When Matt Hickman of our new sister site MNN.com first saw renderings of Method Homes' new Paradigm prefab designed by Bogue Trondowski Architects, he was underwhelmed.
To be clear, I didn’t have a negative reaction — I just didn’t react strongly. Clad in red cedar and boasting a nice-sized deck, the Paradigm looks like a handsomely designed modern green prefab with a rectangular shape, small footprint (just 722 square feet), and, most notably, a solar array-supporting, wing-shaped corten steel extension jutting out from the roof above the wall of glass that comprises the front façade of the home. Sure, it's an attractive design, but the real power of Paradigm lies within the details.
That's when it gets interesting.
Not only is the prototype Paradigm targeting LEED Platinum certification, but eligibility for six of the seven required “petals” of the uber-rigorous Living Building Challenge (this depends on the home’s final install site). This is certainly the first time that I’ve heard of a modular home aiming for Living Building Challenge-dom. What’s more, Paradigm was designed as both a net-zero energy and net-zero water home. Impressive stuff.
I agree with Matt that the Living Building Challenge eligibility is really interesting. It is a tough and unrelenting standard that is extremely difficult to meet; the site requirements are particularly onerous. (see more on the Living Building Challenge here)