With the trend of green building sweeping today’s approach to architecture, we frequently lose sight of the meaning behind all this commotion. It becomes too easy to talk the talk, without ever really walking the talk. BrightBuilt Barn provides an appealing alternative, and this Net-Zero studio takes pre-fab to a new level, offering a livable, flexible, sustainable option. And of course, for perks, it flies the green flag.
A LED lightskirt wraps around the BrightBuilt Barn, illuminating a color based on the home’s energy use. The catch? The lightskirt only glows green when the home is actually generating more energy than it consumes. It shines a bright yellow during borderline periods and radiates an alarming red when energy usage soars higher than it should. The barn’s “greenness” is surely not wall-deep. It speaks from the core, and the light becomes not only an advocate for energy efficiency, but also an instructive tool for its users.
A product of the collaboration between Bensonwood Homes (fabricator / installer), Thompson Architects (architect), Gibson Design Build (site contractor), and several other experts, BrightBuilt Barn reveals the power of open source collaboration. Experts from across the board put their heads together to come up with an incredibly considerate way of building, and this mini barn is the result. The first BrightBuilt barn built in Rockland, Maine, is well on the way to LEED platinum certification. Follow its progress at BrightBuilt’s blog, where the home’s energy use will be monitored and shared: http://www.brightbuiltbarn.blogspot.com/
With only 700 square feet, this barn treads lightly on the earth, yet there is nothing limiting about this minimal footprint. The structure provides a flexible floor plan, with a central office space and moveable partition walls flanked by two open studios. The layout can easily transform for a comfortable one-bedroom house. Its super tight building envelope, roof solar panels and honest energy meter make the barn the overachiever in the classroom of green architecture, and with a little extra work, its can glow green all year long.
Expect to see more BrightBuilt barns across the country, so put on some shades and bask in that green light.