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PREFAB FRIDAY: Solar Green Homes Delivered by Truck!
The benefits of green homes are catching on! Entire apartment communities are getting solar-powered, and now PowerHouse Enterprises is making solar power more accessible with green prefab homes delivered by truck! Three of their award-winning designs – single family, multi-unit, and PowerPod – offer flexible living solutions with features such as energy-generating metal roofs, solar electricity, low-flow composting toilets, CFLs for lighting, bamboo flooring, and recycled compost wood siding.
PowerPod with “butterfly roof”
The houses are factory built and delivered in pieces by truck with the intent to “waste less and deliver more.” Their concrete foundations are pre-poured, and space is left for lighting, plumbing, and wiring to be completed on site.
A highlight of PowerHouse homes is the metal roofing, which serves dual purposes. It provides heating during cold seasons and generates electricity. Water runs in plastic tubes installed under the roofs and is heated by the sun, which supplies hot water and heats the homes. Also, roof-integrated solar photovoltaic panels generate a portion of the homes’ electricity needs.
The multi-units range from affordable housing to high-end urban condominiums. The PowerPods are attractive, small, and versatile and – like the single-family and multi-unit homes – energy-efficient. They could be used as guest houses, vacation homes, offices, studios, or even house boats, and come with a choice of roof variations. Our favorite, the “solar butterfly” roof design, collects rainwater, maximizes the use of daylight, and is fitted with solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity – all for about $100,000!
PowerHouse currently provides homes and pods in New England and eastern New York, with plans for expansion throughout the US and beyond. The company is a member of the USGBC and expects that the designs will attain official green-building certification.
The PowerHouse designs received awards at the 2005 Ignite Clean Energy Competition sponsored by MIT, Constellation Energy, and the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, and the 2005 North of Boston Business Plan Competition.
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