Archives For Sustainable

Bigger does not always mean better in todays luxury home market as many high-end homeowners are skimping on size to make room for expensive amenities.

In the past, the luxury real estate has been defined by the size of homes, but today many are scaling down on the size. Real estate brokers say more and more clients are shaving off square footage to give priority to sustainability and smart design––including solar power and becoming LEED platinum certified.

For example, last year mortgage banker Heidi Brunet built a 2,085 square foot home in Dallas with extra additives like soy-based, energy-efficient insulation, stained concrete floors, and $48,000 LED lighting system.

Instead of splurging on space in the house, she chose to have a large yard with a 1,000 square foot deck, and a pool because she spends most of her time outside. To Brunet she “wanted the house to be everything I needed it to be and nothing more”.

Architects design  size-conscious homes by removing unnecessary space like formal living rooms, dining rooms, and large hallways. Some regions are also attempting to regulate home size with new ordinances; For example, city planners in Austin, Texas created the 2006 “McMansion ordinance’” which limits floor area to 40% of a lot size. Also, in 2010, Marin County, California required any plans to double homes size more than 3,000 square feet to undergo a design review.

The lesson? A home can still be a dream home no matter the size.

This article can be found in its original form on WSJ.

Photo: Wall Street Journal

Aptly named the “Arc House,” this unique East Hampton home is now on the market for the first time ever. The 5,173 square foot residence stands under the Steelmaster Arch which spans 20’x60′ at a height of 16′, and was built with a stunning combination of glass, steel, stone, and wood.

The home, designed by award-winning architect Maziar Behrooz, includes 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a NEFF kitchen, and Bulgarian limestone throughout the living room and dining room. Other highlights include the 1,000 bottle wine room, 4 car garage, gym, dry sauna, and a beautiful staircase to the lower level that is cantilevered off a cement wall with Oregon black walnut treads. Behrooz, who is known for his sustainable designs, also included Geo-Thermal heating and windows made of ultra-efficient thermal Unilux & Fin glass.

50 Green Hollow Road, East Hampton, New York is listed by David Zazula with Halstead Property and is on the market for $3,950,000.

This property post can be found in its original form on Househappy.org or view complete gallery below:

Photos: Maziar Behrooz Architecture

It’s no secret that tiny homes have become one of the latest trends in housing and architecture. More frequently, people are finding that downsizing their space is not only more sustainable (and often cheaper), but it can also lead to a less-cluttered, easier existence.

But what do we sacrifice when we give up space? Will living in a tiny home leave us feeling constrained and claustrophobic? Last week, The New York Times featured a 704 square foot Oregon home that proves forfeiting space doesn’t have to feel small.

Lily Copenagle and Jamie Kennel of Portland, Oregon, had a few things in mind when imagining their perfect home: Kennel, who is 6″1, wanted to escape the low doorways and cramped rooms of the older houses they had previously occupied, and Copenagle dreamed of living in a home that wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to vacuum. Their strategy became, “own less, live more.”

$135,000 later (including materials and labor), the result is a one-room home with a wood stove for heating, a green roof, a 550-gallon rain barrel, a huge backyard, and industrial touches throughout.

This article can be found in its original form at The New York Times.

Photos: Aaron Leitz via The New York Times

After a year and a half of construction, kayaking instructor and boatbuilder Brian Schulz completed building his home in the woods of Cape Falcon, Oregon for the impressibly low price of $11,000.

Inspired by a brass sink he found at a local recycling center, Schulz used salvaged and sometimes donated materials in order to complete his home on an affordable budget.

“With deep enough pockets a person might be able to duplicate such a structure by writing a large check to a talented builder, but that would risk missing the point entirely,” he said. “Whether or not one believes that turning a log from beside the house into the house itself imbues it with some mystical qualities, it is undeniable that the pursuit of local materials connects more deeply to your landscapes, your neighbors, and yourself. The simple act of searching adds richness to our lives. To reiterate: You meet people, you discover new places, you have adventures, you learn things, and you come home with beams, windows, doors, and shingles.”

Dubbed “The Japanese Forest House,” the design incorporates both rustic western and traditional eastern styles.

Source: My Modern Met

Photos: Brian Schulz

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Described as a “sustainable tiny house kit,” this home is easier to assemble than furniture, believe it or not. The Nomad Micro Home was created by Vancouver architect Ian Kent, and was designed to be so small and lightweight that a buyer can ship it anywhere in the world then put it together using basic carpentry skills.

The base Nomad Micro house kit measures only 10×10 feet and includes a living room, kitchen, upstairs sleeping loft, and costs $25,000. To save space, many of the home’s amenities function with dual purpose; for example, the kitchen shelves also act as stairs to the loft and the entire bathroom serves as the shower stall. Though it is designed as a dwelling for only 1-2 residents, several kits can be assembled together to make a larger home. For an additional cost, buyers can upgrade their home with eco-friendly add-ons like solar energy panels, rainwater collection and grey water treatment systems, and a compost toilet.

Check out the slideshow below for additional photos of the Nomad Micro:

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Sources: Jetson Green and Huffington Post