This Little Green Dream Home Could Be Yours

San Francisco was recently the scene of a convergence of players in the green building field from around the country and around the world for the Greenbuild 2012 international conference and summit. We brought you word of Saint-Gobain’s speed-dating startup competition, which ultimately saw Heliotrope emerge as the big winner this year. But plenty of other innovative concepts in green building were revealed at the conference as well — among them, the Paradigm prototype prefab (which comes to us via Jetson Green).

The Paradigm modular home was designed by Bogue Trondowski Architects and built by Seattle-based Method Homes. This little green wonder measures just under 700 square feet, but is eligible for some pretty big green certifications — namely, according to the builders, 5 of 6 of the Living Building Challenge’s “petals,”  and LEED Platinum as well.

Method, Paradigm, Greenbuild

image via Jetson Green / Method Homes / Bogue Trondowski Architects.

With endorsements such as this, you’d probably suspect that this home has dotted its i’s and crossed its t’s when it comes to green building, and in that you would be correct. Observe the Insulfoam R-28 recyclable foam insulation, Thermafiber R-45 ceiling batt and wall insulation, and Siga VOC- and formaldehyde-free tapes and membranes (to eliminate thermal bridging). The home makes use of  FSC-certified Western Red Cedar cladding and siding, as well as a window wall by Western Window Systems and Cascadia triple-glazed windows and doors.

Power here is generated by a 4 kilowatt-capacity solar power array by LG installed by American Solar atop Sun Modo’s solar racking rest. The system does not rely on roof penetrations, further ensuring that heat has no choice but to stay in this house. An Energy Recovery Ventilation system bring fresh air in while likewise keeping heat where it belongs.

The specs inside reflect just as much attention to the green details. Spaces are illuminated by WarmDim LED lighting (by Juno Lighting Group), ensuring a miserly amount of the home’s solar electricity will be consumed by its lighting systems. Home appliances in the Paradigm home are likewise highly efficient, hailing as they do from the LG Hausys line (including a dishwasher, washer/dryer, 3-door french refrigerator, induction cooktop, and HVAC system). You’ll also find the Haiku ceiling fan here by Big Ass fans, a Panasonic WhisperGreen exhaust fan, and FSC-certified, formaldehyde-free cabinets by Urbanata.

Method, Paradigm, Greenbuild

image via Jetson Green / Method Homes / Bogue Trondowski Architects.

Which is to say, this little home has all the green bells and whistles. But you don’t take 5 out of 6 of the Living Building Challenge’s petals by building a pretty version of the average green home. One of the most innovative facets of the Paradigm prototype is the fact that it can capture and recycle all of its own water on site. The components and systems at work on that end include a Corgal galvanized steel water retention tank (5,000 gallon capacity), Flotender graywater system, Infinity Drain, Axor bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and an EcoDry urine-diverting toilet for composting systems. All of which you’ll be happy to know was designed to support the home’s vegetable garden, stocked with Sunnyside Organic seedlings.

If all of that sounds like your green dream come true, the Paradigm prototype displayed at Greenbuild is being offered at $249,000. But if it’s already been snatched up, don’t despair — Bogue Trondowski and Method are collaborating on a Paradigm Series of homes. It includes three designs with one-, two-, or three-bedroom layouts of between 656 and 1,868 square feet.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.