The following is an excerpt from "Small Eco Houses: Living Green in Style" by Cristina Paredes Benítez and Àlex Sánchez Vidiella (Universe Publishing, 2010). "Small Eco Houses" features more than 50 small, green homes, such as this prefab home from Marmol Radziner Prefab.
One of the latest designs from the Marmol Radziner Prefab venture, founded in 2005, is the Rincon prefabricated module. This and the firm’s other models are factory built and delivered complete to the site. Prefabricated construction is beneficial for the environment as it lowers building materials expenses and transportation costs, and factory production reduces the environmental impact on the final site. CO2 emissions are also lower, as materials do not need to be transported, only the house, once it has been assembled.
The Rincon module is the largest of their series of single-module accessory buildings. It features one bedroom, a full kitchen, a bathroom, a living area, bamboo flooring, and a large outdoor deck. The main materials are steel and glass.
Homeowners can choose from a number of custom sustainable features. Solar panels, for example, allow the house to function off-grid, generating 100 watts to 2 kilowatts. Custom additions of insulation with recycled materials, recycled steel, LED lighting, nontoxic paints, and glass with superior insulation and UV protection are also possible.
The Rincon features:
• Recycled and recyclable materials such as steel and bamboo; glass with 39 percent higher insulation than standard; FSC-certified wood; nontoxic paints; insulated glass with UV protection
• Photovoltaic panels; energy-efficient appliances; LED lighting; on-demand hot water heater
• Insulated panels; glass expanses favoring cross ventilation; shaded porches, reducing the need for air conditioning
• 660 square feet