Floating homes Small Homes

Floatable Green Homes

Some ideas just immediately strike you as being great ones. This is the case with GreenPods modular homes. These homes just have a cool factor that is missing in many small homes. GreenPods are very similar to what their name indicates. They are small homes (the pod in the name) that are very focused on being green (the green in the GreenPod name).

The GreenPod vision is to build energy effective homes that have an eye on indoor air quality as well. Considering indoor air quality as a major factor in determining design is a very refreshing bainbridge 266×148 GreenPods They Even Have Homes That Floatdevelopment. Medical science is discovering that indoor air quality, while always deemed important, is actually vital to our health. The degassing from all sorts of building materials, such as carpet, is toxic to humans. The GreenPod concept treats this seriously, and should be commended for doing so.

Not surprisingly the GreenPod concept also factors in sustainability and strives to keep the homes environmental footprint low. The GreenPod team is working with designer Suzanne DeVail, who has produced numerous organic, anti-microbial fabrics specifically for use in GreenPod homes.

The Washington state based GreenPod company has small homes that range from as small as 300 feet to as large as 800 square feet. GreenPod notes that it is possible to combine more than one POD into a larger home. There SoloPODS come in eleven different designs, each with their own character. The smallest is the Lopez at 372 square feet and a cost of around $60,000. The largest models is called the Orcas, and has a distinctive barrel roof. The Orcas is 744 square feet and costs about a $175,000.

Another interesting model, the Ludlow, is $95,000 and is about 731 square feet. The Ludlow is a really interesting option for those looking for a green small home that it has a great looking design. This model has lots of light exposure and a very competitive price. If you really want light exposure, check out their Mercer Pod, which has a very grand look that comes across well beyond its 650 square feet.

Perhaps most interesting of all of GreenPods offerings is the Floating Pods. These Pods are constructed in conjunction with P & T Fabrications and definitely have that cool factor. The Floating Pods incorporate the design characteristics of the SoloPODS but, well, they float!

GreenPod is creating some impressive homes with some truly impressive interiors. Their combination of design and focus being green, make them a true contender for anyone thing about buying a tiny or modular home. There website is loaded with great photos and more information.

Floating homes Small Homes

Cat Watersafety for Floating Homes

In the interest of time, Ill go ahead and freely admit that, no, I do not have any children, and, yes, I tend to treat my balinses cat like the spoiled only-child I never had. The one time he was in any kind of jeopardy, I pretty much lost my mind. I fully embrace my status as a Crazy Cat Lady and have already been given the appropriate action figure by friends, so lets just move past these points and continue on to the subject at hand

My cat has been raised entirely indoors and has less survival instincts than an developmentally-delayed lemming. Moreover, when they were handing out the feline attributes of agility and grace, I think he was busy going back through the line for a second helping of caterwauling, because hes the most clumsy cat Ive ever met. My cat has been witnessed by more than one friend tripping over a line in a tile floor. He also thinks that his monthly bathin which I wipe him down with a washcloth moistened with a spray-on cat dry bath solutionis the worst conceivable thing that could ever possibly happen to him. Theirs wailing and mock fainting fits for hours afterward.

All of these factors combined makes me more than a little nervous that I’m about to move cat into a tiny floating home which is surrounded by the River on all sides. I was very careful that when I had new windows installed in the place to order ones with built in screens. But there is still the possibility that he might one day try to sneak out either the front or back door when they’re open. And when that happens, I worry about him ending up in the water.

In preparation for moving him, Ive been doing a lot of reading about how liveaboard sailers manage the safety of their pets. Many sailboat owners with cats will leave a towel or rope ladder draped over the side of their ship. That way, if a cat falls overboard, they have something to help pull themselves back on board. Unfortunately, my cat has no front claws and I’m not sure he has the agility to manage a rope ladder.

Ive been hunting for some sort of sensor that could be attached to his collar that would emit an alarm should it ever come in contact with water. If anyone knows of a device like this for pets, please let me know because, so far, I haven’t had much luck finding one. The closest thing Ive found so far are wristbands intended for children that are listed as weighing a pound. That seems like it might be overkill for my seven pound cat even for an over-protective cat mother like me.

Ive also thought about trying to set up some sort of sonic fence over the two doors to try to encourage him to stay inside. I’m not thrilled at the idea of zapping my cat anytime he gets too close. Especially as slow as he is when it comes to learning what hes not supposed to do. But I may end up setting one up.

So far, the thing I find that comes the closest to addressing my concerns of trying to prevent my precious baby from drowning pet life preservers. Yes, they do in fact make them for both dogs and cats. I’m not the only over-protective pet parent out there. I’m just not sure its practical to have my cat spend the rest of his life wearing one as a safety precaution in case me might someday get out and fall in. I could however, see making him wear one if I ever let him come outside on a leash.

In case this information might be useful for someone else, Ive listed several suppliers of pet life preservers below:

Floating homes Small Homes

Eco-friendly modern houseboat design

The SolarHome is an eco-friendly, 75 square meter houseboat design created by UK-based Mark Kingsley Architects. The working model of the SolarHome is currently located in the Lusatian Lakelands in Germany.

The houseboat uses solar energy and has two different modes of operation Docked mode and Self-sufficient. In Docked mode, it draws fresh water and power from its moorage. In Self-Sufficient mode, its a self-contained unit and can supposedly operate for 6-12 months at a time.

(Unfortunately, I have no information on its water catchment and management system, nor how it handles sewage. Presumably it must have some sort of containment system for the later.)

The designers are quick to say it offers all the modern amenities one might want and that they are willing to design customized homes.

Credit for the discovery of this groovy little house goes to my buddy, who is rapidly becoming my unofficial researcher for potential articles. (I have to confess, though, that of all his finds, the river shanty and its colorful inhabitants featured earlier this week is still my favorite.)

Floating homes

New Outdoor Light

Since I seem to have at least a small group of people who follow my blog to hear about the updates on my house, I figured Id share with you the outdoor light I finally settled on to hang over my front door.

Its probably a difficult to picture yet, but I eventually want my little place to have the feel of a rather eccentric English cottage. I’m hoping this choice of light fixture will help set the mood a bit. In selecting a light for outside, I had the additional challenge that there’s not a lot of clearance where the light needs to hang. That reduced my options of lighting substantially.

Its not in-your-face noticeable, but I’m hoping the slightly erratic shape and frosted glass will help convey a degree of quirkiness. The eventual look Im aiming for could probably be described on Water.

Floating homes Small Homes

Floating Office Design H2Office

Along the floating/small home theme, I recently came across an article on the H2Office, which is designed as a floating office. The H2Office is the brainchild of Cardiff-based WaterSpace Developments and industrial design and marketing company.

The first model is slated to be available soon. Planned features include:

Enough space for 1-2 to work
Both a private work area and a breakout area for (small) meetings and/or meals
a deck
a bathroom equipment with toilet and shower
foldaway bunks in case of the need to pull an overnighter
built-in storage space
a small tender dock which could be used to stash something like a kayak or to catch a few rays
dimensions compatible with docking in a standard marina space

For additional information check out the designers blog.

Aside from finding this a cool idea, I’m filing this away in case I someday want to expand my living space by having a nearby office at the marina rather than simply using my back room. (I just wished it looked a little less like a floating airstream trailer.)

Floating homes

Houseboat Runs into Ground in Chesapeake Bay

The Washington Post recently published a story about a new houseboat company that has run into problems with community resistance. To recap the article Eric Smith and Douglass Dillard recently started a company to build houseboats intended for the Chesapeake Bay. Their prototype is a 55 foot model called the Annapolis and it isn’t exactly a minimalist shanty. The home includes clerestory windows, flat-screen TVs, a vaulted ceiling, wet bar, rooftop sun deck, and swimming platform.

Unfortunately, in many communities floating homes are perceived as nothing more than trailer homes on the water. In addition, Chesapeake had the unfortunate history of a millionaire with a 3-story house atop a barge having ongoing drunken parties on the bay.

When word got out that the couple hoped to establish a neighborhood of floating homes in Chesapeake Bay, the local government sprung into action and forbade any houseboat that: exceeded 46 feet in length, was intended to be used as a house/office, and is not self-propelling.

The builders are now expected to move their prototype within 30 days or they risk daily fines. The full story can be read here.

I am both sad and indignant on their behalf. I wish that mainstream America felt less threatened by innovative solutions to housing. But anything that doesnt look like the next house theyd want to buy or that might have some remote chance of driving down the value of their property it is to be stopped at all costs.

Never mind that a segment of the U.S. population very well may need innovative housing solutions in the next few years.