February 2017

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A Green House

The Glidehouse™: A prefabricated house you can build anywhere

The Green House exhibition featured a full-scale replica of architect Michelle Kaufmann’s Glidehouse—a prefabricated, green house ready to go anywhere. A walk through the house in the exhibition gives visitors a first-hand experience of what it might be like to live in a green house.

Full-scale replica of a portion of the prefabricated Glidehouse™, as installed in The Green House.
© Gretchen Franti / Hoachlander Davis Photograph

What Makes the Glidehouse™ Green?

  • The prefabricated nature of the house results in comparatively little construction waste, particularly on the building site.
  • The house can be positioned on its site to minimize solar loss in the winter and solar gain in the summer.
  • The house’s design layout has a narrow footprint, facilitating cross ventilation in all rooms.
  • The roof is sloped to receive solar panels and create a clerestory window that brings in natural light and minimizes the need for artificial lighting.  
  • Windows are placed to maximize solar benefits and natural ventilation.
  • Sliding panels of wood louvers cover the long glass façade and can be adjusted to control the level of sunlight entering the house while maintaining air flow.
  • The walls and roof are made of structurally insulated panels, or SIPS, a system that is well-regarded for its resistance to mold and soft foam insulation, which fully fills each panel.  
  • Wood-to-wood wall joints are precisely caulked to make the house airtight, minimizing the vulnerability to mold and lowering heating and cooling loads. 
  • Floors are bamboo, a fast-growing, easily renewable material.
  • Lightweight concrete countertops are made of recycled newspaper and fly ash.
  • Kitchen cabinets are free of toxic formaldehyde.
  • Kitchen appliances are energy-smart.
  • Bathroom fixtures, such as the toilet and Tankless water heater, save water and are energy efficient.
  • Walls are finished in non-toxic paints.
  • Energy-efficient fluorescent lighting is used throughout the house. 

Click here for a list of the materials, furniture, and products featured in the Glidehouse.