, the recently completed, PB Elemental-designed modular marvel (Seattle-based Method Homes prefabricated the modules) offers 2,000 square feet of living space along with a host of eco-friendly features that helped to garner the project LEED Platinum certification. And, it can all be yours for $1.275M. That's the home pictured up top.


Co.Design is wowed by the Whangapoua Sled House, a portable summer shack on New Zealand's famed Coromandel Peninsula that can be dragged to different locations along the beach. Explains Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan: "The Sled House wasn’t exactly designed to chase the best waves up and down the coast, though. Rather, every new home along the Peninsula must be portable or temporary due to the severe erosion that’s eating away at the coast. It’s a common story throughout the world’s beaches, as overdevelopment and climate change transform the shape of our coastlines."


Core77 gives props to sustainable product designer's Jeff Casper's new collection of home furnishings handcrafted largely from lumber salvaged from a shipwreck in Malibu


The New York Times Magazine commits  a whole lot of ink to Danny Kennedy, the orange-obsessed founder of "home solar specialists," Sungevity. A great read for insight into the business of residential solar.


Grist passes along yet another pressing query to fictional, flame-haired eco-advice guru Umbra Frisk. Wonders Tina from Tucson: "I’m moving this summer and we have tons of cutting boards! I might get rid of a few. Are any of the especially old ones (25+ years old) hazardous to my health? Especially the ones I’ve used to cut meat? And which is the more sustainable and healthy choice: plastic or wood?" 


Flavorwire takes a gander at "10 Amazing Recycled Houses" that often end up looking like "crazed art projects."


Similarly, AOL Real Estate wrangles up a handful of "Homes Made Mostly From Recycled Materials." Lord, all these photos of unconventional shelters made from beer bottles and cans are making want a cold one.


Jetson Green takes a peek at VOLKsHouse, the first certified Passive House to hit the New Mexico market. The uber-efficient, three-bedroom Santa Fe abode is the creation of MoSA Architects and also boasts an Emerald stamp of approval from the National Association of Homebuilders. And at $165 per square foot (solar system included), the team at MoSA believe it to be 6.5 percent less expensive per square foot than similarly sized homes in the region. And then there's the not-so-small fact that it uses 90 percent less energy than similar Santa Fe homes ...



Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: Beachy keen
This week: A portable summer shack on New Zealand's erosion-plagued coast and a LEED Platinum prefab just steps from the beach in British Columbia. Plus, a bevy