When Seattle homeowner Karen Stone reached out to architect Matt Wittman of the local firm Wittman Estes to design and build an affordable, one-bedroom studio in her backyard, the project produced more than just an eco-friendly prefab on a budget.
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Not only did Stone’s unit—dubbed Solar Studio after its solar rooftop panels—become the first in a series of prefab designs crafted for NODE, a prefab tech company that’s making well designed, carbon negative, non-toxic homes easily accessible, but the backyard studio also became the city’s first DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit) with the International Living Futures Institute's (IFLI) zero-energy certification. IFLI has developed and promotes the highest standards in the built environment for sustainability and health.
"NODE is developing an assembly system for homes, increasing quality while reducing time and cost, delivering good design and deep sustainability with a guaranteed price and schedule – something you just can’t do with conventional construction," says Don Bunnell, NODE’s co-founder and CEO.
In addition to producing solar energy, the Solar Studio also generates side income for Stone, who lists the one-bedroom unit on AirBnB.
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"As a system of components, the entire home can be shipped almost anywhere and assembled in days," Wittman says.
"The simplicity of the home embodies a ‘poetic pragmatism’, believing that good design can be accessible to anyone."