The world of prefab and modular homes.
  January 2009 Archive

The Guardian's favorite prefabs from Inhabitat

Link to The Guardian's favorite prefabs from Inhabitat

Back in October, The Guardian provided a gallery of pictures which they consider to be

the best green buildings from the design website Inhabitat

Note: Inhabitat is part of the Guardian Environment Network.

The gallery includes 3 prefab homes:

Hat tip: The Green Blog on October 20, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Adam Kalkin container home from 2003

Link to Adam Kalkin container home from 2003

Jetson Green recently shared pictures of an info_smallAdam Kalkin container house in Maine from 2003:

The beautiful home stretches the boundaries of modern design and is truly a work of art. It was created by stacking a dozen orange "reclaimed" shipping containers in a T-shape while replacing some of the steel panels with large windows looking out over the rocky peninsula to Blue Hill Bay.

Related Posts:
   1. Kalkin Quik House (May 15, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The Mountain Lodge in Sweden from PS Arkitektur

Link to The Mountain Lodge in Sweden from PS Arkitektur

Arch Daily featured The Mountain Lodge by Peter Sahlin of PS Arkitektur in Härjedalen, Sweden.

The Mountain Lodge is a modern take of a traditional barn of the region in Härjedalen, Sweden. The Lodge comes as prefabricated wooden units. It was originally designed in 2005 by architect Peter Sahlin for his own family, as a vacation retreat in the fells of Härjedalen. Five houses have since then been produced in the region.

The construction consists of a wooden framework and prefabricated wall- and roof elements.

Additional images can be seen on the architect's website, which has minimal information in English.

model: The Mountain Lodge
designer: PS Arkitektur
available: Sweden
price: €200,000 (~$259,330)
size: 85sqm and 100sqm (~915 - 1,076 sf)
BR: 2 - 3
notes: price includes interior fittings

Related Posts:
   1. How prefab homes are built in Sweden (Feb 04, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The ultra-affordable Universal World House

Link to The ultra-affordable Universal World House

The Times Online (UK) covered a temporary home called The Universal World House by inventor Gerd Niemoeller.

It is made of paper, but according to The Times:

The interior of the prefabricated building panels resemble honeycombs; an air vacuum fills each of the units. The result: a strong and stable exterior wall, well insulated.


Retailing for about $5,000 (£3,375), the house is supposed to brighten up Third World shantytowns and provide quick shelter for long-term refugees.

...the 36sq m paper house weighs barely 800kg (1,763lb) — lighter than a VW Golf.

Read the entire article, including comments from a number of interested buyers here in the US.

Author: Roger Boyes
Publication: The Times Online
Section: Europe News
Length: 566 words
Date: January 17, 2009

Hat tip: TreeHugger on January 21, 2009

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The Kokage House in Japan

Link to The Kokage House in Japan

Last week, TreeHugger looked at the Kokage house by Hirokazu Suemitsu and Yoko Suemitsu of SUEP. (site in Japanese)

Kokage means "shade of a tree". The house is cooled by circulating water from underground through structural partitions that spread out like a tree.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL)

Michael Jantzen's concept R-House

Link to Michael Jantzen's concept R-House

Inhabitat recently featured the info_smallR-House by architect info_smallMichael Jantzen:

... the oh-so-adaptable R-House. Intended as a vacation home, it is constructed nearly entirely from Accoya, a new ’species’ of sustainably-sourced wood designed for ultra-high performance and class 1 durability. Rotating walls slide around the exterior of the structure to keep sun and wind coming and going in all the right places. The house has both passive and prefab qualities and is built to be configured and assembled on-site.

The designer's website offers numerous images, but no information about size or price.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Cottage in a Day by Michael Fitzhugh Architecture

Link to Cottage in a Day by Michael Fitzhugh Architecture

materialicious recently covered a home in Michigan called info_smallCottage in a day by architect info_smallMichael Fitzhugh:

Cottage in a Day is a modern, modular pre-fabricated structure based on a 14 foot square module. The cottages are built using structural insulated panels for floor, walls and roof....

Once transported the cottage modules were then assembled in five hours.

The company offers 4 models:

Model Price Size BR Baths

info_small1414-S $52,000-$56,000 182-282 sf 0-1 1
info_small1428-S $115,000 375-570 sf 0-1 1
info_small1428-SB $117,000 375-570 sf 0-1 1
info_small142814-L $152,400-$156,500 375-570 sf 1-1.5 1

Check out the assembly videos on their website.

Related Posts:
   1. So, what are SIPs anyway? (Mar 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The Brightbuilt Barn

Link to The Brightbuilt Barn

The New York Times recently featured a prefab house called the info_smallBrightBuilt Barn.

According to the BrightBuilt Barn website:

BrightBuilt Barn, a project that pushes the envelope of sustainable design, is the practical outcome of an in-depth collaboration between a team of the Northeast’s top green professionals and builders, and a visionary client coming together to create a super-green, offsite fabricated, and beautiful Net-Zero building that can be replicated and adapted over time.

The details:

manufacturer: info_smallBensonwood
price: $200,000
size: 700 sf
beds: 1 - 2
baths: 1

Follow the regularly updated blog to track the progress or check out the media kit (pdf) to see floorplans.

Other coverage around the web:

For more details, read the entire article.

Author: Steven Kurutz
Publication: The New York Times
Section: Home & Garden
Length: 195 words
Date: January 14, 2009

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

International Builders' Show next week in Las Vegas

Link to International Builders' Show next week in Las Vegas

The 2009 International Builders' Show (IBS) will be in Las Vegas next week.

Owned and produced by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), IBS is the largest annual light construction show in the world.

Who should attend? According to their website:

suppliers and manufacturers looking to market and sell to builders, architects, developers, dealers, and distributors.

Of particular interest to Prefabcosm readers, the (modular) NextGen “Urban Living” Home, built by info_smallChampion Genesis will be on display in the convention center parking lot.

where: Las Vegas, NV
location: Las Vegas Convention Center
date: January 20 - 23, 2008
notes: Registration required.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The American House 08 by William Massie

Link to The American House 08 by William Massie

In their February 2009 issue, Dwell Magazine features an article about info_smallAmerican House 08 by architect info_smallWilliam Massie.

For Massie, creating this “transportable” house proved inspirational.

For over a decade, attaching his computer to a laser cutter, he learned how to draw intricate shapes—such as jigsaw patterns for wood paneling—and have the machine cut them out seamlessly. He then bought his own computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machine, which could drill down into a material to create molds. He was thus able to redefine how standard materials such as concrete, wood, and even rubber were used. They no longer had to be flat or rectangular—they could become sculptural forms.

The prefab part isn't really intended to be practical here:

When the house is moved again, some interior surfaces, such as the plaster ceilings, will, in Massie’s words, “have to be sacrificed.” Redoing them, and reinstalling the floor, will cost about $20,000. The total transport cost, apart from any work to connect the house to the site, will be nearly $45,000. The cost of the house itself? $750,000.

designer: info_smallWilliam Massie
price: $750,000+
size: ~2,500 sf
br: 2
baths: 2.5

The house is listed on ebay. The starting bid was $480,000 and the current bid is up to $490,100.

Read the Dwell article for more details, then visit Massie's website for numerous pictures and a virtual tour.

Subtitle: Art object or machine for living in? Architect William Massie’s personal prefab project takes the mass out of mass customization to create a one-of-a-kind wonder.
Author: David Hay
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Section: Homes
Length: 1,356 words
Date: February 2009

(Hat tip: Materialicious on December 22, 2008)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The Clayton iHouse

Link to The Clayton iHouse

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the info_smalliHouse from info_smallClayton Homes. They do not offer model information on their main website, though there is a virtual tour of the house.

The (Maryville, TN) Daily Times interviewed Kevin Clayton, the company's CEO and president, on October 29, 2008.

Metro Pulse had a lengthy article on December 17, 2008:

The core product is a 992-square-foot one-bedroom home featuring a detached “Flex Room” connected by an “Outdoor Living Space” or deck made of recycled materials. If you look at the floor plan ... the main structure looks a little bit like a lower case “i,” with the Flex Room as its dot. Hence the name.

Jetson Green shared some great pictures on January 9, 2009.

TreeHugger had two separate posts on January 10, 2009, one by Lloyd Alter and the other by Brian Merchant.

Last, but not least, a fan created The Clayton iHouse blog. Although not affiliated with Clayton Homes, it is a great source of information.

model: info_smalliHouse
designer: info_smallClayton Homes
price: ~$100,000
size: 1,280 sf
beds: 2
baths: 2

Related Posts:
   1. Clayton iHouse now available (May 12, 2009)
   2. Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee (Oct 29, 2008)
   3. Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Greensboro, NC (Oct 09, 2008)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The RINCON 5 from Marmol Radziner

Link to The RINCON 5 from Marmol Radziner

We're still catching up on old news. In November, Jetson Green covered the info_smallRINCON 5 from info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab:

RINCON is the moniker for their latest modular series, a line of homes that can double as a small prefab dwelling or ancillary living structure, you name it. The name is inspired by the Spanish word for "nook" -- an apt description for this little accessory structure.

model: info_smallRINCON 5
price: $179,000 base ($223,000 installed)
size: 660 sf
beds: 1
baths: 1

Related Posts:
   1. Podcast features Marmol Radziner and Blu Homes (Aug 14, 2009)
   2. Hollywood Hybrid by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 11, 2009)
   3. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   4. This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse (Aug 16, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Envision Prefab's container homes

Link to Envision Prefab's container homes

In November, Jetson Green featured a post by one of their sponsors, info_smallEnvision Prefab.

Envision Prefab ... is bringing container architecture to a new level by creating complete modular housing out of these frames.

The home starts with the basic cargo containers. Factory technicians mark out the windows, doors, mechanical, and plumbing vents and cut through the corrugated metal walls. The interior wall is completely removed, and the containers are braced to prevent any deflections.

See the post for photographs of the construction sequence.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Michelle Kaufmann: there's a bright side to the current housing market troubles

Link to Michelle Kaufmann: there's a bright side to the current housing market troubles

Back in November, info_smallMichelle Kaufmann released a new white paper (pdf) titled "Redefining Cost: A Beacon of Hope Shines through Housing Market Gloom".

In it, she says:

The convergence of the financial, energy, and housing crises has essentially become a perfect storm with the power not only to weed out the risky and damaging housing industry practices of old but also to encourage the promulgation of more economically and environmentally sustainable practices going forward.

While the paper doesn't address prefab specifically, it covers issues that could affect the industry. It's definitely worth a look.

Hat tip: Building Systems on November, 27, 2008.

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. MKD proposes green "nutrition labels," France already has a good start (Oct 14, 2008)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

The This Old House Home Collection

Link to The This Old House Home Collection

In 2005, Dwell magazine launched a line of co-branded prefab homes with several companies. In October, Time Inc's This Old House (TOH) announced they were following suit (paid subscription required):

... to create the This Old House Home Collection by Bensonwood

Publisher Matt Turck said TOH will get an undisclosed share of revenue. The homes will be priced from $300,000 to $600,000.

Turck added that the pact extends his brand's reputation beyond home improvement.

"Factory-built homes are the future of home building," the publisher said. "We want to connect our brand with the future of home building."

This news comes as the This Old House TV series wraps up construction on a info_smallBensonwood home that has served as the subject of the show's latest season. Further information on that project is available on the This Old House blog.

Title: This New House (paid subscription required)
Subtitle: Time Inc. home-improvement title in prefab home pact
Author: Lucia Moses
Publication: Mediaweek
Length: 446 words
Date: October 27, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Building Systems blog podcasts (Jan 07, 2009)
   2. This Old House to go prefab (Apr 29, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Building Systems blog podcasts

Yesterday's post included a link to a Building Systems blog podcast. Here are a few more prefab-related interviews from their podcast page.

Person Company Minutes
Tedd Benson info_smallBensonwood Homes 40
Blaine Zulkoski info_smallNorth American Log Homes ?
Michelle Kaufmann info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs 30

Just to keep them all in one post:
Carl Krave Pocket Neighborhoods ?

Related Posts:
   1. The This Old House Home Collection (Jan 08, 2009)
   2. Glencairn Cottages win an Aurora Award (Jan 06, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Glencairn Cottages win an Aurora Award

Link to Glencairn Cottages win an Aurora Award

Building Systems blog reported back in November:

Carl Krave, president of Pocket Neighborhoods, a builder and developer in the Tampa Bay, FL ... recently won the coveted Aurora Award for his Glencairn Cottages project.

These green and energy-efficient model homes, which are built off site by Nationwide Custom Homes (Martinsville, VA), replicate the old, historic homes seen in Key West, FL, and Charleston, SC. The project won the award for the best development on less than 100 acres

Worth a listen: their podcast about Krave's strategy.

Worth browsing: Glencairn Cottages

Builder: info_smallNationwide Custom Homes

Related Posts:
   1. Building Systems blog podcasts (Jan 07, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Modular in Austin, Texas

Link to Modular in Austin, Texas

Catching up on a backlog of old news. Here's a story out of Austin, Texas:

In about seven hours, Austin builder Gary Bellomy used a 100-foot-tall, 100-ton crane to erect a pair of townhomes that are expected to earn the top rating from Austin Energy's Green Building Program.

Not bad, considering a project this size would typically take months to build. The secret: modular construction.

Companies mentioned:

Read the full article for details.

subtitle: 2 projects show new designs, flair for architecture
author: Carrie Alexander
publication: Austin American-Statesmen
section: Homes
length: 985 words
date: October 26, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. ma modular homes by KRDB in Texas (May 27, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 
Our aim is to create the web's #1 resource for prefab and modular homes. Read our blog for daily news, and browse around to learn more about the emerging world of prefab.