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  April 2008 Archive

This Old House to go prefab

Link to This Old House to go prefab

Via the American Chronicle:

...This Old House partners with custom homebuilding company, Bensonwood, to build a new timberframe home.... Cutting-edge techniques, including extensive uses of prefabrication and green technologies, will be implemented to construct a new home on property owned by the Favat family in Weston, Massachusetts....

As both the architectural firm and prefabricator on the project, Bensonwood will build 75 percent of the house in a controlled workshop environment. Entire wall systems and room modules will be built, outfitted for plumbing and wiring, with windows and finishes added, in many cases, right in the workshop. Additionally, the timberframe will be created using traditional hand-craftsmanship, as well as the latest computer-aided woodworking technology, providing a level of structural integrity that will last hundreds of years. Many of the home's components will be assembled onsite by crane over a three-week period in early June.... will feature progress of the Weston project 24/7 through four Webcams powered by EarthCam....

More info on Bensonwood is available at their website.

Also worth a mention: This Old House has a blog, Old House My House, which will be a great place to keep track of the progress of the Weston prefab.

publication: American Chronicle
length: 950 words
publication date: April 25, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. The This Old House Home Collection (Jan 08, 2009)
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This week: MKD videos, prefab rental, and more

We missed last week, so here is two weeks of prefab news.

Jetson Green found three promotional videos of MKD homes from the MKD blog. One is included below:

Curbed LA shared details of a new prefab rental built by info_smallSander Architects:

...this one-bedroom, one-bath, 1,000 square foot rental is described as being a "stunning new 'green' loft on a tree-lined cul-de-sac in a beautiful residential neighborhood just blocks from downtown Culver City, Sony Studios, Helms District, and Hayden Tract...Cost: $2,300 per month. wrote about the Prebuilt Mod House Range:

...for those who like their homes clean and crisp with a modernist edge. These finely detailed, timber clad pavilions are based on a modular system offering the ultimate in flexibility...

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered a prefab cabin two weeks ago:

...the Clara Cabin from hiveMODULAR is a perfect solution. You get all the comforts of cabin life - a bed, reprieve from the bugs, and weather - while still being able to connect to the surrounding nature.

This week, Prefab Friday looked at a Swedish prefab:

...the Plus House embraces its Nordic roots and rural setting as a thoroughly modern take on the Swedish barn house.

Hive Modular sent out an email update and shared a Picasa page which shows many of their more recent designs.

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
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Building a home in 90 days in Maryland

Link to Building a home in 90 days in Maryland

Back in March, Maryland's reported:

Amid today’s gloom and doom in the housing industry, Vince and Stephanie Scuderi are happy — finally — to talk about building their dream home.

They chose a modular home design, an alternative construction method that can save time and money....

The house was together within hours, with all the major workings in place, including framing, drywall, roofing, plumbing, electrical wiring, cabinetry and trim.

‘‘The only problem sometimes raised by the homeowner is that they see it assembled in one or two days, then wonder why it takes another 90 to 120 days to finish,” Dean said. After assembly, much work remains, including well, septic and other utility hookups, porches and decks, driveways and landscaping.

Manufacturer: North American Housing Corp.

The full article has more details and images.

author: Steve Berberich
length: 1,100 words

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Boston-area home goes modular (with video)

This is a great video from New England's NECN:

A little context:

One year ago, the Lee family was unhappy with their home.... They decided to take their old house down to the ground and build a modular home on the land....

The Lees ordered their modular home from a Pennsylvania company. They went modular not because of money, but because of time. The house was assembled like a puzzle - piece by piece.

Each box was about 85% complete on the inside when it was put together....

Modular was clearly the way to go.

Also featured: Sean Sweeney of Heritage Modular.

site: NECN
length: 5:30
release date: April 12, 2008

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This week: container video, WIELER, sheds and more

Link to This week: container video, WIELER, sheds and more

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday showed off a WIELER home:

Architect Dustin Ehrlich has created a custom prefab home near Chapel Hill, NC. Commissioned by his parents and constructed by WIELER, the structure mixes stone, wood, stainless steel and rusted corrugated metal to create an extraordinary first, and lasting, impression.

Jetson Green shared a video on container architecture:

In this super informative interview, G Living sits down with Peter DeMaria to talk about his work using containers in modern home design and construction. I was really impressed with DeMaria -- he tells you everything you ever wanted to know about container architecture...
Jetson Green also discovered the iT House blog.

Apartment Therapy New York discussed the New York Times' coverage of prefab sheds.

Related Posts:
   1. LA Times on mini prefabs (Jun 18, 2009)
   2. Modern sheds, cabanas, and studios (Apr 16, 2007)
   3. The iT House does some soul-searching (Apr 06, 2007)
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CA Boom V recap

Link to CA Boom V recap

We couldn't attend this year's CA Boom show in Los Angeles, so here are a few recaps from others:

Curbed LA took a look at the Modern-Shed booth:

One interesting new [entrant] was ... the itty-bitty Modern Shed and its quaint homemade sale sign in the window: "$15,000 with deck. Free Local Delivery."
They also went on a tour of the Red Barn Prefab that we covered previously:
The designer of the home was on site, and gave a brief introductory speech before we started exploring and snapping pictures. The home was built using re-engineered steel, concrete floors (natch) and eco-timber flooring.... The home took nine months to build and actually has a twin next door...

The LA Times slideshow included a tour of an info_smallOMD home.

We previously covered Allison Arieff's related interview; here's the accompanying slideshow.

Related Posts:
   1. Allison Arieff in LA Times (Mar 18, 2008)
   2. CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16 (Mar 05, 2008)
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Marmol Radziner home installed in Santa Cruz, California

Link to Marmol Radziner home installed in Santa Cruz, California

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports:

Technology entrepreneur Philippe Kahn has taken home construction, environmental stewardship and style to a new level.

Kahn ... had his new home near the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor trucked in from Los Angeles.

The prefabricated house was delivered last week in 18 pieces, each wrapped in white plastic and stored in the harbor parking lot. By today, the pieces, made of steel and glass, will be fit together like a puzzle to make a 3,200-square-foot, three-bedroom home on Fairview Place....

Kahn's home was constructed by Marmol Radziner, a Los Angeles architectural firm that specializes in custom, green modern homes built with prefabricated technologies.

Read the full article for more details and additional photos.

author: Shanna McCord
publication: Santa Cruz Sentinel
length: 500 words
publication date: March 17, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
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Empyrean International launches new website

Link to Empyrean International launches new website

Modular builder info_smallEmpyrean International has launched a new website. We've previously covered their Acorn and Deck Houses and discussed their info_smallDwell NextHouse at length.

The new site features much improved navigation and more detailed information:

Speaking of Empyrean, the Silicon Valley NextHouse was open to visitors last week. Interior designer Sally Kuchar was there and shared stories and photos on her sallyTV blog.

Related Posts:
   1. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
   2. Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House (Nov 16, 2007)
   3. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
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This week: kitHAUS, mkSolaire, containers and more

We missed two of our "this week" posts, so here's a roundup of the past three weeks of prefab news.

Prefab Update shared a video of the installation of MKD's mkSolaire in Chicago:

MoCo Loco posted some pics of the recent info_smallkitHAUS info_smallK3 install in Big Sur, California.

Jetson Green got excited about a container loft project:

...the first, mid-rise container building in the U.S. is planned for downtown Salt Lake City. The project was designed by none other than Adam Kalkin, container architecture expert, and will be called City Center Lofts.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered a prefab in Brazil, discussed the new joint venture between info_smallLivingHomes and info_smallKieranTimberlake, and took a look at the ZeroHouse.

Inhabitat also discovered the LV Home in Napa we've discussed previously.

Related Posts:
   1. LA Times on mini prefabs (Jun 18, 2009)
   2. mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (Jun 02, 2008)
   3. KieranTimberlake partners with LivingHomes (Mar 19, 2008)
   4. Zero House on gadget blogs (Nov 19, 2007)
   5. Tours of an LV Series home in the Napa Valley (Jul 12, 2007)
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OMD ShowHouse for sale, with reduced price

Link to OMD ShowHouse for sale, with reduced price

Via Curbed LA:

Designer Jennifer Siegal’s widely published prefab prototype, the OMD ShowHouse, originally priced at $295,000 just last month, gets chopped. It's now down to $259,000.

The real estate listing at ("The Value of Architecture") shows $249,000. Key fact:


More details on the home are available at the OMD website.

model: info_smallOMD ShowHouse
where: Venice, CA
style: modern
size: 720 sf
br: 1
price: $259,000 ($360/sf)

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse (Aug 16, 2008)
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Thursday evening in Philadelphia: Leo Marmol on "Prefab myths and facts"

Link to Thursday evening in Philadelphia: Leo Marmol on
(photo from Leo Marmol’s talk at DWR in Pasadena last fall)

From the (fairly new) Marmol Radziner blog:

Please join us for a comprehensive visual presentation of the work of Marmol Radziner Prefab, hosted by Design Within Reach in Philadelphia. ... Is prefab an affordable option for modern living? Or is prefab a cultural phenomenon, popularized by the media? Marmol will explain the different types of prefab homes and the benefits of prefabrication. The talk will give homeowners valuable insight into modern, sustainable prefab homes and the future.

The event is free; RSVP to

who: Leo Marmol, info_smallMarmol-Radziner
what: Prefab Myths and Facts (this link is down at post time)
where: Design Within Reach, 1710 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA
when: April 3rd, 2008, 6:30pm (with drinks starting at 6:00pm)
price: Free!

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   2. Prefab goes retail: buy a kitHAUS at Design Within Reach (Feb 14, 2008)
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