I am always looking for more good news about the emerging category of buildings that promise contemporary architectural design, sustainability, and pre-fab affordability.
The BrightBuilt Barn meets and exceeds many of the above criteria. It is seeking Leed Platium certification , it strives for a net zero carbon footprint, it achieves R40 insulation in the walls, floor and roof, has solar panels for heating water, and tripple glazed insulating windows.
One of the coolest features is the LED lit skirt abound the exterior that changes color to let you know when the house is using more (or less) energy than it is consuming.
Of course, this 700 square foot house suffers from the same ailment that almost all of the other technology leading designs have.... costs. The article I saw at inhabitat says they are working on making this pre-fab home commercially available for around $200,000. It is a gorgeous design and I love the über green aspects of the home, but I can't help but think that a cost of $200,000+ for a 700sf house ( $285/sf ) is not practical for very many buyers... no matter how committed they are to being more environmentally conscious.
There are links at the inhabitat article to the designers web site as well as the contractors site if you want to read more.