The world of prefab and modular homes.
  March 2009 Archive

Modular home by Studio B Architecture in Orange County, NC

Link to Modular home by Studio B Architecture in Orange County, NC

The News & Observer in North Carolina highlighted a modular hybrid home.

Studio B adapted the prefabricated portions of the house into a simple, striking composition: modules on the ends, a recessed entry space in the middle and a single sloped roof capping it all. Three parts of the house were trucked to the site from a nearby factory and installed in one day.


Spanning the prefabricated the portion of the project that was built on site: the two-story living area

We found model information on the BuildSense website:

model: info_smallWedge
builder: info_smallBuildSense
size: 1,829 sf
br: 3
bath: 2.5

They also share a floorplan (PDF) that includes a series of construction pictures.

Read the entire News & Observer article for more information and check out their photo gallery.

Author: Laura Battaglia
Publication: The News & Observer
Section: Lifestyles
Length: 606 words
Date: March 21, 2009

Related Posts:
   1. Aspen goes modular  (Dec 04, 2008)
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Felix Oesch's Swiss concrete prefab

Link to Felix Oesch's Swiss concrete prefab
Hertha Hurnaus

The February 2009 issue of Dwell Magazine featured a concrete prefab in Switzerland by architect Felix Oesch.

it took nine months to build the house using a prefabricated panel system


Each panel is made up of two outer layers of 2.4-inch-thick concrete, which act as the bread of the sandwich. Inside there’s a core layer of concrete as well as seven inches of insulation. This means the panels, which arrived onsite with all the holes cut for the fixtures and fittings, are relatively light and easy to maneuver. Subsequently, construction was a question of fitting them all together like pieces of Lego.

Read the entire article and view a slideshow containing 11 pictures of the home.

Title: Swiss Mix
Subtitle: Built for a young family of Spartan-minded clients, architect Felix Oesch's spare, concrete prefab outside of Zurich is a marvel of clean living.
Author: Grant Gibson
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Section: Dwellings
Length: 1,384 words
Date: February 2009

Hat tips: StyleCrave on March 17, 2009 via materialicious on March 11, 2009.

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Trapper and Ranger Flat Pack Cabins by Form & Forest

Link to Trapper and Ranger Flat Pack Cabins by Form & Forest

info_smallForm & Forest and info_smallD'Arcy Jones Design have added two more models to their Flat Pack Cabin Collection.

model: info_smallTrapper
size: 738 sf
br: 1
bath: 1
price: $64,680
available: yes
Trapper floorplan (PDF)

model: info_smallRanger
size: 1,409 sf
br: 2
bath: 2
price: $100,700
available: yes
Ranger floorplan (PDF)

Hat tip: Douglas Tarlow on March 16, 2009 via PicoCool entry.

Related Posts:
   1. Lookout by Form & Forest (May 21, 2009)
   2. Flat pack cabins from Form & Forest (Feb 20, 2009)
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Villa Grow from Kjellgren Kaminsky and Emrahus

Link to Villa Grow from Kjellgren Kaminsky and Emrahus

Arch Daily recently covered Villa Grow from Sweden:

villas have a common basic unit that can be extended by adding new modules. The angles at the end of each unit allow for different orientations, on which you can have a linear house, a patio house, or an organic layout that opens to the landscape.

More information:

model: Villa Grow
manufacturer: info_smallEmrahus
available: United Kingdom and Sweden
size: 645 - 1,722 sf (60 - 160 m²)

Check out their promotional video. (3:59)

Related Posts:
   1. Passive homes from Sweden (Nov 04, 2008)
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PLACE House featured in April 2009 issue of Metropolitan Home

Link to PLACE House featured in April 2009 issue of Metropolitan Home

The April 2009 issue of Metropolitan Home features the first info_smallPLACE House built by info_smallPLACE Architects in Kirkland, Washington.

the PLACE house was erected on-site using SIPs

We found model information on their website:

Model Size BR Bath

info_smalltiny 935 sf 1 2
info_smallsmall 1,247 sf 2 3
info_smallmedium 1,669 sf 3 3
info_smalllarge 2,091 sf 3 3

They offer three different style packages:

Also, check out pictures of the first PLACE House being constructed.

Read the entire Metropolitan Home article.

Subtitle: Heather Johnston's prefab design for a family of five in Kirkland, Washington, makes the most of limited space—and the planet’s limited resources.
Author: Fred Albert
Publication: Metropolitan Home
Section: Remodel / remodeling Guide
Length: 959 words
Date: April 2009

(Hat tips: Apartment Therapy on March 13, 2009 and Jetson Green on March 17, 2009.)

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NY Daily News covers Nehemiah Spring Creek Houses

Link to NY Daily News covers Nehemiah Spring Creek Houses

NY Daily news recently covered a prefab housing development in East New York.


The Nehemiah houses in the Spring Creek development are being assembled

in a Brooklyn Naval Yard factory as big as a football field

where construction workers

churn out more than 8,000 square-feet per week on a supersized assembly line for homes. Working in three separate areas, men build ceilings, flooring and wall frames. Cement trucks pour concrete floors while blast machinists drill holes for pipes and wiring. Then, the three components merge as the homes take shape. Beams are established, paint is applied, and toilets are installed.

After tying down any loose parts such as kitchen drawers and oven doors, the 20-by-40 units are shipped by extra-wide flatbed trucks to the East New York site.

On site, a 250-ton hydraulic truck crane lifts the units on top of each other to build the two-, three- and four-story homes.

Worth noting:

Founded in the mid-1980s by powerful local preachers as a means to rebuild East New York, the Nehemiah Housing Development Fund Co. is the real estate arm of East Brooklyn Congregations. In 20 years, they built and sold more than 3,000 homes with a foreclosure rate of less than 1%.

Read the entire article for more information, and see pictures of the units on the Capsys website.

Author: Jason Sheftell
Publication: NY Daily News
Section: Real Estate
Length: 1,362 words
Date: March 20, 2009

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Ideabox Open House on March 26, 2009 in Port Townsend, WA

Link to Ideabox Open House on March 26, 2009 in Port Townsend, WA

info_smallideabox recently finished moving their info_smallconfluence prefab from the 2009 Portland Home & Garden Show to a neighborhood in Port Townsend, WA.

status: available
size: 840 sf
br: 2
bath: 1.75
price: $184,000 - $224,000 for land/box packages in Port Townsend
footprint: 57’ 4” long x 15’ wide

Realtor Charlie Arthur of RE/MAX FIRST, INC. is blogging about the house:

This unit is going to be our model unit for the presales...We will be offering 2 and 3 bedroom homes for in the low 200's

Scroll through his recent posts for more details, e.g.

  • video 1 (0:36) of the house arriving in Port Townsend
  • video 2 (0:28) of the house on the lot

If you find yourself in the area, check out their upcoming Open House:

where: Port Townsend, WA
location: 1650 Cherry Street
date: March 26, 2009
time: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Hat tip: Jetson Green on February 18, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Ideabox, Method Homes, and unconventional (Jul 26, 2008)
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Blue Sky Homes builds prefab steel prototype in Yucca Valley, CA

Link to Blue Sky Homes builds prefab steel prototype in Yucca Valley, CA

info_smallBlue Sky Homes recently issued a press release announcing their prototype home now under construction in Yucca Valley, CA.

The company plans to assemble the exterior envelope of the home – including the frame, floor, roof, walls, doors and windows – in three working days.

“... we are fabricating the elements of this house in a factory and then assembling those perfect pieces at the job site,” said David McAdam of Blue Sky Homes.

the Blue Sky system uses a ... steel framing design ... manufactured from at least 70 percent recycled material and is itself 100 percent recyclable.

The prototype house will “float” above its rocky desert site on six steel columns that require only small concrete footings. That means virtually no land grading was required

Model information:

manufacturer: info_smallBlue Sky Homes LLC
designer: info_smallo2 Architecture
size: 1,000 sf
br: 2
bath: 1

Additional details:

We can't wait to see pricing information.

Hat tip: Jetson Green on March 18, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. Blue Sky Homes completes prototype (May 13, 2009)
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Green Modern Kits by Copeland Casati

Link to Green Modern Kits by Copeland Casati

We received an email a while back from Copeland Casati, founder of info_smallGreen Modern Kits. Some background:

The housing crisis and concern over our earth propelled her to gather green building energy-system and design partners to help other eco-conscious individuals achieve their green goals. She wants to help other people like herself find affordable, green housing solutions.

The company currently has two models available.

Both kits are bare bones: you get beautiful design and structure (SIPs exterior walls & roof, and design documents) and you will need to finish the house with a local contractor.

Model information:

model: info_smallcasa ti
available: yes
price: starting at $22,537
size: 1,200 sf
br: 3
bath: 1-3
fabrication time: 3 weeks
floorplans: casa ti floorplan (PDF)

designer: info_smallGrace Street
available: yes
price: starting at $30,000
size: 2,028 - 2,168 sf
br: 3
bath: 2-3
fabrication time: 3 weeks

Also check out:

Related Posts:
   1. Green Modern Kit Open House on September 26, 2009 (Sep 17, 2009)
   2. In the news: Copeland Casati's Green Modern Kit House (Aug 12, 2009)
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Eco Structures in West Virginia

Link to Eco Structures in West Virginia

Low Impact Living recently featured a company called info_smallEco Structures in West Virginia.

Eco Structures is the brainchild of John Garlow, who has been building timber frame homes and using structural insulated panels (SIPS) out of his own workshop since the late 1970s. Several years ago, when it became clear that the green prefab housing market was ripe for liftoff, he decided to put his many years of prefabrication expertise to use with a new “green” twist. He designed and built a prototype modular Eco Structure on his own property and a new company was born.


The target price ... is approximately $150 - $175 per square foot.

Additional information:

Related Posts:
   1. Eco Structures in the news (Jun 02, 2009)
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The Pennywise House by Russell Versaci

Link to The Pennywise House by Russell Versaci

The Baltimore Sun reprinted a McClatchy-Tribune article about The Pennywise House.

It's part consciousness-raising effort and part marketing campaign for his house plans and a coming line of modular homes that will be based on them.


The houses ... [will] be based on the vernacular architecture of 10 regions of the country, which he thinks will help bring character to their environs.


He hopes his "Pennywise House" proposal will draw attention to the benefits of returning to those traditional architectural styles, with updates to make them livable today. Those styles developed and became popular because they were adapted to the local conditions, he said - deep porches in the hot South, for example, and piers in South Carolina's Low Country to raise the houses above the moist ground.

Here are the details of "The Simple Cottage Sampler" line:

  • designer: info_smallRussell Versaci
  • builder: info_smallHaven Custom Homes
  • size: 400 - 950 sf (can be expanded with additional modular units)
  • availability: on the east coast (US) later this year
  • price: has not been set
  • view designs (PDF)

Read the entire article.

Subtitle: 'Pennywise' line aims to make compact, regional architecture more desirable
Author: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Publication: Baltimore Sun
Length: 787 words
Date: March 8, 2009

(Hat tip: Building Systems on March 9, 2009.)

Related Posts:
   1. Builder Magazine highlights prefab houses (May 29, 2009)
   2. Sanctuary Village modular development (Nov 13, 2008)
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Modular Construction in Green Building seminar on March 19, 2009

A seminar called "Modular Construction in Green Building" will be held this week in central Pennsylvania. It is part of a monthly breakfast series.

by: SEDA-COG's Energy Resource Center
(SEDA=Susquehanna Economic Development Association; COG=Council of Governments)
speaker: Rick Terry, Director of Factory Built Housing Center at Penn College of Technology
speaker: Dave Reed, President of info_smallPenn Lyon Homes
where: Mifflinburg, PA
location: Carriage Corner Restaurant, 257 East Chestnut Street
date: March 19, 2009
time: 7:30am - 9:30am
cost: $20
notes: Registration is required.

Hat tip: Building Systems on March 13, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. The sustainability of modular housing (Feb 17, 2009)
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Balance S-M-L Series from Method Homes

Link to Balance S-M-L Series from Method Homes

info_smallMethod Homes recently introduced their Balance S-M-L Series.

According to their website, they are:

highly efficient prefab homes, with small footprints to boot ... designed to arrive 95% complete within 2-3 months of purchase.

Individual model prices are not listed, but they mention the line will be "starting under $100,000".

Here's the model information:

Model Size BR Bath

info_smallSmall 565 sf 0 1
info_smallMedium 744 sf 1 1
info_smallLarge 992 sf 1-2 1

To see the layouts:

The series was created in collaboration with info_smallBalance Associates.

Hat tip: Jetson Green on March 11, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. Pictures of Method Homes setting (Oct 03, 2009)
   2. Method Prefab (Sep 03, 2009)
   3. This week: Method Homes, HOM, containers and lots more Home Delivery (Aug 02, 2008)
   4. This week: Ideabox, Method Homes, and unconventional (Jul 26, 2008)
   5. This week: Method Homes, Énóvo, Canühome (May 17, 2008)
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re-Growth Pod by 1:1 Architects

Link to re-Growth Pod by 1:1 Architects

In the news: the re-Growth Pod from info_small1:1 Architects in Australia. According to their website, it's:

A completely self contained concrete service pod. It is a permanent and cost effective housing unit which can assist in the rebuilding of the fire devastated town-ships of Victoria.

The robust pre-fabricated concrete structure has been designed to be built upon, but in the short term acts as a habitable starting point for the building of a new home. The units can be prefabricated, delivered and connected to services rapidly allowing families to begin the process of re-building without displacement from their communities.

Watch the assembly animation video (0:20).

The prototype will be built by info_smallEcotec Build Solutions. Track their progress via the re-Growth Pod blog.

Hat tips: Arch Daily on March 4, 2009 and Treehugger on March 6, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. First re-Growth pod delivered (Apr 17, 2009)
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3-unit modular in Saratoga Springs, NY

Link to 3-unit modular in Saratoga Springs, NY
John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union

Last week, Times Union covered a new 3-unit prefab building in Saratoga Springs, NY.


  • builder: info_smallWestchester Modular Homes
  • designer: Phinney Design Group
  • 4,200 sf, 2 stories
  • the sections arrived in six boxes
  • "saved 20 percent on building and loan costs by going prefab"
  • built in 8 days in the factory (plus additional work to be done on site)

Over the next few months, workers will add custom porches, cupolas and other features to make the home fit into the area's Victorian streetscape

Read the entire article for details.

Subtitle: Grande Ave. prefab is meant to fit in, but some residents are leery
Author: Dennis Yusko
Publication: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Length: 414 words
Date: March 5, 2009

Related Posts:
   1. Update: 3-unit modular in Saratoga Springs, NY (Aug 11, 2009)
   2. Modular home seminar tomorrow in Sagamore, MA (Oct 15, 2008)
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Hemeroscopium House by Ensamble Studio

Link to Hemeroscopium House by Ensamble Studio

Archinect recently showcased the Hemeroscopium House in Spain, with plenty of pictures and a video (3:57).

According to the architect, Antón García- Abril, of info_smallEnsamble Studio:

It took us a year to engineer but only seven days to build the structure, thanks to a total prefabrication of the different elements and a perfectly coordinated rhythm of assembly.

About the name:

For the Greek, Hemeroscopium is the place where the sun sets.

model: Hemeroscopium House
designer: info_smallEnsamble Studio
size: 400 m2 (4,300 sf)

Hat tips: Treehugger on March 6, 2009 and Eco Architecture on March 7, 2009.

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James Timberlake discusses lean manufacturing

James Timberlake of info_smallKieran Timberlake Associates recently shared his two-part info_smallCellophane House discussion as part of the Lean Manufacturing podcast series.

Part one (15:07) "focuses on the design principles and goals of the project."

Part two (12:23) "examines how modular design and Rexroth aluminum structural framing enabled the demonstration of unique lean construction and sustainable design concepts."

If you would rather read than listen:

Related Posts:
   1. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
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The New Republic looks at prefab

Link to The New Republic looks at prefab

The New Republic recently discussed the plight of prefabricated housing in the United States.

Technologically, there is no reason why houses, like cars, cannot be mass-produced, and in other countries they are constructed that way. Prefabricated, mass-produced homes, like mass-produced cars, offer myriad advantages. Fewer resources, material and labor, are wasted. Weather does not dictate construction schedules. Higher and consistent quality is more easily and reliably achieved, because the product is fabricated in the controlled setting of a manufacturing plant, with all the attendant cost advantages.

Consistent with their political leaning, they call for government to step in:

For quality affordable mass-produced housing to be built, we need to create different conditions for a mass market. A new legislative structure must clear away the obstacles presented by non-standard, municipally controlled building codes and create enforceable national standards for prefab-friendly, environmentally responsible manufacturing and construction practices.

The article is quite long, but worth reading.

Author: Sarah Williams Goldhagen
Publication: The New Republic
Length: 3,887 words
Date: February 18, 2009

Hat tips: Building Systems on February 21, 2009 and Apartment Therapy on February 26, 2009. The latter has an active comment thread, with a general consensus that price remains a major barrier.

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New weeHouse set in Oregon

Link to New weeHouse set in Oregon

info_smallAlchemy Architects recently shared pictures of a info_smallweeHouse being set in Oceanside, OR.

Interesting to note:

As the 17th weeHouse built in the US, it was the first to have two birth places. Due to unfortunate events with the first factory, production was moved...

Related Posts:
   1. Pictures of weeHouse settings in Colorado and New York (Aug 26, 2009)
   2. weeHouse in Continental Airlines magazine (Jun 16, 2009)
   3. weeHouse by Alchemy on display in WI; today and this weekend (May 22, 2009)
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Bensonwood's Unity House

Link to Bensonwood's Unity House

Tedd Benson of info_smallBensonwood recently shared a press release on his blog.

Unity House, the second home designed and constructed by Bensonwood Homes as part of the groundbreaking Open Prototype Initiative (OPI), has achieved LEED Platinum designation, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating for environmentally sustainable construction.

The house is "the new residence of the Unity College president Mitchell Thomashow and his wife, Cindy." They have a blog about the house.

Check out the many photos on the OPI website

Bensonwood now offers an entire info_smallUnity Collection:

Name Size BR Bath Stories
Unity1 994 sf 1 1 1
Unity2 1,937 sf 2 2 1
Unity3 1,985 sf 3 2 2
Unity4 1,725 sf 3 2 1

Related Posts:
   1. Builder Magazine highlights prefab houses (May 29, 2009)
   2. The OPEN Prototype Initiative (OPI) (Feb 26, 2009)
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