PREFABULOUS – an innovative opportunity for green living

The idea of prefabricated housing evokes visions of chunky, unattractive buildings that detract from the aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhood. In some exclusive areas, prefab homes are banned on the pretext that they’ll bring down property values.

But with new technologies and creative effort, the reality is knocking old perceptions out.

The newly released book PREFABULOUS + ALMOST OFF THE GRID: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home by Sheri Koones, features over 30 prefabricated homes that show how they can blend into a neighborhood or proudly stand out as a wonderful architectural star.

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Living in a green cave?

A couple created an unusual home from this sandstone cave

A couple created an unusual home from this sandstone cave

People are going to great lengths to green their lives. But for some, it goes way beyond recycling or hybrids.

A couple in Missouri, Curt and Deborah Sleeper, built a home inside a sandstone cave. It’s a mix of a comfortable interior in a unique setting.

The home utilizes geothermal heating, eliminating the need for a furnace or air conditioning unit. Built on a 3-acre parcel, the home has three chambers, many retaining their unfinished sandstone walls. These provide natural properties for a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the year. Since the unfinished walls do shed, the Sleepers placed interior roofs and umbrellas over the areas that needed to stay sand free.

avehome 3In the 1970s, this unique location was a venue for rock concerts, featuring stars like Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and Tina Turner.

Ironically, the home fell into foreclosure last year. As their home didnt fit the standard mortgage model, they were unable to refinance. They ended up posting the unusual home on eBay for $300,000.

Cavehome 2Not sure how the Sleepers story ends, but the idea of living in a tricked out luxury-styled cave definitely has a certain appeal to it, don’t you think?

Geothermal use could grow over 300 percent in the U.S.

Geothermal PowerAccording to a new report, some 6,442 megawatts worth of new geothermal energy are projected to come into operation in the next few years, more than doubling their current levels.

California currently leads the US with more than 2,605 MW in capacity. The next closest is Nevada at 448 MW. No other state  has more than 50 MW.

Geothermal Capacity Development1

 

A number of states have geothermal projects under development.

There is, however, an important question to consider. With the continually dropping water table, what is the real future of the capacity of geothermal over the long run?