As eco-housing becomes more mainstream, green house kits are increasing in popularity and are an economical option for building a green home. Now there are mini house kits, off the grid house kits and even floating house kits. We caught up with Copeland Casti, owner of Green Modern Kits to ask her a bit about the various solar and green home kits they offer.
Tell us a bit about your Passive Solar Kits.
Our Green Modern Kits and Green Cottage Kits are house kits that have the SIP (Structural Insulated Panels) and design documents so you can make your own systems and budget decisions. You also receive a window and door schedule so you can order more cost-effectively, locally. Everything else needs to be finished with your contractor.
For my own house kit, I decided to be off grid with a composting toilet, others may not. It’s up to you. But you get the bare bones of a gorgeous design, with the insulation and energy efficiency of SIP used in a passive solar environment (and yes, the siting of the home is important for passive solar efficiency). Your local engineer or architect tweaks the design slightly to allow for snow load or wind requirements.
Green Cabin Kits are more of a modular approach; expandable pods built with SIP within the factory environment. While initially more per square foot as a kit, the overall cost of the finished building will ultimately lie between the cost of mass produced builder grade houses and custom designed and built housing, thus providing our clients the opportunity to afford custom design well below the traditional cost for that type of work.
Are the Passive Solar Kits homes, cabins or offices?
Not only do we offer house kits, but also modern additions and garages, as well as cottage garages made of SIP. Many people have thought The R1 Residential would make a fabulous studio, craft shop, or retail space.
How many kits are there to choose from?
With our Green Modern Kits we have the casa ti, a one story, and The R1 Residential, which has two stories. David Day Design designed the casa ti, and Grace Street created The R1 Residential. Green Cottage Kits, designed by Gelotte Hommas, have three versions of cottages: Bienvenue, Midway, and The Sinda. Green Cabin Kits, designed by Tektonics Design Group, have a one-story option, The Dogtrot Mod, and a two-story option, CornerHouse. So as you can see, we have quite a bit from which to choose, and they reinforce each other in their passive solar, energy-efficient strength, but each with diverse style options.
Is there an off-the-grid option?
Absolutely, you can make the house kits either on the grid or off the grid.
What is the green roof option?
The north side of the casa ti is designed to allow a green roof option. That would be something the homeowner would need to notify us about if they plan to do so (to ensure engineering local compliance), and would need to hire a local green roof company to implement.
Also, there are green roof technologies that can be applied to the steeper sloping roofs of the Green Cottage Kits. These systems require a higher degree of coordination with the contractor and engineer to ensure a worry free installation. We are hopeful as green roof technologies become more popular and find a wider audience, that the sometimes prohibitive costs of these systems can be more affordable.
What is included in the kit?
Bare bones gorgeous design from amazing architecture firms and the SIP. That way you don’t have to pay for things you don’t want, and it’s more affordable to ship.
What are the prices like compared to a 'normal' home of the same size?
We cannot estimate costs as every purchaser’s local labour and materials are priced differently, as well as other choices such as the finishes, interior design, etc. - these are up to the homeowner.
Why should people consider buying a Passive Solar Kit?
Homes that are designed to be energy efficient need less heating and cooling, saving money for the homeowner.
Why do you think kit homes are becoming more popular?
Kit homes are the only way to get quality architecture at an affordable price.
Do you live in one of the kit homes?
We are building our dream house now, and slowly revitalizing an abandoned farm to become more sustainable.