The world of prefab and modular homes.
  April 2009 Archive

Old Stone Highway House by Berg Design Architects

Link to Old Stone Highway House by Berg Design Architects

Apartment Therapy Re-Nest recently covered a house in East Hampton, NY built with SIPs.

size: 2,200 sf

The architect's site has more pictures and info:

Old Stone Highway house [was] conceived as a modern interpretation of the Long Island agricultural vernacular while also incorporating the use of environmentally low impact building technology.

Related Posts:
   1. So, what are SIPs anyway? (Mar 27, 2007)
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AIA Expo April 30 - May 2, 2009

Link to AIA Expo April 30 - May 2, 2009

The American Institute of Architects 2009 National Convention and Design Expo is taking place this week in San Francisco.

Their "Virtual Convention" is free:

Visit with more than 50 exhibiting companies in their virtual booths. View educational programs, chat with booth personnel, download brochures, and request the latest information on new products and services, all from your Internet-connected computer.

(We didn't see any prefab or modular companies listed, though several of the products may end up in prefab homes.)

Event info:

where: San Francisco, CA
location: The Moscone Center
date: April 30 - May 2, 2009
cost: $525 members, $875 non-members, free online access to exhibitors
notes: on-site registration is now open

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WSJ on the 2009 AIA housing awards

Link to WSJ on the 2009 AIA housing awards
Hester & Hardaway

The Wall Street Journal recently looked at 10 winners of residential design awards from the American Institute of Architects. 2 of them fit our "prefab and modular" focus.

From their slideshow:

Cinco Camp (pictured above) by info_smallRhotenberry Wellen Architects:

This house is made from five recycled shipping containers

Laidley Street Residence by info_smallZack/de Vito Architecture:

Most of the home's frame was fabricated elsewhere and assembled on-site, a process known as panelized construction

Read the article for more information, and see the slideshow for 10 of the 17 winners.

Subtitle: An eco-friendly house and a series of rusted Texas 'trailers' get AIA awards
Author: Christina S.N. Lewis
Publication: The Wall Street Journal
Section: Real Estate (W8)
Length: 812 words
Date: April 17, 2009

Hat tip: Arch Daily on April 20, 2009.

Neither source links to the original AIA press release that lists all 17 winners in 4 categories: One/Two Family Custom Housing, One/Two Family Production Housing, Multifamily Housing, Special Housing.

Related Posts:
   1. NYT: Cinco Camp in Texas (Aug 05, 2009)
   2. 2008 AIA Housing Awards (May 11, 2009)
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Palm Harbor Homes releases online video series

info_smallPalm Harbor Homes recently created a 17 chapter video series to discuss why and how they build manufactured and modular housing.

A (free) membership is required to view the entire Factory Tour, but the transcripts are available without signing up.

Hat tip: Building Systems on April 20, 2009.

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Prefab modular housing for the homeless

The Vancouver Sun recently featured an interesting proposal by architect George Henriquez (of info_smallHenriquez Partners Architects) and real estate consultant Michael Geller.

Vancouver city council is backing a proposal to provide 550 temporary housing units for the homeless, including prefabricated modular units

According to Geller:

capital costs would vary between $37,000 and $46,000 per unit, compared to $302,000 for permanent units already announced by the province

Read the article for more details.

Subtitle: Proposal for 550 units relies heavily on provincial funding that Victoria has yet to commit
Author: Doug Ward
Publication: The Vancouver Sun
Section: News
Length: 383 words
Date: April 8, 2009

Hat tip: PropertyProf Blog on April 16, 2009.

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New River Bank Barn renovation by Blackburn Architects

Link to New River Bank Barn renovation by Blackburn Architects

Inhabitat recently shared an interesting remodel by info_smallBlackburn Architects:

Original barn walls were used as the interior paneling, with a layer [of] SIPs for insulation and stability, plus an exterior layer of new board-and-batten for the cladding.

Check out the post for more pictures.

Hat tip: materialicious on April 17, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. So, what are SIPs anyway? (Mar 27, 2007)
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Modular public housing in Colorado

info_smallAll American Homes recently issued a press release to announce their pilot project with the Boulder County Housing Authority.

The goal:

... to create one, affordable, near zero energy duplex and one single family ranch ...[using] leading-edge technology and modular construction practices.


It is expected that the homes will be delivered to the Lafayette, Colorado site in late April 2009, and be ready for occupancy by the end of June.

Hat tip: Building Systems on April 10, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. Living Zero Home Tour (Jul 20, 2009)
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First re-Growth pod delivered

Link to First re-Growth pod delivered

The Herald Sun in Australia reports that the first re-Growth pod by info_small1:1 Architects has arrived on site.

They are available at a cost of $30,000, and can be built as single or multiple units and placed on almost any block in two weeks.

Read the entire article for more details.

Author: Norrie Ross
Publication: Herald Sun (Australia)
Section: News
Length: 294 words
Date: April 10, 2009

Hat tip: Arch Daily on April 12, 2009 and the re-Growth pod blog on April 8. Both include pictures.

Related Posts:
   1. re-Growth Pod by 1:1 Architects (Mar 11, 2009)
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LABhaus modern modular homes

Link to LABhaus modern modular homes

LABHaus offers modern modular homes that can be ordered and delivered within 120 days.

designer: info_smallLABhaus
manufacturer: info_smallSun Modular Systems (North East and Mid-Atlantic)
manufacturer: info_smallIndiana Building Systems (Midwest and South)

Model Price Size BR Bath

info_smallSlide $199,900-$224,400 1,464 sf 3 2.5
info_smallStretch $299,900-$324,900 2,243 sf 3 2.5
info_smallecoVilla $599,900-$649,900 4,551 sf 5 4.5

Check out 32 factory tour photos from Indiana Building Systems.

See additional thoughts at Jetson Green from April 12, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. LABhaus debuts ecoVilla line (Jul 16, 2009)
   2. iF22 by LABhaus (Jul 07, 2009)
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MKD custom home

Link to MKD custom home

On her blog, Michelle Kaufmann recently shared pictures of an info_smallMKD custom designed home in California.

The pictures show

the stunning mixture of the Cor-ten weathering steel [roof] ... and cedar plank siding

From MKD's site:

In addition to our current design offerings, we offer Custom Design services. We design unique solutions for unique sites. Our experience with off-site modular technology, sustainable materials, and smart design techniques allows us to craft beautiful, sustainable homes to suit individual tastes and varying landscapes.

Related Posts:
   1. AriaDenver Forum with Michelle Kaufmann on August 13, 2009 (Aug 07, 2009)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
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konyk's Hybrid House

Link to konyk's Hybrid House

Arch Daily recently highlighted an interesting Hybrid House by info_smallkonyk.

Modeled after the successful Prius Hybrid automobile by the Toyota Motor Company, HYBRID HOUSE is intended to be an electric house completely off the local utility grid.

The central volume is constructed of 12-1/4″ thick structural insulated panels... Not only are the SIP panels self-supporting, the lightweight pre-cut panels require little energy to transport, and are easily assembled with manual tools and labor at the job site. Fenestration and doorways are achieved by cutting holes through the structural insulated panels, and then capping with standard flashed operable skylight and storefront systems.

See the post for details, including several more pictures.

The comments are also interesting, e.g.

Part of being a good architect is not only creating innovative buildings but to also not disrupt the line of vision in a neighbourhood.

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The Quarters by Haven Custom Homes and Sanctuary Communities

Link to The Quarters by Haven Custom Homes and Sanctuary Communities

info_smallHaven Custom Homes recently issued a press release to announce completion of their first home at info_smallSanctuary Communities in North Carolina.

The home was delivered to the site ... nearly 80 percent complete.


The neighborhood is designed to reflect neighborhoods of America's past and be a walkable, mixed-use village when completed.

size: 2,113 sf
br: 3
bath: 3.5

Also available in 2009:

Model Size BR Bath

info_smallCowee Creek II 1,002 sf 1 2
info_smallCowee Creek I 1,496 sf 2 3
info_smallThe Windy Gap 1,343 sf 2 3
info_smallThe Cullowhee 1,879 sf 3 4
info_smallThe Redlands 2,598 sf 3 4

Hat tip: Building Systems Blog on March 24, 2009.

Read our earlier post for more details on the development, and the role of modular.

Related Posts:
   1. Whisper Creek Cabin by Haven Custom Homes (Jun 01, 2009)
   2. Sanctuary Village modular development (Nov 13, 2008)
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Live Edge kit houses

Link to Live Edge kit houses

info_smallLive Edge in West Oakland, CA has an interesting source of wood:

LE uses urban trees which are removed for many reasons: disease, storm damage, danger of falling, or to clear the way for a construction project. We regularly accept usable raw logs from local arborists and salvage some of these trees.

The company builds furniture and prefab houses.

The building process is based on an 8ft. modular plan...The kit is comprised of posts, beams, floor panels, wall panels, doors, roof and ceiling components. It is a finite set of parts which can be arranged in an infinite number of ways. Live Edge produces all the parts for a kit home in our shop, adapted to each design, to be assembled on site.

Check out their picture gallery.

Hat tips: Apartment Therapy on March 26, 2009 and Jetson Green on March 27, 2009.

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Stillwater Dwellings: mix and match

Link to Stillwater Dwellings: mix and match

info_smallStillwater Dwellings offers a cool "mix and match" approach with their interchangeable series:

It’s as easy as A-B-C: start with your favorite Living Module (A.). Add a Connector Module (B), then complete your design by attaching your desired Bedroom Module (C). Its as easy as that! Each module is designed with a universal connector location so they all fit together. You can arrange them in any A-B-C combination you want.

The company will complete its first home in June 2009 in Bend, Oregon. Some background from their site:

We founded Stillwater Dwellings on one primary principle: Quality, prefabricated homes do not need to be expensive.


All of our homes are built off-site, in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. These facilities are climate controlled, and use a consistent, high-caliber workforce of carpenters and tradesmen.


From first contact with us to final cleaning, your home can be "move in" ready in about 3-4 months

They also have a set of fixed models:

Model Price Size BR Bath Stories

info_smallminiONE $49,950-$89,000 370 sf studio 1 1
info_smallminiTWO $79,500-$117,000 585 sf 1 1 1

info_smallsd111 $113,100-$169,650 870 sf 1 1 1
info_smallsd112 $117,000-$175,500 900 sf 2 1 1
info_smallsd121 $130,000-$195,000 1,000 sf 2 1 1
info_smallsd122 $162,500-$243,750 1,250 sf 3 2 1
info_smallsd123 $199,950-$302,250 1,550 sf 3 2 1
info_smallsd131 $214,500-$321,750 1,650 sf 2 3 1
info_smallsd132 $260,000-$390,000 2,000 sf 3 3 1
info_smallsd133 $299,950-$441,750 2,325 sf 3 3 1

info_smallsd211 $253,500-$380,250 1,950 sf 3 3 2
info_smallsd212 $227,500-$332,500 1,750 sf 4 3 2
info_smallsd221 $344,500-$503,500 2,650 sf 3 3 2
info_smallsd222 $390,000-$570,000 2,990 sf 3 3 2
info_smallsd231 $383,000-$560,500 2,950 sf 3 3 2

Hat tip: Jetson Green on March 25, 2009.

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MKD multifamily in Denver

Link to MKD multifamily in Denver

Construction is about to begin on the Aria Denver project by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs.

From Ms. Kaufmann's blog:

The construction contract for Phase 1 of the Colorado-based multifamily community project we’ve designed, called ariaDenver, has officially been signed!


it embodies many of our core beliefs about community in terms of sustainable design, off-site construction techniques, and diversity.


Phase 1 includes 8 homes, and an additional 106 townhouse homes are planned for the following phases, with a mix of 2- and 3-stories, live/work, market rate and affordable green homes.

For other renderings, see her post dated October 16, 2008.

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: AriaDenver (Aug 21, 2009)
   2. AriaDenver Forum with Michelle Kaufmann on August 13, 2009 (Aug 07, 2009)
   3. AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann (Jul 03, 2009)
   4. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   5. mkLoft development in Denver (Nov 26, 2007)
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ModestHouse by Jeffrey McKean Architects

Link to ModestHouse by Jeffrey McKean Architects

The Alternative Consumer recently featured ModestHouse by info_smallJeffrey McKean Architects.

ModestHouse utilizes a system of pre-manufactured components such as structural insulated panels (SIPS) for the roof, walls and floor; and FSC certified timber for primary framing. Pre-fabricated building components are assembled on site to save time and materials.

See the post for a few more pictures.

We found model information on their site:

designer: Jeffrey McKean Architects
size: 850 sf
br: 2
bath: 1
price: starting at $250/sf

designer: Jeffrey McKean Architects
size: 2,130 sf
br: 3
bath: 2
price: starting at $250/sf

Watch their animated assembly video (1:17).

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New models from Ecohealth and Penn Lyon

Link to New models from Ecohealth and Penn Lyon

info_smallEcoHealth Homes, in conjunction with info_smallPenn Lyon Homes is now offering a collection of 5 new home models. Together, they won the 2008 National Modular Housing Council Concept Home Design Award.

Model details:

Model Size BR Bath

info_smallThe Chatham Hill 1,904 sf 3 2.5
info_smallThe Sierra 2,368 sf 3 2.5
info_smallThe Bungalow 2,610 sf 2 2.5
info_smallThe Tacoma 2,808 sf 3 2.5
info_smallThe Savanna 3,288 sf 3 - 4 2.5

View the floorplans:

Related Posts:
   1. Ecohealth in the news (Apr 06, 2009)
   2. The sustainability of modular housing (Feb 17, 2009)
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Ecohealth in the news

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette in Massachusetts recently featured Michelle A. Roberts, founder and creator of info_smallEcoHealth Homes.

Her opinion about modular homes:

“They are designed with detailed, engineered plans. And they are made in factories in a controlled environment where there are safe, happy workers,” Ms. Roberts said. “There are some gorgeous mansions that are modulars.”

Besides better quality, she said, modular offers fewer construction delays, a tighter building envelope and continuous inspection throughout manufacturing.

Read the entire article for more information about Ms. Roberts. Interesting note: she has been appointed to Governor Deval Patrick's Massachusetts Zero Net Energy Buildings Task Force.

Subtitle: Seeking health and safety in homes and furniture
Author: Karen Nugent
Publication: Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Section: News
Length: 640 words
Date: March 26, 2009

Related Posts:
   1. New models from Ecohealth and Penn Lyon (Apr 06, 2009)
   2. The sustainability of modular housing (Feb 17, 2009)
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Bercy Chen Studio's modular steel prefab

Link to Bercy Chen Studio's modular steel prefab

The Contemporist recently covered a two-family prefab in Austin, TX.

model: The Annie Residence

According to the architect's website:

The house is constructed of a modular steel frame. The frame is infilled with prefab thermasteel panels to minimize construction on-site waste. The structural frame is exposed, showing the construction process and articulating the house’s facades. The repetitive modular method, as well as the prefabrication allowed for greater efficiency during construction.

Check out:

  • pictures ... though the Contemporist post has a nice selection that loads faster
  • virtual tour
  • Chinese magazine article in Vision May 2007 (PDF)

We also found a video (2:00) showing some of the construction details.

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GreenPod Development

Link to GreenPod Development

We received an email a while back from info_smallGreenPod Development.

From their site:

GreenPods are compact custom modular homes built for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainability. From foundation to roof, inside and out, Pods can be individually customized and furnished to your specifications and individual living style.

They have a complete line of models called soloPODS:

Model Price Size BR Bath

info_smallLopez $60,000 372 sf 1 1
info_smallPort Townsend $85,000 420 sf 1 1
info_smallLummi $85,000 553 sf 1 1
info_smallBainbridge $85,000-$165,000 630 sf 1 1
info_smallMercer ? 648 sf 1 1
info_smallLudlow $95,000 731 sf 1 1
info_smallCamano $125,000 731 sf 1 1
info_smallLangley $150,000 731 sf 1 1
info_smallQuil ? 731 sf 1 1
info_smallWinslow Suspended ? 731 sf 1 1
info_smallOrcas $175,000 744 sf 1 1

Additional information:

Related Posts:
   1. GreenPod open house this weekend in Burlington, Washington (Dec 10, 2008)
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SIPA Annual Conference in Chicago: April 20-23, 2009

Link to SIPA Annual Conference in Chicago: April 20-23, 2009

The Structural Insulated Panel Association has a conference in April:

The SIPA Annual Meeting & Conference is the only industry-wide event for SIP professionals. Structural insulated panel manufacturers, builders, design professionals and suppliers of SIP components will convene in Chicago at this unique trade show and conference.


attendees can explore the latest marketing and technical developments in the SIP industry.

(We've covered several prefab and modular homes that use SIPs.)

where: Chicago, IL
location: Hilton Indian Lakes Resort
date: April 20-23, 2009
cost: $450 members; $650 non-members
notes: View the complete agenda. (PDF)

Hat tip: Building Systems on March 24, 2009.

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