Take a tour of this fossil-fuel-free house designed by MIT alumni architects

[music playing] MEELENA TURKEL: I think one of the reasons
that we started Turkel Design was we wanted to promote a different type of building. [music playing] JOEL TURKEL: We wanted to create homes
that were widely accessible, but that didn't sacrifice design or quality in the
process of being delivered via systems. MEELENA: There are several advantages to building a prefab home. There's a predictability of quality and of time and of cost. JOEL: That allows us to put together a highly flexible building, virtually anywhere in
a relatively short period of time. But there also a number of environmental
benefits. When you're building something in a factory environment, you are using a
local labor pool that has to travel a limited distance. You are reducing waste.
You are cutting a board for one job and using the rest of it on another job. So
you can have all sorts of controls in place, which make it more
environmentally friendly. [music playing] MEELENA: What we're hoping to achieve with this
home is to challenge ourselves to use new products and test them in a way that
allows us to create new standards that we can then apply to our future clients.

JOEL: This is the first home that we've done that's comprised completely of
engineered wood products. What it means is that we're using wood and wood
byproducts that would otherwise go to waste or be turned into paper and we're
making a home out of it. It has a very small footprint.
Different attributes of the home quite literally transform to allow it to live larger. [music playing] It's also the first time that we're creating
a completely fossil-fuel-free site. The house runs on photovoltaic
electricity that's generated here. We never need to buy fossil fuels again. MEELENA: The floors are concrete which, provides a
thermal mass, which helps keep the building warm in the winter and
keeps it cool and summer.

The area of the great room is shaded by the solar panels, and the rest of the roof is reflective. We sized the overhangs to ensure that we
don't get any direct sunlight on the windows during the overheated period; thereby reducing the amount of air conditioning that we need
to use in the home. JOEL: We're trying to exhibit in the house
that the combination of all of these things can feel very much like high
quality home. It doesn't have to feel like an experiment. [music playing] MEELENA: I think my time at MIT
provided me with the confidence to always search for another solution. You
keep pushing because you know there has to be a better way. JOEL: We started the practice predicated
on a belief that there is a better way to design and build and deliver
homes for people to live in. MEELENA: It's a different kind of practice
model. It's great to be involved in that.

JOEL: We are interrogating it,
improving it, and iterating on it constantly. I think it's born out of a method of problem solving that was grown at MIT. [music playing].

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