ArchDaily weighs the pros and cons of one of green building's hottest trends: shipping container architecture. One of the downsides that folks often fail to consider when getting all worked up about container homes has to do with "the amount of energy required to make the box habitable. The entire structure needs to be sandblasted bare, floors need to be replaced, and openings need to be cut with a torch or fireman’s saw. The average container eventually produces nearly a thousand pounds of hazardous waste before it can be used as a structure. All of this, coupled with the fossil fuels required to move the container into place with heavy machinery, contribute significantly to its ecological footprint."


Dwell pays a visit to an eye-catching, eco-friendly Austin, Texas abode where upcycle-happy homeowners Anne Suttles and Sam Shah manage to "keep it weird while keeping it green." Love it. 

Core77 throws out the question: Wanna Know Who Really Benefits from Pre-Fab Housing? The answer: the actual construction workers. Explains Core77: "Putting things together is still hard labor, but imagine being able to do it all indoors, in short-sleeved shirts, in a climate-controlled environment with perfect lighting and an actual plumbed bathroom."

Co. Design admires Maison L, a French abode "that solves the problem of fascist building codes." Suzanne LaBarre explains that when faced with numerous building restrictions, architect Christian Pottgiesser (AKA "the Ferris Bueller of architecture"), "danced artfully around the limitations, constructing flat roofs where more elaborate roofs weren’t allowed and a cluster of towers where tall, large buildings were restricted, to create a family house that’s chic, bright, and gutsy." That's the home pictured up top.

Curbed drools over the drop-dead-gorgeous homes of Seattle-based starchitect, Tom Kundig. Included is one of my favorites, the Pierre in the San Juan Islands. 

The Los Angeles Times ponders the big-time perks of selling an energy-efficient home. According to studies conducted by the Earth Advantage Institute, sustainable homes in the Pacific Northwest fetch higher prices and sell faster than their non-green counterparts. 

Forbes profiles Blu Homes, a Massachusetts-based green prefab firm that takes an "Apple approach" to modular home building. Writes Todd Woody: "The company aims to mass-produce environmentally friendly homes like Priuses, taking the cost and hassle out of custom home building." The newest member of Blu's stable of prefab beauties is Lofthouse, a home that I featured just last week. 

The New York Times Scotch Guards the sofa for a look at the clothing-optional element of Couchsurfing, the popular "free crash pads for budget-minded travelers" social networking website. Writes the NYT: "Those looking for a nudist-friendly environment have a variety of groups from which to choose — not just Clothing Optional, but also Naked at Home, Freedom for Nudity, Nudist Lifestyle and nakedveganpotsmokingcyclists, among others. By designating their homes as nudist-friendly spaces, members of these groups provide travelers with temporary havens from the tyranny of fabric and public nudity laws. More important, perhaps, from the hosts’ viewpoint, they are taking the intimacy of couch surfing to an extreme, bringing the unguarded ethos of the nudist camp into their homes."

Jetson Green takes a peek at one heck of a real estate listing: a stunning 1,190 square foot Rocio Romero LV series prefab home located on Whidbey Island, Wash. It can be all yours — plus 11 acres of land — for $429,000. 

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

Playing catch up: Labor intensive
This Labor Day weekend, pay tribute to the hard work performed by code-skirting architects, Apple-inspired green prefab startups, salvage-happy homeowners and n