Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New article about the iHouse

KNOXVILLE’S GREEN HOUSE EFFECT. Lengthy article with some new information about the iHouse, and some other green houses in the Knoxville area. Although they look a little computer enhanced, the two new iHouse photos in the slide show (to right of article) are nice. They make the house look good.

Among other things, Clayton has plans for a model just under 1000 sq. ft. that will sell for around $100,000. Very good. I gather that it will not include the extra flex room. Models of the iHouse are planned to be for sale in May. Also mentioned, the position of the flex room has some flexibility, and doesn’t have to be the dot in the “i” of the iHouse.

In the article, Kevin Clayton mentions that interest in the iHouse doubled show attendance at the Knoxville home show in late October. This has great potential to increase attendance at manufactured home shows, especially in places like California and Arizona.

Many people gave a gag reflex about manufactured housing, and the prospect of a radically different green home, and an affordable one, might be enough to draw the more moderate among them to a show of manufactured homes. The iHouse capitalizes on people’s increasing interest in green homes, and those interested in the modern style.

It is time for people’s interest to shift from bigger houses and granite counter tops, to green, especially lower energy usage. Also, why can't "future house" intersect with affordable house, as it does in the iHouse, rather than being an unaffordable architectural vision filled with expensive electronic gadgetry.

There’s no lack of interest and curiosity about green houses. Here is an article about the Passive House that has remained at number one position of the NY Times “most e-mailed” list for a few days now.

When googling for images of the many styles of these fascinating passive houses, built with R-60 insulation and no furnaces, it is helpful to search for “passivhaus,” since most of them are in Germany and Scandinavia. Thousands have been built there.

Remarkably, they use one tenth to one twentieth the energy of an average house. With Germany years ahead of the U.S. in solar and alternative energy usage in general, it is good to see Clayton bringing something green to the masses, who can’t afford the 10% to 50% extra over the average house price, that green usually entails.


  1. I hope to make it out to Clayton Homes this weekend to take some pictures. In the meantime, I wanted to mention something akin to the iHouse: Northlander Industries' Urbana (http://www.northlanderindustries.com/PDFs/Urbana.pdf); these are the same people who make the mini home (http://sustain.ca/). Apparently the photos in the PDF are the only ones that exist; I confirmed that it was just a prototype. Moreover, it was designed to fit Canada's park model standards and as such was too big to count as a park model in the US. Still, I think it looks great and fits alongside the iHouse.

    Happy New Year!

  2. I've seen Northlander's products before but missed this particular model. Rather than a physical prototype, it looks like the photos are "virtual." Also, the R-8 2x3" insulated walls put this in the league of a seasonal vacation type home. I like shed roofs, but this one is sloped in the opposite direction for solar panels.

    Now that you brought it up, I've followed the Sustain products on the web. The new designs look very good, but the one they produced (including a video tour by the architect) had a strange retro look, the built-ins and ingenuity of a ship's cabin and the square footage to match. The price was too high. I doubt they sold one.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.