Luxury and Efficiency on ‘Deck’ in Colorado

Energy efficiency is a top priority for many architects, but Scott Rodwin, founder of Rodwin Architecture, seamlessly blends green building techniques with elegant contemporary aesthetics to design breathtaking residential and commercial buildings.

His Colorado-based firm is responsible for the creation of multiple near net-zero energy homes, and makes energy efficiency a priority in all of its structures that shine against the mountainous landscape.

Among the projects that the Rodwin Architecture team has completed, “Deck House” stands out as an imaginative and whimsical hillside residence.

The 4,200 square foot home, which was originally built in the 1970s, was completely remodeled by Rodwin Architecture and Skycastle Construction. The home’s previously choppy and confined floor plan was switched out for a brighter, more airy design with new views of the surrounding mountains, higher ceilings and of course some added outdoor decks.

There are plenty of places to entertain in Deck House, including the elegant dining room and large great room, which are anchored by a double-sided gas fireplace. Hosting social events at Deck House is made even easier by the home’s gourmet kitchen, complete with a bright breakfast nook, and a jewel-box wet bar, accessible behind a custom barn door.

Deck House features several quirky amenities that delight homeowners and visitors of all ages. Next to the home’s great room is a raised platform bed called a “bonco,” which serves as a cozy reading nook. The bonco has a hidden door that leads to a secret playroom for the kids of the house, but adults can enjoy some of the home’s secret features too. In the master bathroom, there is a secret window that offers stunning views of the Flatirons, and there is a hidden laundry chute in the main hallway that is concealed by a picture frame.

The home’s settings are adjusted to the owner’s liking via smart home technology, while passive solar design, LED lights, high-efficiency HVAC and “Tuned” Energy Star windows help Deck House score high in energy efficiency.

Deck House is one of many dreamy Colorado creations for Rodwin Architecture and Skycastle Construction. However, the project stands out for its transformation into a sunny, expansive home rich in mountain views that maintains hidden treasures from its past.

    

 

 

Photos courtesy of Scott Rodwin. 

Inside the S2A Modular Megafactory — a one-of-a-kind controlled environment in which both commercial and residential buildings are constructed in modules — the nation’s first electrically self-sustaining, custom luxury homes are being developed. 

Known as the #GreenLuxHome, these world-class residences are giving new meaning to sustainable living.

Green Lux Home buyers can choose between 35 pre-designed floor plans, or design their own living space. The homes are constructed in less than six weeks after the designs are chosen and the plans are approved. Each home is customized according to the buyer’s specifications, including the home’s pre-installed state-of-the-art appliances and smartphone-controlled settings. Despite their innovative modular construction method, the homes have foundations that are visually identical to their more traditional counterparts.

The homes exclusively rely on Tesla Powerwall units and solar panels, which eliminate the cost of gas, propane and/or grid-powered energy. The Tesla Powerwall is low voltage and has 100 percent off-grid capabilities. In some instances, utility companies may even pay Green Lux homeowners for their contributions to the community energy grid, since each home is connected to the grid as a backup power source.

John Rowland, co-founder and president of S2A Modular:

“A Green Lux Home saves money, time and energy, while reflecting the ultimate level of sustainability, luxurious design, high-end materials, smart-connected features and an overall better way of living. ”

The 100,000-plus square foot MegaFactory protects the projects from the elements, as the homes are constructed in dedicated indoor work pods. By moving the majority of construction indoors, S2A sets a new standard for construction speed, shifting emphasis away from mitigating outdoor complications and onto building quality.

Photos courtesy of S2A Modular.

There is growing interest in “green” or sustainable design, a concept derived from “biophilia” which is Greek for “the love of living things.” This idea and its application in architecture provides many questions: what exactly is biophilic design? What are the benefits? Perhaps most importantly, are there practical steps a designer can take to apply the principles of biophilic design in actual projects?

 

 

Forward thinking leaders at SageGlass, makers of the world’s most intelligent, reliable electrochromic glass, offer their thoughts on this design concept and possible roots designers and architects can take to implement more sustainable measures.

Eloïse Sok, Concept Creator in the SageGlass Europe & Middle-East Team, says the concept of biophilia was first written in 1984 by biologist Edward O. Wilson, in which he described the concept as to how humans have an innate connection with nature and with other living systems. This connection continues to thrive in assorted cultures, including Japanese culture where people have been been aware of the restorative effects of nature on health for a long time. An example of this takes the form of the Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” and means a walk in the woods, Sok explains. This type of “bath” has been explored in several scientific studies that show how this practice can improve mood and sleep, reduce stress, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, boost the immune system and accelerate recovery from certain illnesses.

 

Sok explains that though this term has been known for many years, it has recently resurfaced with a revival of interest in prioritizing health and overall comfort in buildings, particularly in the architectural field. In order to bridge a better connection to nature from the indoors, the idea of biophilic design has further developed, “integrating elements into buildings that can directly or indirectly reconnect us with nature.”

Above Photo and Featured Image by Michael Christo.

Photo by Marianne Cousineau.

Though there are several principles central to biophilic design, a key part to keep in mind is the supply of natural light in buildings.

 

“[Light’s] dynamic nature through the day and during the year induces variability in terms of intensity, contrast, distribution and colors in a given space, which stimulates and enhances the wellbeing of the building’s occupants,” Sok explains. With this in mind, it’s important to control direct light penetration, which can interfere with certain activities, as well as temperature variations that affect comfort.

 

Another priority is to give access to outdoor views through windows, which allows for a visual connection with nature, which Sok notes is vital to an office environment in order to “relax the eye muscles and limit visual and cognitive fatigue.”

 

For more explanations of biophilic designs and how we can best prioritize through architecture and design, visit SageGlass’ full report here.

All photos courtesy Noë & Associates with The Boundary

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, a true visionary whom Time magazine named as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, has made his first addition to the New York skyline, a mark that happens to have a deeper impact on the sustainability scale. 565 Broome in SoHo is a stunning luxury condominium featuring architecture by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and interiors by Parisian firm Rena Dumas Architecture Interiueure (RDAI).

This 112-residential building, ranging with studios to 4-bedroom condominium homes, will also become the first high-end residential Zero Waste Building in New York City, which is defined as achieving more than 90 percent diversion of waste from landfills, incinerators and the environment. 565 Broome was thoughtfully designed to not only maximize space and views but to embrace the power that daylight has on architecture.
Piano designed conjoined glass structures with curved corners, resulting in light-filled residences that breathe and offer 360-degree views of the Hudson River, One World Trade Center, and beyond. A unique “low-iron” glass with crystal-like sheen and clarity was selected for the exterior to allow the façade to take on the color of the weather, as well as to create clear views from the interiors. Renzo Piano believes that architecture is the art of creating emotion, and his design for 565 Broome SoHo will allow both residents and passersby to have a visual relationship with the building.
“With 565 Broome SoHo, we set out to establish a dialogue and harmony between the interiors and exterior. The rhythm of the façade mullions and ‘low-iron’ glass with large curved windows open the corner areas to enhance the feeling of light and air in the expansive residences.” Says Toby Stewart, associate at Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
565 Broome’s oversized windows with ultra-transparent glass and neutral tones enhance the architecture of SoHo, a neighborhood home to museums and high-end galleries. SoHo is also a premiere destination for luxury retail and fine dining, with elite offerings including Prada, Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang, Chanel, Material Good, Balthazar, The Dutch, Shuka and Blue Ribbon Brasserie.

RDAI’s vision for the interiors was to deliver a cohesive design that emphasizes craftsmanship and quality materials. Each residence enjoys 6-inch white oak plank floors, custom wood entry doors, 10-foot-plus ceiling heights and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views. Select residences also boast outdoor living rooms and 25-foot private pools. The custom-designed, high-performance kitchens are outfitted with features like white oak cabinetry and Basaltina countertops, Zucchetti fixtures and accessories, Blanco sinks and Miele appliances wine storage. The lavish master baths feature freestanding tubs and are dressed with Calacatta Caldia marble slab walls and flooring with maple brown Eramosa marble and stainless steel accents. The elegance continues with custom-designed white oak vanities, Zucchetti fixtures and accessories, frameless glass doors at shower enclosures and water closets, and heated floors.
The condominium offers the luxury and experience of a private gated driveway with entrance to a covered porte-cochere. Wellness amenities include a heated 55-foot indoor swimming pool, changing rooms, steam rooms and sauna, and a fitness center. Residents will also enjoy a beautifully landscaped outdoor terrace, an interior landscaped lounge with 92-foot high ceiling and a live green wall, library and wet bar. Additional conveniences include a kid’s playroom, 24-hour concierge and attended lobby, common laundry room and bicycle storage with 76 spots. The property will have 40 parking spots, each of which will be equipped with a full capacity electric charging station.

Taking things even further, the development has teamed up with ReachNow, BMW’s mobility services company, to create a car sharing partnership that will grant residents access to onsite BMW and MINI vehicles.
With the amenities offered and artfully designed open layout, Piano’s architectural style communicates harmony, calm and expansiveness within 565 Broome.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced the recipients of its 2017 LEED Homes Awards, an annual honor given to innovative projects, architects, developers and homebuilders leading the residential green building market.  
“We believe that every building, especially homes, should be green. LEED-certified homes enhance the health and wellbeing of occupants by providing clean indoor air and incorporating safe building materials to ensure comfort and safety, and they are designed to save critical resources, use less energy and water and save money,” says Mahesh Ramanujam, USGBC President and CEO. “The LEED Homes Awards showcase the most inspired and efficient practices in the residential green building movement. These leaders showcase what it means to create a home that balances aesthetic appeal with real human and environmental needs.”
The recipients include multi-family, single-family and affordable housing projects and companies who utilized innovative and effective sustainability methods in residential spaces in 2017.
LEED Homes Award Recipients include:

Photo courtesy James Shanks.

Project of the Year: The House at Cornell Tech, Roosevelt Island, NY
Developed by The Hudson Companies and Related Companies, Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus features The House,” a LEED Platinum multi-family residence open to students, staff, and faculty. This 26-story full-functioning apartment building uses 60-70 percent less energy than that of a similarly sized typical building.

Outstanding Single-Family Project: Historic District Infill Home, Decatur, GA
Built and owned by SK Collaborative principal Carl Seville, the Historic District Infill Home manages to fit seamlessly into a prestigious existing historic district while meeting the highest standards of energy efficiency and sustainability through its LEED Platinum certification. This 100-percent electric home employs state of the art concepts in design, construction, and mechanical systems.

Photo courtesy Tim Ridley.

Photo courtesy Mark Boisclair Photography Inc.

Outstanding Single-Family Developer: Maracay Homes, Scottsdale, AZ
For over 25 years, Maracay Homes has been a leader in Arizona’s sustainable real estate industry. Having constructed more than 9,000 homes for families across Phoenix and Tucson, Maracay strives to provide homebuyers with smarter choices that serve both their lifestyle and the environment.

Outstanding Multi-Family Project: PassiveTown Phase 3, Building K, Kurobe, Japan
Developed by YKK Fudosan Co., Passive Town Phase 3, Building K is a LEED Platinum low-rise multi-family residence and the first LEED for Homes project in Japan. After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, YKK Fudosan Co. realized the importance of sustainable and resilient design and decided to construct the 3-block PassiveTown community.

Photo courtesy Saito Sadayuki.

Outstanding Multi-Family Developer: The Hudson Companies Inc., New York, NY
Started in 1986, The Hudson Companies, Inc. focuses on urban development in the New York metropolitan area. Committed to quality, each of its developments is designed to achieve green building standards like LEED. They currently have completed over 3,500 housing units and have nearly 5,000 additional units in pre-development or construction.

Outstanding Affordable Project: Crescent Crossings Phase 1, Bridgeport, CT
Crescent Crossings is the result of a collaboration between JHM Financial Group, Crosskey Architects and Viking Construction, who wanted to create a durable, welcoming community with low tenant utility bills. The first phase of the four-part project achieved LEED Platinum in 2017 and resides in an area once riddled with crime and violence. However, the creation of the Crescent Crossings community will help vanquish old reputations by fostering a healthy, safe, and vibrant community.

Photo courtesy Mark W. Lipczynski.

Outstanding Affordable Developer Builder / Developer: Native American Connection, Phoenix, AZ
Part of Native American Connection’s cultural heritage is its mindfulness to how our actions affect future generations. Therefore, incorporating LEED into its work is an important step as it gives their tenants a higher quality of life while ensuring a healthier future.

USGBC also recognized “LEED Homes Power Builders,” a distinction USGBC established to honor an elite group of developers and builders that have exhibited an outstanding commitment to LEED and the green building movement within the residential sector. In order to be considered a LEED Homes Power Builder this year, developers and builders must have LEED-certified 90 percent of their homes/unit count built in 2017. Homes at any LEED certification level are eligible for consideration.

2017 LEED Homes Power Builders include: (*Represents a company that also won a LEED Homes Award):

Construction Rocket Inc.

JHM*

Habitat for Humanity of Kent County

The Dinerstein Companies

Metro West Housing Solutions

Forest City Realty Trust

MHI Dallas

Gerding Edlen

Koral & Gobuty Development

Frankel Building Group

AMLI Residential

C&C Development

Alliance Residential

Carmel Partners

Native American Connections*

The Community Builders

Thrive Home Builders

Active West

Millennium Mission, photos courtesy The Dinerstein Companies.

This female-led, boutique interior design firm is leaving a positive and lasting impression on the environment.

500 Waverly

The Design High, an eco-friendly firm, specializes in designing and staging residential buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan with high profile projects including 63 Wall Street, 1N4th, 265 East Houston, LEVEL and 507 West Chelsea.

 

Whether it’s using tiles that are made of recycled contents or local materials to avoid shipping, Design High does its best to preserve the environment.

 

When it comes to design, the team must follow its clients’ requests. However, the team does its best to educate clients and offer eco-friendly options when possible, according to Founder and Creative Director Highlyann Krasnow.

In addition to encouraging an eco-friendly design, the team donates monthly to the Natural Resource Defense Council and Earthjustice. “We want to make sure some of our profits end up in the right place,” says Krasnow. “Ultimately, they’re not creating anymore land, this is the place that we live. I want to, at least, try to leave this planet better off than I found it.”

 

Design High also maintains a green office environment by avoiding the use of paper, banning all plastic and paper cups, and using notebooks made of recycled materials.

507 West Chelsea

LEVEL

“We are very conscious of how we use our land. That is how I grew up, and it was important to me to bring that to the company as well,” says Krawnow on her decision to start an eco-conscious business.

 

Recent advances in technology and the mass production of eco-friendly resources have made it easier to be environmentally conscious in 2018 than in recent years. “I think people are starting to see that something has to be done,” says Krawnow, who notes an increased push toward sustainability in recent years.

Lead by a group of five women, Design High hopes other woman are inspired by the company’s success. However, Krawnow notes that the company’s lack of men was not purposeful. “We are all women,” Krasnow jokes. “But we’ve tried to hire men, it just ended up this way.”

 

She does believe, however, that the female-led team brings unique perspective and balance to a typically male-driven scene. “We do work on a lot of construction sites, and we are really the only woman,” Krasnow jokes. “It is important to feel empowered, and to not let that be intimidating. I think we bring a nice ying to the yang.”

LEVEL

Krasnow has an important message to both men and women who are considering entrepreneurship — “I think that the best advice I could give is just not be too scared to try.”

 

“It is very intimidating, there was a lot I didn’t know. I think you have to give yourself some time to let it work without giving up on the idea,” says Krasnow, who says it took at least two years for her to feel confident that her business would succeed.

Photos courtesy of The Design High

Working to develop urban areas around the country is based on focusing on and improving the lives of residents for future years to come. To emphasize these goals, many developments are implementing sustainability methods in design and architecture to benefit the surrounding community and inhabitants.

Urby — Staten Island, NY
Located on the North Shore waterfront, Staten Island Urby is the largest new-construction development in Staten Island that offers specially curated social spaces that encourage natural opportunities for neighbors to meet and interact, including an urban farm featuring farmer-in-residence, Zaro Bates.
The 5,000-square-foot farm is the first commercial farm to be incorporated into an urban residential development. The farm grows over 50 varieties of produce across 5 major categories: greens, summer vegetables, flowers, herbs and roots. The farmers offer workshops to the community and residents including a fermentation series, growing your own herbs and microgreens, and bee-keeping workshops. Produce from the farm is used by the residents, served in the kitchen and sold at a weekly farmer’s market. Zaro’s business partner, Asher Landes, oversees the apiary, which encompasses 20 beehives on the roof of Urby that produce honey.

Photos courtesy of Ewout Huibers

 
Residence 2680 – San Francisco, CA
Located in the prestigious Pacific Heights neighborhood, Residence 2680 is the largest single-family home renovation that is built to Passive House standards with Home Platinum LEED certification in San Francisco. Developed by Troon Pacific and built to strict sustainability standards, naturally sourced, low-chemical producing materials like wood, stone and glass were incorporated throughout the home.
“We believe in the inspirational power of natural beauty and use principles of biophilic design throughout our homes to uplift our spirits and enhance health and wellness in the urban environment,” says Gregory Malin, CEO of Troon Pacific. Gregory Malin.
With mental and physical wellness in mind, Troon Pacific incorporates a variety of design features, such as Zen wellness gardens, retractable skylights to provide natural ventilation and clean air, rain chains for natural water filtration, landscaped roof decks, saunas, steam rooms and more.

Photo courtesy Troon Pacific.

570 Broome — SoHo, NY
570 Broome is a new 54-unit luxury boutique condominium that is the latest addition to Hudson Square, which has become a highly sought-after residential neighborhood and go-to destination for retailers, restaurants and businesses.
The material used to build the condominium is a result of a new collaboration between sintered stone slabs and Pureti, an aqueous and titanium dioxide nanoparticle-based treatment. This treatment on the surface of the building is activated through light energy to transform the moisture in the air into oxidizing agents, which destroy pollution-causing particles. For 570 Broome, this equates to taking 2,000 cars off the road for a year or the purifying power of 500 trees.
The overall architectural design references the area’s history through the large framed windows, along with the building’s silhouette evocative of staggered cubes.

Photos courtesy Builtd.

Manitoba Hydro Place — Winnipeg, Canada
Manitoba Hydro Place offers a fully integrated design that capitalizes on Winnipeg’s abundance of sunshine and gusting winds to harness solar and wind energies. The capital “A” form of the tower comprises two wings fused at the north and splayed open to the south. This opening is filled with three, six-story stacked atria or winter gardens that act as the lungs of the building as well as 78-foot waterfalls that humidify/dehumidify incoming air.
The design is 80-percent more efficient than conventional Winnipeg buildings, making it the third most energy-efficient, large scale building in the world. It is also the first large-scale office tower in North America to be LEED Platinum-certified.

Photo courtesy Gerry Kopelow.

Market Square — San Francisco, CA
Market Square, a Gold LEED-certified project, was designed by BCV Architecture + Interiors with sustainability and community in mind. The two-building project transformed the dark, outdated and unused space into a cohesive part of its Mid-Market San Francisco neighborhood.
Natural and recycled materials, including reclaimed wood from one of the building’s earlier additions, are used throughout. Market Square merges state-of-the-art office space with an integrated ground floor community featuring the best of San Francisco’s food and retail purveyors. BCV Architecture + Interiors view sustainability through a myriad of lenses and considers the ethical, cultural, social, economic and historical implication of a project in addition to the technical solutions.

Photo courtesy Bruce Damonte.

 
12 Warren — Tribeca, NY
12 Warren is a boutique residential condominium nestled in Tribeca developed, designed and constructed by DDG. This development features a hand-laid façade and is an impressive addition to one of Manhattan’s most desired residential neighborhoods.
12 Warren is specifically designed with NYC Energy Code compliance and LEED certification in mind, targeting a Silver level LEED certification. Additional components include a green roof system, accommodating alternative transportation storage, stormwater collection and reuse, reduction of heat island effect with concrete, light grey toned pavers and landscaping elements, construction waste management and secondary tenant-controlled heating elements to reduce overall energy and electrical output. By choosing native and local materials, such as Bluestone from upstate New York, something close to home and natural, helped ensure more sustainable building practices.

Top left photo courtesy of Bruce Damonte. Top and bottom right photo courtesy Robert Granoff. 

As luxury brands like BMW and Bentley introduce electric cars, the eco-conscious car is making its way into the luxury sector.
By Alyssa Gautieri

Electric cars have long been ignored by car fanatics, who prefer traditional air-cooled engines for their powerful exhaust notes and rumble. However, high-end buyers are increasingly considering hybrid or plug-in vehicles as the trend toward sustainability skyrockets and more luxury electric cars are produced.

In recent years, car companies have failed to acknowledge that wealthy car buyers admire electric power, according to Bloomberg.

 

Additionally, a new generation of car buyers are entering the market as more millennials begin to purchase cars. At the annual Geneva Motor Show in March, Bentley Motors Ltd.’s new chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark noted that young drivers care about sustainable and ethical transportation more than buyers have in the past, Bloomberg reports.

 

“If you look at millennials or the younger generation, there does seem to be more thoughtfulness about what kind of mark you leave on the planet — more so than a decade ago,” Brinley says, as reported by Bloomberg. “As we move forward in the luxury landscape, for this type of buyer, having one in your garage will be crucial.”

 

Also at the Geneva Motor Show, Bentley introduced the 2019 Bentley Bentayga hybrid luxury SUV, which is the brand’s first steps toward electrification and the world’s first luxury hybrid model. 

 

Merging effortless performance on the open road and silent, emission-free driving in the city, the new plug-in hybrid model will be the company’s most efficient model ever with CO2 emissions of 75 g/km.

BMW has also introduced the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster. The BMW i8 Roadster, which is virtually silent and has zero CO2 emissions, can cover up to 18 miles in purely electric driving.

 

Combining locally emission-free mobility and high-caliber performance, the Roadster is among the first fully viable, high-performance plug-in hybrid electric cars, according to Bloomberg.

 

Bentley and BMW are only two of the many prestigious car brands that are now producing electric, energy-efficient cars. As a generation of young people continue to prioritize green efforts, the electric car may begin to dominate the luxury sector within the next 10 years.   

Photos courtesy of BMW and Bently

A partnership between Duravit and Studio 804 will help to pave the way toward a more innovative, accessible and sustainable world of design.

Rendering of the 2018 Studio 804 house

Duravit has joined forces with Kansas-based Studio 804, Inc. to promote the benefits of innovative, adaptive architecture and design. Studio 804, Inc. is a not-for-profit that annually builds and designs a home that represents sustainable, affordable, and inventive building solutions. Duravit will donate a variety of bathroom product for the 2018 house, highlighting the impact of forward-thinking, modern bathroom design.
“Our partnership with Studio 804 is a testament to the value of their program,” says Duravit USA President Tim Schroeder. “The effort, research, and care that goes into every Studio 804 project is something Duravit is incredibly proud to be involved with, while the company’s goal to create thoughtful, sustainable design aligns with our own core values.”

Duravit X-Large Vanity in Studio 804 Bathroom

Duravit’s Darling New Mirror

Studio 804 is an education opportunity for graduate architecture students studying at the University of Kansas. Every year, students undertake building a home from scratch, with nine LEED Platinum projects and three Passive House certified projects under the organization’s belt. The project is entirely student-run, with every aspect of the design and construction completed by students throughout the nine-month academic year.
Duravit will donate product to correspond with the project’s modern design and accessible features. Signature collections, including Darling New, X-Large and Delos, will be on display. Featured items include:
X-Large wall-mounted vanity: Offering plenty of storage space and subtle elegance, the X-Large vanity unit combines function with form. Perfect for small spaces, X-Large highlights maximized storage, accessibility and sleek design solutions.
Darling New lighting mirror: The Darling New mirror’s harmonious shape, practical design language and ease-of-use creates a timeless piece for any modern bathroom.
Delos Mirror cabinet: Designed by EOOS, the Delos mirror cabinet utilizes innovative, non-glare LED technology and modern, minimalist forms to deliver a design-centric mirror with storage and technical solutions in mind.

“Duravit has been an ideal partner for Studio 804 throughout the years,” says Dan Rockhill, a professor within the school of architecture at University of Kansas. “The brand’s focus on innovative, lasting design matches our goals in addressing today’s evolving housing needs and shifting lifestyles.”
The 2018 house will be adjacent to Brook Creek Park in Kansas, situated to maximize views of the natural landscape. The house was designed with an open-space, flexible floor plan in mind to accommodate a variety of living situations and varying needs of the inhabitants. The project consists of both a 1,500-square-foot main house and a 500-square-foot dwelling unit, allowing for greater flexibility and multiple, adaptable living situations. Following in the footsteps of previous years, students will aim for an eleventh LEED Platinum building by limiting their impact on the environment and utilizing advanced building technologies.

Studio 804 is expected to reveal their 2018 housing project in May 2018.

Photos courtesy of Studio 804, Inc. 

As concerns for the environment grow, tiny homes have emerged as an earth-friendly alternative to traditional homes.

By Stacey Staum

In years past, the motto has been “the bigger the better.” The idea lent itself to every part of life, especially in the square footage of a luxury home. But as modern homeowners become increasingly aware of environmental issues, a new trend is emerging:

tiny homes.

 

Tiny homes can be as small as 200 square feet, and provide homeowners with a significantly smaller carbon footprint than traditional homes. Features like solar power, water catchments systems, and composting toilets have made tiny homes the premier housing option for an environmentally conscious lifestyle, and the luxury market is embracing this movement. 

Jason Francis, co-founder and president of Tiny Heirloom in Portland, Oregon, has brought high-end materials and amenities to the forefront of his designs. Francis explains, “We take pride in starting each project with a blank page and assuming everything is possible until proven otherwise.” Tiny Heirloom’s projects have included an $8,000 toilet, a $40,000 custom sculpted rock wall, Jacuzzi tubs, and rooftop decks, all incorporated into tiny home designs.

In a tiny home, it is of the utmost importance that all of the area is well utilized. “Using the space effectively is absolutely crucial. To do this well, we start with the right mindset. Every square inch is valuable space that can’t be wasted. When we have this truth in mind, we look at the design differently and begin to think outside the box of ways to maximize space and use or create dual purpose features wherever possible,” Francis says.

Part of the excitement of building a tiny home is deciding where to put the home once it is complete. Tiny Heirloom has finished projects in exciting locations, including the ocean shores of Hawaii and a 9,000-foot bluff overlooking the Rocky Mountains. Many tiny homes are portable, so homeowners don’t have to commit to only one location. Tiny homes offer the unique opportunity to move the home to different locations without having to pack up for a traditional move.

Customizations are limited only by the imagination. This home features a $40,000 sculpted rock wall on the exterior.

Wheelhaus in Jackson, Wyoming, also offers exceptional tiny home options, featuring top-of-the-line, energy-saving appliances. The company achieved a Gold standard with the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainability is the goal at Wheelhaus, as is evidenced by its use of High-R-value insulation, windows for abundant natural light, space-saving design, and sustainable building practices. The Wheelhaus aesthetic blends rustic and modern design styles. Wheelhaus’s most remarkable model is the Stack-Haus, with a base price of $365,000 for 1,400 square feet of living space — a mansion by tiny home standards.

The future of the luxury tiny home market looks promising. Francis explains, “The idea and belief goes beyond just tiny homes. The truth is starting to spread like wildfire — that a bigger house, nicer car, and more things don’t equate to happiness. Eliminating waste and simplifying life within one’s respective means creates a lifestyle where you can truly enjoy what you do have and who is around you.”

Photos courtesy Wheelhaus

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