Zero-Energy Prefab Williston ND
Grand Forks, ND
A few years back, green designer Michelle Kaufmann made waves in the environmental world as well as in the homebuilding industry with her first green, affordable modular home, called the Glidehouse. Built in a factory and shipped to the building lot for assembly, the Glidehouse incorporated modern and eco-friendly building methods, and was a hit with buyers.
In the years since, Kaufmann has designed a number of other modular homes, including the mkSolaire, an urban solar row house, and her latest, the mkLotus, a zero-energy modular home that debuted at the West Coast Green building conference last September.
The one-bedroom, one-bath mkLotus house builds on Kaufmann’s previous designs and takes them a step further by running completely on solar-generated power. A 1.5-kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system provides enough electricity to power all the systems and devices in the 700-square-foot house, with enough energy left over to recharge a hybrid car through a plug-in connection on the side of the house.
But that’s just the beginning for the mkLotus house. In fact, the home serves as a repository for all of the green- and efficiency-oriented systems and materials Kaufmann has championed over the past few years. The extensive list of features were all carefully selected to ensure a healthy and aesthetically pleasing house as well as one that is smart and eco-friendly, and as in many homes of this type, many of the systems tie together. The green “living” roof, for instance, helps to funnel rainwater through gutters into a catchment system for later use in irrigation.
Kaufmann used structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the wall assemblies, with durable, low-maintenance cement board from Cemonit and green-certified cedar siding on the home’s exterior. Icynene spray-in open cell foam insulation beefs up the structure’s energy efficiency, while metal roofing was used up top. Kaufmann opted for dual-pane, low-e wood windows with metal cladding, as well as skylights and Solatubes for daylighting.
The green pedigree extends to the interior, where Kaufmann specified bamboo flooring, fly ash concrete countertops, wood cabinetry certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and LED lighting throughout. Low-flush plumbing fixtures and Energy Star appliances were a natural choice as well.
Pricing for the factory-built mkLotus house starts at $175,000 for the basic structure, with additional costs for shipping, setup and “button up.” Buyers can also add options such as Nanawall accordion-like glass doors, which open up one side of the house to the outdoors. The green roof and solar energy system are also priced separately, and custom configurations are available. For more information: 510-271-8015 or www.mkd-arc.com .