By Janine Saunders, July 13th, 2010

First in the series, entitled “Surf, Live, Paint” profiles Andrea Shapiro and her architect Maziar Behrooz, who after designing the home, moved onto her private art studio, deciding upon surplus shipping containers mounted atop a cement foundation. In addition to a noticeably innovative choice to use the containers, the environmentally functional aspect of the project is that normally those very containers would remain at loading docks, to most likely never to move again. Some twenty-one thousand of these containers arrive in US docks each and every day. Granted some will be placed on chassis and travel to a second destination, however the containers that unload at the docks will remain. Considered a waste of time and money, they will not be shipped empty from whence they came, instead they will remain at the docks, hopefully awating a new purpose. MB Architecture is that purpose. Behrooz, based in East Hampton, has been at the forefront of sustainable design, most recently winning the 2009 AIA Peconic Design Award for the “Container Studio”. His firm, MB Architecture, recognized around the world, currently has 6 homes currently under construction in the New York area.

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By Janine Saunders, July 6th, 2010

“A House for Blake” examines the concept of Mass Customization, changing the landscape of the modern pre-fab house forever, allowing the customer to fully pick and choose each and every detail in the design of a custom home. This new style of customization is similar to that of purchasing a car, in that the customer may simply log into the Res 4 website and add or drop hundreds of features to their design, making every inch of the home, their own. Joseph Tanney of Resolution 4 Architecture has been designing homes for 20 years, recently attracting the attention of Debbi Gibbs, after winning the Dwell Magazine pre-fab home competition for a design in Pittsboro, NC.
Since then Resolution 4 has designed over 50 different homes, offices, and public facilities across the country. Pre-fab homes have become one of the most sustainable forms of home building, by reducing the environmental impact of construction as well as reducing the actual build time. By taking advantage of this mass customization, Debbi was able to manipulate the design of the home so she could keep an eye on her young son, Blake, if he’s running around the lake in the backyard, or jumping on the trampoline out front, she can always keep an eye on him. The high performance windows used in the home not only fill the space with gorgeous natural light, but also play a significant role in temperature management. In designing the bathrooms and kitchen facilities Res 4 chose very specific fixtures that combine style with the new wave of eco-conscious water management. Currently, Joseph is watching a number of his designs come to life both in the country and in major cities across the nation. Currently based in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Resolution 4 still maintains it’s stronghold on the Modern Pre-Fab design market.

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By Janine Saunders, July 2nd, 2010


The “New Gen, Next Gen” episode features what’s known as the “100K House” , a collaborative effort from Interface Studio Architects and Postgreen Homes, both based in Philadelphia, PA, have found the perfect niche market by combining technology, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. By almost exclusively building on infill sites, of which there are 25,000 available, they have access to land that normally remains empty, and are able to build homes of the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. The homes can be built for as little as $100,000, or at approximately $100 a square foot, which lends appeal to a younger as well as more eco-conscious demographic. By using a combination of solar panels to heat water, a heat recovery unit to keep the house heated yet well ventilated, and SIPS (Structural Insulated Panel) , pre-made, heavily insulated panels that are simply assembled onsite dramatically reducing build time, the innovations in the 100K house are astounding. Brian Phillips, the brains behind ISA, has already built 2 of these units, with a third currently in construction.

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