With its breeze-catching front porch, rockers, and kitchen garden, this 1939 cottage evokes old-time country living. Sort of. The home was overhauled in 2006. And it’s located across the street from a cluster of about 30 manufactured homes, some of which date back to the sixties. The home’s woodsy lot, which is more than a acre in Shepherd Park Plaza, is just west of N. Shepherd Dr. south of Pinemont Dr.
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FACTORY-BUILT GREEN HOMES FOR HOUSTON A reader goes house shopping:
“Do you have any ideas on green modular/prefabricated homes available to the Houston area? There are lots out there, but most of them are so far away that the delivery cost defeats the purpose of low-cost housing and reduced carbon footprint. That even includes the Clayton Homes’ i-House! . . .
Something like Nationwide’s Osprey house (which isn’t available to Texas). Mass produced so they are cheap, but using green materials and finishes. . . . Seems like there are a lot of options out there, but mostly too far from Houston to be economically viable.” [Swamplot inbox] Photo of i-House: Life in the Country
WHERE’S A STINKIN’ FEMA TRAILER WHEN YOU NEED ONE? Trailer sculptor Paul Villinski, on the difficulty of procuring the raw material for his Emergency Response Studio, now on display at the Rice Art Gallery: “I thought, OK I’m going to go get a FEMA trailer, because they’re selling them online through the government – you know, the GAO Web site – at that very moment, it seemed, FEMA basically stopped releasing the trailers into the marketplace. And not only did they do that, they bought back all the ones that they had already sold. . . . And the back story with that is basically that the plaintiffs in this class-action suit need a couple of FEMA trailers so they can really study the indoor air quality and FEMA and the manufacturers do not want them to have them. So they’ve been ordered by the judge in the case to release the trailers, and they haven’t done it yet. So that made it impossible for me to actually get a FEMA trailer, which is why I wound up finding a 30-foot Gulfstream Cavalier, but it was built a couple of years before the FEMA trailers were.” [Arts in Houston; previously in Swamplot]
A few months after Ike, this tricked-out FEMA trailer rolls into Houston as . . . art?? Paul Villinski’s reworked 30-ft. Gulfstream “Cavalier” trailer, which took the artist 7 months to mod, will be parked outside the Rice University Art Gallery starting later this month.
Re-born as the Emergency Response Studio, the trailer’s formaldehyde-ridden original materials are replaced by entirely “green” technology and building materials, including recycled denim insulation, bamboo cabinetry, compact fluorescent lighting, reclaimed wood, and natural linoleum floor tiles made from linseed oil. It is powered by eight mammoth batteries that store energy generated by an array of solar panels and a “micro” wind turbine atop a 40-foot high mast. Not only practical, Emergency Response Studio is a visually engaging structure with an expansive work area featuring a wall section that lowers to become a deck. A ten-foot, elliptical geodesic skylight allows extra headroom and natural lighting in the work area. Though designed as an artist’s studio and residence, Emergency Response Studio is an ingenious prototype for self-sufficient, solar-powered mobile housing.
Party on the back deck!
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TRAILERS AND MOBILE HOMES SCATTER IN BAYTOWN “In addition to the 871 uninhabitable apartment units left behind by Ike, the city also listed 123 single-family homes as uninhabitable and 60, from the Lakewood, Southwest Addition and Roseland, as destroyed. To assist these citizens while they try to rebuild, Baytown City Council wasted no time in passing an ordinance allowing mobile homes on uninhabitable property until the homeowners can make repairs and move back in. Those utilizing this program can only do so for six months, with two opportunities for renewal – not to exceed 18 months. However, the city has said they won’t evict citizens making progress. ‘We have six people who are living in trailers on their private property for now,’ [planning and development director Kelly] Carpenter said. [FEMA’s Ericka] Lopez said 12 households on private sites in Baytown have requested manufactured housing from FEMA so far.” [The Baytown Sun]