Over the weekend while reading the paper we came across a surprising article about a very eco-friendly second home, built by a couple of architects in Finland, Little House on the Baltic. It has no running water or indoor bathroom, barely sleeps 4, AND it’s a 10 minute bike ride from Helsinki. I know what you’re thinking… where do I sign?!!
You might be asking, “Why would such a teeny, design-y, European backyard fort (essentially) interest real estate investors and homeowners in New Jersey?” Because stories like this remind us that all of us are moving in the direction of doing more with less. It reminds us that as our environment, resources and lifestyles change, so do our ideas on how to live. Since a treehouse- size vacation home is not the norm (yet), we thought we’d begin to introduce you to some innovators; products, people and companies that we really like.
Hatched from some talented folks at MIT and Rhode Island School of Design, Blu Homes, a Waltham, Ma. company, makes stylish, pre-fab and eco-conscious homes for a variety of homeowners and businesses. With innovations in design, materials, shipping, construction and efficiency, they are able to create open, stylish spaces while drastically reducing the home’s carbon footprint. Check out their website!
While in Europe (chilly Scotland to be exact), we were impressed by how efficiently they heated their hot water. No bulky water heaters, but instead, each bathroom (or kitchen) had a small water heater that would be turned on as needed. We thought, “Why don’t we use them in New Jersey?” Well, we can! There are several tankless water heater systems available and on the top of our list is one made by Rinnai. It’s compact, can heat water for several appliances simultaneously, has a longer shelf life than a standard water heater and can give you up to a 40% savings in your energy usage. Next time you’re looking to replace the ole tank, give some thought to upgrading to a new, more efficient system. Steve upgraded his water heater in his former home 9 years ago to a tankless system and his parents upgraded theirs about 5 years ago. Ken upgraded both of the water heaters in his Palm Springs House back in 2004. We at GreenRose continue to look for opportunities such as this to make our rehabs more “Green” and share them with you, our friends.
Stay tuned for more green innovators in the upcoming weeks!