Floating House That Can be Divided Down the Middle

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Splitting up with your significant other is usually stressful enough without the added problem of having to divide up a house. The so-called Prenuptial Housing (still in the concept stage) makes something of a non-issue out of that. It’s a floating home that can be physically divided up when the couple decide to go their separate ways. The home is the brainchild of PR specialist Omar Kbiri and was designed by Studio OBA of Holland.

The home will be easy to divide up, at which point each co-owner would just float away with their half of the house. Should they find love again, it would also be easy to attach the missing half of the floating home back onto the house. There’s no denying that there is poetry in the idea, though buying a home like this does come with the built in premise that the relationship might not work out.

They are planning to build the first prototype and begin selling the home soon, though for the time being it’s still only in the concept stage. The reason is that they have not yet fully figured out how to construct a floating home, which can be split in two. They have also not yet resolved the issue of how to power such a home, or the fact that it would need two of everything, namely the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and even the front door.

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According to Studio OBA the home would be held afloat by pontoons and would have a modular interlocking design that could be separated easily. The size of the home and number of rooms would be left up to the occupant to decide on. The home would be prefabricated and made primarily out of lightweight carbon fiber and timber.

I suppose the power issue could be solved by installing solar panels (or another form of sustainable energy harvesting/generation) and two battery banks, or simply having two electrical hookups. And perhaps just having all the kitchen hookups in place would even preclude having to have two kitchens in the first place, provided one could easily be installed at a short notice.

Super Sustainable LivingHomes Prefabs Taking Over California

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The company LivingHomes has launched their first sustainable, LEED platinum prefab home back in 2013. They have also partnered with the non-profit Make It Right organization and architect William McDonough with whom they have created the so-called C6 home, which is an affordable LEED Platinum certified home, which also meets the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star standard.

The company has also developed their own 6-point sustainable home standard, called the Z6 program, which, according to them, will serve to better showcase the C6 homes’ performance.

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The Z6 program can be used to measure how close each of the C6 homes gets to being zero energy, zero emissions, zero carbon, zero water, zero waste and “zero ignorance.” The homes graded using this standard get a percentage score based on all of these factors, while the overall score of 85 percent or above is considered acceptable.

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Green Family Home Built in the Suburbs of Paris

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The firm Djuric Tardio Architectes built a green, prefab family home, which is located in Antony-Paris, France. The home blends in nicely with the surrounding houses in this old neighborhood, yet still boasts a number of very sustainable and modern features. The two-story family home measures around 808 square feet (246 square meters) and is built using only wood panels.

The home rests on a slab, and it was completely prefabricated in a workshop off site, before finally being delivered to the building site, where it took only two weeks to assemble it. The building system is based on Finnish wood panels, which are made out of harvested wood from small private forest owners.

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The pre-cut panels also already featured wood fiber insulation when they arrived on site, while the home’s exterior siding is also made of untreated wood. The house makes use of a very efficient exterior insulation system, which eliminates thermal bridges. The home is heated via an under-floor gas-powered heating system, though due to the very good insulation it is not even always needed.

The home was fitted with double-glazed, argon gas-filled windows, with the south facing ones large enough to take full advantage of solar heat gain. Combined with the careful placement of windows to allow for maximum ventilation, it eliminates the need for energy intensive AC systems.

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Some of the windows feature shutters with a stainless steel glazing. These shutters reflect the vegetation, giving the home an ever changing façade, while they also play a vital role in the ventilation of the home and minimizing solar heat gain in the summer. The home is also equipped with a rainwater catchment system, and the water obtained this way is used to irrigate the garden.

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Prefab Modular Homes Inspired by Shipping Container Architecture

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Shipping container homes are taking the architecture world by storm and naturally they have fierce supporters on one side, and naysayers on the other. The Australia-based company Nova Deko Modular has recently unveiled a new line of modular homes, which were inspired by shipping container architecture. The units they offer vary in size, while all are based on a standard 40-foot shipping container. In this way, they have been able to take advantage of the best things offered by cargotecture, while leaving behind much of the negative.

The smallest of their units is the so-called Milan Flat, which is basically a granny flat, the interior of which measures 320 square feet . These units feature a separate bedroom, a bathroom with a shower, large clothes and linen closets, a functional kitchen and a washer and dryer. The bedroom can fit a double bed, though that leaves only enough room on the sides to walk around the bed. The kitchen is equipped with a two-burner cooktop and has enough space for a convection or microwave oven. The kitchen cabinets reach to the ceiling, which works to maximize the available storage space.

In some units, the kitchen cabinetry can also be extended into the living area, where it forms the space for a TV, or other entertainment system components, but which doesn’t leave much room for a lounging area. If the owners do most of their entertaining on the deck, this arrangement works great.

The basic units also feature aluminum and glass sliding doors, which can be upgraded to folding doors on the higher-end models. These help to maximize the available interior space. The base model of this home costs 47,000 Australian dollars and can currently be delivered to anywhere within 50 km of major Australian port cities. Delivery to other destinations needs to be negotiated with the company directly.

Tiny Prefab Homes Worth Checking Out

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The Dutch firm 2by4 Architects recently launched a line of unique tiny prefab homes, which can serve a variety of purposes, such as a vacation home, office guest room and more. They can also be taken off the grid, and could actually be used for a permanent residence too.

The company will offer three models. The so-called Chalet Aida is the smallest and measures only 226 sq. ft. (21 sq. m.). Despite its modest size, it is still quite spacious inside, since it has a double-height living room and a large glass front façade, which slides open all the way. It has a lofted bedroom are which can sleep two people and is accessible via ladder. In the downstairs area there is a living room and kitchen, along with some storage space. The kitchen comes equipped with a fridge, sink, and a two-burner electric stove, while there is also a small bathroom area with a toilet and shower.

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The company also offers two slightly larger models, namely the Chalet Tosca and Chalet Nabucco, which measure 319 sq. ft. (39 sq. m.) and 516 sq. ft. (48 sq. m.). The design is similar to the Chalet Aida, though instead of a lofted bedroom, these two have a full mezzanine area.

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All of these are made entirely out of wood, while the windows are double-glazed. The basic version has white painted walls, though future owners can customize this according to their wishes. The company also claims they can use a variety of different material for insulating the home, according to the climate in which it will ultimately be deployed. The cabins are also equipped with an electric heat pump system for heating and cooling, while the add on, off-grid options include solar panels, composting toilet, and a rainwater catchment system.

The fully equipped Chalet Aida costs €75,000 ($95,570), while the Chalet Nabucco costs €85,000 ($108,314). The tiny homes can also be extended in length, which costs €5,000 ($6,371) per 4 ft. (1.2 m), while the bare shell can be purchased for less than the above prices.

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