Thursday, March 31, 2011

Modular Houses and Home In a Barn

I've been thinking a lot lately about green, eco-friendly living spaces. I have always wanted to buy a piece of land, and build my own house, from the ground up. It appeals to my free spirit and sense of wanting to live apart from other people. Living in a big city has never appealed to me. But I think suburbia is almost worse in a way. It seems so ... lifeless with the same cookie cutter houses and boring yards.

Recently I've been attending stat 13 lectures... forced to do so by my professor now that I'm working double time as a TA. It's insanely boring, as I've already TA'd this same class 5 times... I obviously don't need to be there, but I always bring along some good reading materials.

Someone somewhere somehow subscribed me to this magazine Dwell which is about architecture and interior spaces. I never had the time to read it until now, and I'm glad I finally did, because I think I've found the affordable alternative - a prefabricated green home. My favorite of the bunch from Blu homes was the Solaire house because of its two story loft-like design.

The solaire house

But the cheapest of the bunch was the Element house starting at only $160,000. That's not including land and foundation... but I think it's still a steal.

The element house

It's nice that these homes use eco-friendly building materials like steel walls, and bamboo floors. They come with solar panels and skylights, and are much more energy efficient than normal homes.

Aside from buying a pre-fabricated green home, I also really like the idea of living in a converted barn. It's kind of nostalgically romantic, a la Little house on the Prairie. Apparently this project was done by Shed Architects who only used wood from the original barn and kept the entire existing shell. It's an amazing renovation and I'm totally jealous that I don't have a barn!

The barn house