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3/1/19

Modern Prefab House Project Updates With Off Grid Living While Surviving Teens

It is winter at our off grid prefab house
I know we are overdue for a prefab project (and off grid life at the prefab) update, aren't we? 
Between prefab projects and meetings and racing around with teens, it has been hard to sit down, slow down, and spend time typing out these days... but I will try!
My usual off grid prefab experiments continue
where I let the stove burn out overnight
(or barely stay via embers)
and see what I wake to.

Prefab Project / Architecture Firm News:
Congratulations to the architecture firms behind our passive solar prefab homes!

The architect behind our traditional line of passive solar cottage prefab homes
at Green Cottage Kits!

This winter, Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture, the genius behind beautiful, custom architecture in Seattle / the Pacific Northwest, but *also* of our traditional prefab cottages at Green Cottage Kits, won best of Houzz! Congratulations to them!!!

And Damon Pearson, the architect of our Green Cabin Kits modern prefab homes, is busy in New York with his colleagues at 3North speaking on their work with the American Civil War Museum, and how he used the firm's IQ process to align with the museum's vision.

Here is the latest on what is happening with our current prefab home projects: 
I can't talk about an upcoming CornerHouse prefab project yet
(from our modern prefab line at Green Cabin Kits
)...

But in both project quotes, the quotes look great,
on target with what I tell people are "guesstimates" for prefab fabrication.
And guess what?!? This just in: the Arizona CornerHouse is a GO!
SO EXCITING!!!

My lack of writing does not come from having nothing to write about, but because I used to really enjoy writing and no longer much do.

Did I mention teens are experts in everything?
Maybe they should tell us all about green building.

WHY? Because I am a parent of teens, and that is not as much fun to write about, lol!

So let's talk about prefab projects and off grid living instead of teens!

As I have mentioned, when clients take our design documents and modify them, that means they have a new timeframe- because you need to get in line with the engineer's (and *everyone's* schedules) already-busy project list (vs. a quick run-through of getting through permitting), and only THEN be able to submit for permitting.

The more changes, the more time, the more lines to get into.

So Wolftrot (the Dogtrot Mod in the Pacific Northwest) and the R1 Residential on Lake Tahoe and La Rancho Pistola (our Dogtrot Mod project outside of Austin) are still in the permitting / engineering process, as they have all made changes (and on the Wolftrot and Lake Tahoe R1 Residential, the changes are major, hence much more time).

The R1 Residential on Lake Tahoe wants their project to remain private, so there will be no interior finished shots unless, later, they change their mind.

We have several types of clients- those who enjoy sharing (while maintaining their privacy of name and address), those who want to share their business name and are happy to be contacted by other enthusiasts who then give them business (like Amber Gunn of Amber Gunn Realty, who is already speaking to local Austin modern enthusiast groups on her green building / prefab project experience!) and those who want to be totally invisible. As you know, reading this blog for a decade, I never use names, addresses, etc. UNLESS the client wants me to, like the following two projects below!

Through the Lake Tahoe R1 Residential prefab house project, we met the fabulous design firm, Integrity Design, and are excited to announce a NEW prefab house project with them, a Dogtrot Mod modern prefab house from our Green Cabin Kits line, also in the Lake Tahoe area! The synergy between our companies regarding design and culture makes working together easy and fun. I'm very excited to see this new project come to fruition and look forward to sharing every detail with our enthusiasts.

As I just mentioned, not FIVE MINUTES AGO I received the exciting news that one of the CornerHouse quotes (the modern two story prefab house from Green Cabin Kits) is a GO!!!

Here the client even sent in how it would be placed on their lot!
I guess, even with teens, I will be writing a LOT MORE through the year with all these prefab projects under construction at the same time!!!

And How IS Life At Our Own Off Grid Prefab House These Days?

Ten years in, the SIP prefab house is energy efficient and... yeah, we are still working on it!
When you build a farm from scratch, there is always something to do.

I might not be writing a lot (arrrrrrgh teens!) but I am still taking videos, and you might find them helpful in imagining what it is like to live, off grid in an energy efficient prefab house, as dire weather surrounds you.

Maybe I just should start vlogging life at the passive solar prefab house... but that would be annoying.

Speaking of, I *do* have a video showing what it is like to arrive after a week away from the off grid prefab house in winter:
Below is another winter blizzard video, and how the off grid energy efficient prefab house allows us to be cozy, comfortable, and relaxed where we can just enjoy the snow.
As long as you are prepared (and we always are, off grid at the prefab house), bad weather can be serene, even fun.
This one is a good reminder on energy-efficiency of SIP:
Oh, wait! I forgot to make my green building / prefab house point!
HERE you go:

It was an impressive snowstorm.
...and more notes on how you can see the lack of heat escaping from the roof of the prefab house:
AAAAAND some pretty videos, just because they're happily... pretty.
So please excuse my lapse in writing.
But CHECK OUT this BEAUTIFUL sunset!
...and a beautiful sunrise.
"We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves."
- Leonora Carrington
"Except the ROOSTER..."
- Copeland Casati

Ahhhh the teen years...
It just occurred to me that I really am more miserable than I should be.
(And before you start tsk-tsking, do know we are firm parents.)
I need to break free of these teens
and do whatever the heck I want!
RUN FREEEEEEEEEE, parents!


It occurred to me that there are endless parenting articles for we adults to learn about  the science and psychology of developing teen brains and why that creates a self-centered stage. And of course, we as parents encourage them to get out of their centrist selfish bubble through volunteering and exposing themselves to other perspectives.

But the other day I realized that I need to no longer make it my problem as well. Maybe we adults need to stop learning and empathizing with our developing spawn and make it more
*their* problem.

MAYBE I need to be self-centered, myself.
I need to embrace *my* inner teen. 

"MOMMA, hurry up, you have to take me to get my hair cut!"
"Yeaaaaaaah, I canceled that, I didn't feel like driving you anymore when I saw you didn't clean your room... we'll see how it goes next week."

Teens must have been sent to their rooms.
It's so quiet and cozy!

"MOMMA! WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE TO MY RIIIIIIDING LESSSSSSON!"
"Oh, *phew* child, I canceled that, it was too much trouble! I didn't feel like driving to another county, at the end of the day, in the rain, to then spend an hour and a half in a freezing barn with no internet after you didn't want to go for a twenty minute walk with me yesterday... yeah, that hauling you around stuff is boring, just like you said when I asked you to walk with your poor ole Momma!"

"MOMMA I want to meet friends and go skateboarding in the city! Can you take me in?"
"Hmmmmm.... nah. I no longer feel compelled to give up any of my time this week since you were really snippy with me earlier today... I'm really liking it on the farm, IT'S SO QUIET, NO ONE AROUND, plus I'm reading a really good book. Let's stay another day! Oh wait, you're throwing a fit? Nice, off you go to your room, out of sight, and now the adults get some time alone! Yay!"

See? Simple!

Suddenly I feel like writing again!
Maybe these next few years of posting on our off grid life will be allllllll about ME.

Teen years might be frustrating, but we're still having fun.
What Greenie thinks of the teen years.
What Toothless thinks of the teen years.
So, yes, looking at these sweet pictures, I guess the teen years aren't all that bad.
Teen 1 is really getting handy and helpful helping Handsome Husband (finally?) finish detail work (like trim on the interior of the prefab)!
When you finish things yourself, it takes awhile, even on a prefab house.
The prefab house kit shell was erected and weathertight in a few days.
Finishing all the little details like trim / painting etc. ourselves? Years, lol. 

Isn't that door trim BEAUTIFUL?
The teen is kinda cute, too!

Teen 1 is handy with all sorts of tools, so there's that- he IS useful!

So... we'll get through this.
Another morning waking after the cookstove goes out overnight
to a comfortable prefab home.


Making pizza for teens! Ok it's all kinda fun.






And with the next post, I will have more prefab home construction updates!
Have a great weekend! Here's some more winter pictures of off grid prefab life... with teens. : )

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