The Noble Home has lived up to its name at this year’s Green Dot Awards, earning honorable mention in the products category. What’s special about this design company? Like many of the homes featured here at Small House Style, Noble Homes are small and eco-friendly, but they earn extra kudos in our books for combining the efficiency and cleanliness of prefab construction with the flexibility and site-responsiveness of custom design. As Noble Home founder and owner Noah Grunberg puts it, “We think of our process as highly intentional construction for environmentally aware homeowners…With Noble Home, you don’t just own the house, you own the creative process. Each kit provides a complete house shell so you can design and choose your own finishes. We work with you to place your house in the most effective location on your site – then you can do the construction work yourself, or hire a professional.”
Noble Homes require more assembly than typical prefab or modular homes, but the designers assure us: “Most people who can swing a hammer and operate a saw and drill can build a Noble Home.” House components are kept to a minimum, and pre-drilled connectors and fasteners reduce the likelihood of construction mistakes. Kits start at $45 per square foot, and finished houses typically cost between $100 and $150 per square foot. As for the features, Noble Homes are built primarily of locally grown wood, compressed straw panels, and aluminum. Depending on dweller preferences, the kits can incorporate rainwater collection, solar and wind power, root cellars, and greenhouses. All homes use passive solar heating (whether through a solar wall of glass or through hot air collected in the roof), and the designers are now encouraging their customers to try out passive annual heat storage (PAHS), a system for single-level dwellings. In the summer, heat collected from the roof is ducted into the ground under the house, where it is stored until in the winter when it radiates back into the home. In the works for the future are ways to harness and store human power, particularly from exercise (how cool would it be to get fit and save on utilities at the same time?!).
Jennifer Morgan Residence and Studio Design, Harwich MA:
(Water spills from the roof into this aqueduct system, which leads to a rain barrel on the side of the house. Ferns on either side soak up whatever splashes out.)
The Bauer-Mayorga Studio in East Chatham, NY:
The Brengelman Noble Home:
Via Noble Home.