TreeHugger Picks: Gingerbread Green Building

The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn't mean your gingerbread architecture has to be. Just in time for prime gingerbread housebuilding season, here are our picks for the best in gingerbread green building (and remember, many come with downloadable PDFs so you can recreate them at home).


1) Michelle Kaufmann isn't just an architect of one of the original modern prefabs, pushing the envelope into Google mashups, books and new models in all shapes and sizes. She is never one to miss a market, and has set her sights squarely on the booming prefab modern gingerbread scene. After all, as the mortgage crisis deepens, this may be the only modern prefab market left.

2) Coming all the way from Berlin, Sauerbruch Hutton's design might be more reminiscent of Swiss cheese than traditional architecture, but that doesn't mean it's not fun to build and look at. Many of the German designs (there are four others in this post) push the envelope of traditional gingerbread making into fun and fabulous new realms. As Archinect cleverly put it, the German architects are going after seasonal work with their 5 different stunning modernist gingerbread houses.


3) Since it is such an important indicator of the value of real estate, at $88 bucks we calculate this midcentury modern design to cost $176 per square foot, which is pretty cheap for good modern design. Like many prefabs, delivery is extra. Gingerbread as a structural and cladding material is completely biodegradeable for LEED points (as is the xeriscaped garden) and compostable for C2C certification. The remaining two picks are after the jump...


4) We often say that one of the virtues of modern prefab is that it lets the most talented architects work on smaller projects. We see proof of this in the city of gingerbread houses commissioned by the Toronto Star from the city's best architecture and design firms. Will Alsop, known for his "legs and blobs," modeled this on "the renowned English architect’s Peckham Library in southeast London."

5) Lastly, sister site Planet Green has the scoop if you're in to trying your hand at some original gingerbread design. Bake for a Change is hosting a special gingerbread-house design contest that "combines eco and spice and everything nice." The challenge: Apply sustainable building practices to a gingerbread house. It's up to you whether you go for (chocolate) solar panels on the roof or (candy cane) wind turbines in the yard, as long as you follow their basic ground rules.

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