The world of prefab and modular homes.
  May 2008 Archive

Colorado modular on a budget

Link to Colorado modular on a budget

The Denver Post reports on a modular homeowner near Denver:

Jill Warner is having a new home built in Salida that's as green as possible without "going overboard," she said.


Warner wanted to buy a prefab home from the beginning, but her early research revealed a stiff price tag — about $320 per square foot using an out-of-state builder.

Then she dug deeper and found companies closer to home. That cut the price by more than half.

Warner found Northstar Homes, based in Loveland, Colorado. According to Hollis Hunt of Northstar:

...people incorrectly assume going green means a sizable price tag. He says homebuyers can make choices that won't break the bank.

Their site features some helpful resources, including a list of modular home myths.

Read the full article for other tips on how to build prefab and meet your budget. The article also updates readers on the MKD development in Denver that we've reported on previously.

subtitle: Factory-built homes create less waste than traditional homes, helping to shrink carbon footprints
author: Christian Toto
publication: The Denver Post
length: 704 words
publication date: May 25, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Aspen goes modular  (Dec 04, 2008)
   2. mkLoft development in Denver (Nov 26, 2007)
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Cutting-edge eco-friendly prefab tours Canada

Link to Cutting-edge eco-friendly prefab tours Canada

Coming soon to green living shows in Yorkdale, Canada (June 5-15) and Toronto (September 25-26), the Canühome is an example of cutting-edge eco-friendly home design. The Canühome website explains:

The 850 sq.ft. exhibition contains a kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom and bedroom.

The exhibit includes interpretive panels which highlight the features of the design for the public...

Why is this exhibition so helpful? Ecolectic sums it up:

Made largely of FSC certified plywood and other wood materials, the modular home is assembled with the aid of steel brackets. Being modular you can hook up as many or as few units as you like should your need for space grow or diminish. The engineering behind the design is quite ingenious. Its shape allows for convective and radiant heating, and they proudly announce that "air is a building material"!

And Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper goes into further detail:

...canühome's most intriguing feature is its passive solar "double envelope." Air passing between the two exterior walls on the south side is heated via the dark metal panels of the outermost skin. This heated air travels up and is vented out of the top in summer but, in winter, continues around the other side and into the radiant floor, which keeps the house about 10 degrees [50F]....

Canühome's "breakthrough" was the invention of a new fastener called a "Porcupine." These attach to the wooden structural ribs, extend outward to create the air gap and terminate where the outermost metal panels clip on. Not only is this method much cheaper, it's flexible.

Treehugger likes the idea:

...the designers have used the latest CNC technology and a lot of other ideas that make it one of the more interesting test beds we have seen.

model: Canühome
status: prototype
size: 850 sf
br: 1
style: modern
how: plywood kit

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Tour a Rocio Romero LVL Home on June 14th in Maine

Link to Tour a Rocio Romero LVL Home on June 14th in Maine

info_smallRocio Romero has announced the second stop on her national home tour. We've discussed the tour before; here's your second chance to see an info_smallLV Series home in person.

...the next stop on our National LV Open House Tour is Eliot, Maine on Saturday, June 14, 2008. This event is the second of four that will be held throughout the country.

The 2008 National Tour will provide attendees the opportunity to see and experience the LV space. Ms. Romero, her staff, homeowners, and general contractors will be present to discuss LV design features, custom design options, the build process, and construction costs.

Some details on the tour format:

A chartered coach will transport attendees to the LVL Open House tour site at the scheduled tour time. It is a five-minute bus drive, followed by a short one block walk from the bus to the home. Once you arrive at the LVL home, you will tour the exterior and interior home and view a video presentation of the assembly of one of our latest LV builds and several LV homes that highlight customization options. This presentation is advanced LV information, so we encourage you to read all of our LVS Brochures. After the tour and presentation there will be a Q&A session. The bus will then depart 1.5 hours after the scheduled tour time.

You can register for the event online.

what: Rocio Romero's LVL Open House Tour
model: info_smallLVL home
where: 28 Levesque Rd. (Rt.236) Eliot, ME 03903
when: Saturday, June 14th at 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm
cost: $40 per person, non-refundable

Related Posts:
   1. Sunset Magazine features LVM by Rocio Romero (Jul 22, 2009)
   2. This week: historical, Flatpak, LVL tour, and more (Jun 21, 2008)
   3. Tour (virtually) an LV home in Maine (Mar 11, 2008)
   4. Rocio Romero's National LV Open House Tour (Mar 04, 2008)
   5. Tracking the progress of an LVL home (Dec 11, 2007)
   6. Tours of an LV Series home in the Napa Valley (Jul 12, 2007)
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This week: London, Resolution: 4, OMD and more

Link to This week: London, Resolution: 4, OMD and more

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday reported on a London prefab:

Added to an end-of-terrace house in North London, Focus House is a delightful prefabricated eco-home for a family of five....

Made in Austria and then transported to London in kit form, the building is formed of KLH UK solid timber panels, clad in zinc paneling.

Treehugger's Lloyd Alter discussed a visit to the offices of info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture.

The Chicago Tribune reprinted the interview with Alison Arieff that we covered back in March.

Arieff herself blogged at the NY Times about a prefab school by info_smallOMD that we've covered in the past.

Jetson Green covered an award for the Abōd:

Abōd was honored by the AIA this year with a Small Project Award. The AIA explained the concept: "[...]The resulting design incorporating the Catenary arch is simple and structurally sound but also aesthetically pleasing and can be built by 4 people in just one day with only a screwdriver and an awl."

Off Beat Homes enjoys the info_smallFlatpak House.

Arch Daily took a look at a home in Ecuador that uses a unique prefabricated concrete block system.

G Living examined student housing made of containers.

Related Posts:
   1. Allison Arieff in LA Times (Mar 18, 2008)
   2. This week: French prefab, school, and more (Nov 17, 2007)
   3. This week: prefab school, CA prefab and SIPs (May 26, 2007)
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Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE

Link to Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE

Dwell Magazine's third Dwell On Design conference and exhibition is coming to the Los Angeles Convention Center June 5-8.

June 5th and 6th will feature conference sessions on a wide range of topics. On June 6 Michael Sylvester of fabprefab will host a session on "Systems Building and Prefab." Speakers include:

The public exhibition opens June 7th (emphasis added):

Everything you ever wanted to know about modern design in one very big place: 200+ exhibitors, an entire neighborhood of full-scale pre-fab structures completely landscaped and furnished by Dwell. Plus you'll get hands-on, actionable advice and information from architects, designers and other trade professionals.

Prefab companies that are listed as exhibiting include:

If you're interested in attending, you can register for the exhibition FREE; just enter the code "BDODEC".

where: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA
when: Conference: June 5-6, 2008; Exhibition: June 7-8, 2008
sponsor: Dwell Magazine
registration: $25 for exhibition only (FREE with the code "BDODEC"), $349 for full conference and exhibition

Related Posts:
   1. Dwell on Design 2009 at the end of June (Jun 19, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design 2008 recap (Jun 11, 2008)
   3. This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more (Jun 07, 2008)
   4. Dwell on Design recap (Sep 24, 2007)
   5. Dwell on Design Conference (Aug 15, 2007)
   6. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
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New 4x weeHouses join the weeLineup

Link to New 4x weeHouses join the weeLineup

From the mailbox:

Not-so-weeHouses designed for full-time living are now part of Alchemy's 2008 weeHouse line. We're introducing two new 4x (four-by) houses featuring 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, and 2200 square feet of living space.

The two 4x models join eight existing info_smallweeHouse models from info_smallAlchemy Architects, and represent the largest weeHouses yet to be introduced. Some background on the designs:

One challenge in pre-designing one house for different people on different sites is that the design can compromise individual needs. With the 4x, we've taken a single, efficient-but-spacious layout and made it flexible enough to work for various needs. Whether your site is a narrow urban lot or a spacious rural one, whether it faces North, South, East or West, the 4x is adaptable. In an über-flexible solution, we can even turn the house upside down (¡) to accommodate second level entries on sloping lots.

The two options:

  • 2x4 : 2 layers of 2 boxes with an overhanging top floor. There's an emphasis on windows on the long side perfect for wider lots.
  • 4x4 : 4 independent sliding boxes create decks and overhangs on the ends, making this layout ideally suited for narrower or urban lots.

Both houses have a central storage core, two possible kitchen orientations and flexible arrangements for entries and large master suites.

Also worth mentioning: basic weeHouse pricing for any region in the country is now available. Kudos to the weeHouse folks for making that information so accessible!

model: 2x4 weeHouse
price: from $319,000 (~$150/sf)
size: 2,150 sf
br: 3
style: modern
how: complete modules

model: 4x4 weeHouse
price: from $319,000 (~$150/sf)
size: 2,090 sf
br: 3
style: modern
how: complete modules

Related Posts:
   1. weeHouse in Continental Airlines magazine (Jun 16, 2009)
   2. weeHouse by Alchemy on display in WI; today and this weekend (May 22, 2009)
   3. weeHouses are now cheaper than ever (and can even power themselves!) (Sep 04, 2008)
   4. New weeHouse website (Dec 21, 2007)
   5. Itsy Bitsy weeHouse (Mar 26, 2007)
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I've been busy; daily posts will resume soon!

Some of you may have noticed the lack of daily posts recently. I've been driving cross-country, trying to squeeze in some work between visiting friends and family.

Daily posts and site updates will resume in a few weeks.

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This week: Method Homes, Énóvo, Canühome

Link to This week: Method Homes, Énóvo, Canühome

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday discussed the Method Homes Modular Cabin:

This month we’re welcoming a brand new builder to the prefab scene as Method Homes launches its first house!

Method’s prefab prototype is currently in the final stages of construction ... We can’t wait to see the finished product!

Jetson Green covered the Énóvo House, a modular from Montreal:

...from my research, the Énóvo name seems to represent something bigger -- the idea that a green, modular home can evolve with the needs of the owner. According to the website, Énóvo can be adapted to most any terrain, and because it's configured by modules, the design can morph according to the various particularities [of] an owner's life and needs.

Jetson Green also shared several photos of the Canühome:

Designed by Institute Without Boundaries, canühome is a healthy, sustainable, and affordable home.

We'll be sure to cover all three models in more detail soon.

(Dated Saturday but actually posted on Sunday. Sorry for the delay.)

Related Posts:
   1. Method Prefab (Sep 03, 2009)
   2. Balance S-M-L Series from Method Homes (Mar 12, 2009)
   3. This week: Ideabox, Method Homes, and unconventional (Jul 26, 2008)
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This week: Joshua Tree, EvolutiV, mkSolaire debuts and more

Link to This week: Joshua Tree, EvolutiV, mkSolaire debuts and more covered the Joshua Tree prefab:

steel skinned prefab with a wooden interior described as a ‘mountain refuge’, presented at the recent Milan Furniture Fair.

A number of blogs covered the EvolutiV House. Archinect saw it first. MoCo Loco picked up the trail. Treehugger added some details:

The 70 square meter Maison evolutiV was shown at the Salon Européen du bois et de l'Habitat Durable in April....

It is a low consumption modular wood home, ...composed of 2 prefabricated units... saw the home. And Inhabitat's Prefab Friday liked the home enough to feature it:

The beauty of this design lies in its chestnut façade and inviting floor plan, but also in its small ecological footprint.

Treehugger wrote about a series of prefabs from Swedish company Next House (no relation to info_smallEmpyrean International's info_smallNextHouse). We'll cover those in more detail down the line.

Jetson Green, in conjunction with PrairieMod, visited info_smallMKD's mkSolaire at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. We'll cover the unveiling in more detail soon.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more (Jun 07, 2008)
   2. mkSolaire to be featured in Chicago museum exhibit (Jan 18, 2008)
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This week: Milan, German prefab, Marmol Radziner and more

Link to This week: Milan, German prefab, Marmol Radziner and more

The Dwell blog reported on prefabs at the Milan Furniture Fair.

Contemporist covered the Huf Haus, a kit company in Germany: can choose to put these post and beam homes together yourself, or Huf Haus will manage the whole project for you.

Curbed LA reports on info_smallMarmol Radziner:

The firm, known for its high-end prefab homes (such as their Desert Hot Springs prototype), will launch a new line of prefab models that will be priced 20-25 percent less than their existing line.

Apartment Therapy Re-Nest sang praises for info_smallMKD and shared a slideshow of Michelle Kaufmann's info_smallGlidehouse.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday shared the info_smallWings prefab from info_smallJenesys Building Systems:

Wings is taking off in great prefab form.

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   2. Jenesys Building System's E Cube (Jun 27, 2007)
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The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom

Link to The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom

We've covered the Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley before; here's a new story about the home from the San Jose Mercury News:

The 2,400-square-foot house was built in panels by manufacturer Empyrean at its factory in Acton, Mass., shipped to the Bay Area and assembled on-site. It incorporates energy-efficient technology and sustainable materials and is the seventh in a series called the NextHouse; the project has been a collaboration with San Francisco-based Dwell magazine, which has 12 more under way across the country.

Lots of people think prefab equals one-size-fits-all.

"Prefab is somewhere in the middle between the builder home, which is like a pair of jeans that's made for the average person, and the custom home, which is like a couture item," says Sam Grawe, editor in chief at Dwell, which has been promoting modern prefab architecture since its debut more than seven years ago.

"Prefab gives you the opportunity to design your own home but also has the efficiencies of the builder's model."

subtitle: Modern designs show the new face of factory-built houses
author: Holly Hayes
publication: San Jose Mercury News
length: 1,100 words
publication date: April 19, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
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