Black Canyon Builders specializes in timber frame building, but we’re in support of any building technique that manages to create a beautiful living space in an environmentally friendly way. We’ve recently read about two alternative techniques that have managed to pique our collective imaginations.
Ideabox (http://www.ideabox.us): The notion of “pre-fab” housing has changed significantly over the past few years. Let’s face it: pre-fab has not always had the greatest reputation – deserved or not. Within the last decade or so, a few thoughtful contributors have re-imagined pre-fab housing to take advantage of repurposed materials and highlight the long list of environmentally friendly pre-fab options.
Ideabox, based in Salem, Oregon, places it’s emphasis firmly on lifestyle – bolstered by the primary tenets of design, energy efficiency, resource efficiency and off-site, pre-fab construction. The designs capture the simplicity of contemporary architecture and the style of a sophisticated hipster.
Formworks: In a nutshell, this is earth-sheltered technology that is far more sophisticated than its earth-ship predecessors. Formworks is an easy-to-erect, patented building system that uses natural topography as a framework. A formworks structure will have the primary façade of your choice, but will back into a small hill. The shelter the hill (or earth) provides makes for an extremely energy efficient home with minimal upkeep and operational costs. The most pleasant surprises are the significant amount of natural light the structures allow and the capacity for open floor plans.
[Check out the Formworks photo gallery at: http://www.formworksbuilding.com/photos.html]
I applaud these designers and builders for finding creative solutions that respond not only to environmental needs, but also to imminently livable spaces.