The world of prefab and modular homes.
 Entries tagged as 'MKD'

In the news: Blu Homes acquires rights to Michelle Kaufmann's designs

Link to In the news: Blu Homes acquires rights to Michelle Kaufmann's designs
bluhomes.com

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Michelle Kaufmann has sold the building rights to several of her info_smallMK Designs homes to info_smallBlu Homes.

Designs include:

According to the article:

They have developed a proprietary unfolding modular technology that will enable cost savings to be made on Kaufmann designs at the shipping and on-site building stages. Elements that make up the homes such as wall panels are created with hinges so they can be compacted for transportation and unfolded on site. The MK Designs homes will have slightly different floor plans, proportions and elevations from the originals, although, Kaufmann said, the design principles should remain the same.

Blu Homes plans to market the homes nationwide.

Author: Tracey Taylor
Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
Section: Business
Length: 402 words
Date: September 30, 2009

Related Posts:
   1. Podcast features Marmol Radziner and Blu Homes (Aug 14, 2009)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   3. Blu Homes (Oct 28, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD article Blu Homes

West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009

Link to West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009
http://www.westcoastgreen.com/

West Coast Green 2009 will be returning to California in October.

At West Coast Green you’ll find over 300 exhibitors showcasing the latest in resource-efficiency among a stunning array of green and healthy building products. Over 100 experts and visionary leaders will be presenting their latest developments, insights, and inspiration at the expanding frontiers of the field. And over 14,000 attendees including the entire chain of professionals and decision-makers rarely reached by other conferences are expected.

Two things to note on the prefab front:

  • info_smallGreen Horizon Manufacturing will be showcasing their new info_smallSFH40 model.
  • Michelle Kaufmann of info_smallMKD will be running a session on Friday called "Housing 2.0: Re-thinking the Prefab Model"

where: San Francisco, CA
location: Fort Mason Center
date: October 1 - 3, 2009
cost: ranges from $45 for Tradeshow pass up to $895 for Full Conference
notes: Their registration page has more pricing info.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House (Oct 08, 2008)
   2. West Coast Green container Showhouse from SG Blocks (Aug 15, 2008)
   3. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   4. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
   5. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   6. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD conference West Coast Green event

In the news: AriaDenver

Link to In the news: AriaDenver
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

The Denver Post recently covered the Aria Denver project.

In addition to the new homes for the nuns, the company is developing about 17 acres it's buying from the sisters. The first phase of the project, which ultimately will include 270 residences, is expected to start construction by the end of the year.

...

They'll be priced from $250,000 to $500,000 and range in size from 960 square feet to 1,600 square feet.

Author: Margaret Jackson
Publication: The Denver Post
Section: Business
Length: 391 words
Date: August 13, 2009

Related Posts:
   1. AriaDenver Forum with Michelle Kaufmann on August 13, 2009 (Aug 07, 2009)
   2. AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann: modules en route (Jul 31, 2009)
   3. AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann (Jul 03, 2009)
   4. MKD multifamily in Denver (Apr 08, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD article Urban Ventures

AriaDenver Forum with Michelle Kaufmann on August 13, 2009

Link to AriaDenver Forum with Michelle Kaufmann on August 13, 2009
http://blog.michellekaufmann.com/

info_smallMichelle Kaufmann and the developers of AriaDenver will be participating in a forum next week in Denver, Colorado.

According to a recent post on Michelle Kaufmann's blog, they will

discuss sustainable design, building and living as well as modular construction and the Casa Chiara and AriaDenver projects.

speakers: Michelle Kaufmann and AriaDenver developers
where: Denver, CO
date: Thursday, August 13, 2009
time: 7:00 - 8:30pm
notes: Space is limited, contact pat@urbanventuresllc.com for info

Michelle noted:

There will also be a viewing of the [Casa Chiara] modules being set on site earlier that day from noon - 2pm

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: AriaDenver (Aug 21, 2009)
   2. AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann: modules en route (Jul 31, 2009)
   3. AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann (Jul 03, 2009)
   4. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   5. MKD custom home (Apr 15, 2009)
   6. MKD multifamily in Denver (Apr 08, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD event

AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann: modules en route

Link to AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann: modules en route
http://blog.michellekaufmann.com/

Michelle Kaufmann recently posted 3 pictures of the Casa Chiara modules en route to the AriaDenver site.

Last week, she posted 15 pictures of construction in the factory and site work.

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 (Apr 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD modular

AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann

Link to AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann
Kate Hilberg, Project Manager, Urban Ventures LLC

On her blog, Michelle Kaufmann shared pictures of a project designed by MKD prior to closing.

project: AriaDenver
model: Casa Chiara
manufacturer: info_smallUrban Ventures LLC

See the post for more pictures.

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: modules en route (Jul 31, 2009)
   4. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   5. MKD multifamily in Denver (Apr 08, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD modular multi-family Urban Ventures

Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing

Link to Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing
None

Yesterday, The LA times reported that info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs is closing.

Green prefab architecture firm Michelle Kaufmann Designs is calling it quits, a victim of the credit crisis and broader woes in the economy. In a letter sent over Memorial Day weekend, Kaufmann told clients the firm would close by the end of this week. She confirmed the news in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

...

Kaufmann sold the factory last year and in November trimmed the size of her Oakland office to 17. She thought those moves would help see the firm through the recession. But two factories MKD worked with have gone out of business since then, and clients and potential clients have found it almost impossible to get financing.

"Being a small company without significant reserves, that was more head wind than we could bear," she said.

According to the article, she will continue working as a consultant. We wish her luck in her future endeavors.

There's more details in the article, and we expect additional discussion across the industry.

Author: Christopher Hawthorne
Publication: Los Angeles Times
Section: Arts
Length: 698 words
Date: May 26, 2009

Hat tip: Jetson Green on May 26, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: Blu Homes acquires rights to Michelle Kaufmann's designs (Sep 30, 2009)
   2. AriaDenver Forum with Michelle Kaufmann on August 13, 2009 (Aug 07, 2009)
   3. AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann (Jul 03, 2009)
   4. MKD custom home (Apr 15, 2009)
   5. MKD multifamily in Denver (Apr 08, 2009)
   6. Prefab Green from Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Feb 25, 2009)
   7. MKD Smart Home to reopen March 19 (Feb 23, 2009)
   8. Michelle Kaufmann: there's a bright side to the current housing market troubles (Jan 09, 2009)
   9. Michelle Kaufmann Designs named top firm by Residential Architect magazine (Dec 15, 2008)
   10. Michelle Kaufmann interview at Green by Design (Dec 02, 2008)
   11. MKD proposes green "nutrition labels," France already has a good start (Oct 14, 2008)
   12. Watch the assembly of Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire (Oct 02, 2008)
   13. Michelle Kaufmann Designs completes 30 homes (Sep 23, 2008)
   14. Chicago Tribune on Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire (Aug 12, 2008)
   15. Tour an MKD home in Santa Barbara, June 14 (Jun 12, 2008)
   16. This week: MKD videos, prefab rental, and more (Apr 27, 2008)
   17. The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Nov 13, 2007)
   18. Michelle Kaufmann in Sierra Magazine (Jul 16, 2007)
   19. This week: LV Series, refrigerator panels, and Michelle Kaufmann (Jun 30, 2007)
   20. MKD Google mash-up (Jun 04, 2007)
   21. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD

MKD custom home

Link to MKD custom home
http://blog.michellekaufmann.com

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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD modular

MKD multifamily in Denver

Link to MKD multifamily in Denver
http://www.mkd-arc.com/

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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD modular Colorado

Prefab Green from Michelle Kaufmann Designs

Link to Prefab Green from Michelle Kaufmann Designs
http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/1423604970/

info_smallMichelle Kaufmann just released a new book called "Prefab Green".

The book explains how MKD blends sustainable home layouts, eco-friendly materials, and low-energy options to create a “prepackaged” green solution to home design.

Listed at $30.00, the book is on sale at Amazon for $19.80.

See also: our page of prefab books.

author: Michelle Kaufmann and Cathy Remick
release date: February 15, 2009
list price: $30
details: 176 pages, Hardcover
publisher: Gibbs Smith

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD book

MKD Smart Home to reopen March 19

In the mail from info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs: If you were unable to see their info_smallmkSolaire on display, you now have a second chance.

We are so deeply pleased that the Museum of Science and Industry has decided to extend the Smart Home exhibit’s run through January 2010! Having closed on January 4th, the exhibit will reopen its doors on March 19th, ready to share even more new ways, big and small, that people can lead eco-friendly lives.

where: Chicago, IL
date: March 19, 2009 - January 2010
price: $10, in addition to $13 museum general admission
note: visiting the home requires a special ticket with a timed reservation; plenty of times are available

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (Jun 02, 2008)
   3. mkSolaire to be featured in Chicago museum exhibit (Jan 18, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours MKD museum exhibition event

The sustainability of modular housing

The New York Times recently discussed the sustainability of modular housing.

The modular housing industry likes to say that it has always had a few characteristics that today might be considered eco-friendly — from reduced waste to a smaller construction footprint.

But it’s only recently — and increasingly amid the flagging housing market — that manufacturers of factory-built homes have realized that concepts like efficiency and sustainability can make for good business strategy.

Mentioned in the article:

Read the entire article.

Author: Nick Chambers
Publication: New York Times
Section: Green Inc. Blog ("Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line")
Length: 467 words
Date: February 11, 2009

(Hat tip: Charles Bevier of Building Systems on February 11, 2009.)

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: New World Home (Aug 31, 2009)
   2. New Old Green Modular™ by New World Home (Jul 10, 2009)
   3. New models from Ecohealth and Penn Lyon (Apr 06, 2009)
   4. Ecohealth in the news (Apr 06, 2009)
   5. Modular Construction in Green Building seminar on March 19, 2009 (Mar 16, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes green MKD modular Penn Lyon Homes Ecohealth Homes New World Home

Photos of a Sunset Breezehouse being set in California

Link to Photos of a Sunset Breezehouse being set in California
http://blog.michellekaufmann.com/?p=1874

info_smallMichelle Kaufmann shared a series of 8 pictures of a info_smallSunset Breezehouse being set last weekend in the Central Valley of Northern California.

(It looks much warmer there compared to here in New England!)

available: Yes!
price: $499,000-$548,900
size: 1996 sf
BR: 3
baths: 2

Related Posts:
   1. Sunset Magazine features LVM by Rocio Romero (Jul 22, 2009)
   2. Sunset Modern Cottage on display June 12 - July 19, 2009 (Jun 10, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD Sunset Breezehouse

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) , Tags: MKD audio

Michelle Kaufmann Designs named top firm by Residential Architect magazine

The info_smallMKD blog reports:

Michelle Kaufmann Designs is receiving the 2008 TOP FIRM Award from residential architect magazine, so I am here to accept the award on the company’s behalf. It is quite an honor...

More from residential architect:

In the five years since she started her firm ... Kaufmann has made remarkable progress in achieving this mission. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (MKD) has built 33 green, modular homes to date, mostly on the West Coast.... Thirty employees buzz busily around the firm's Oakland, Calif., headquarters, which possesses the same design sensibilities as its houses: clean lines; simple, yet high-quality materials; and an overall sense of calm and order.

Since 2006, the firm has built many projects in its own factory, mkConstructs, in Lakewood, Wash.... "Now we're taking what we've learned in all the construction phases and applying that to our designs," says Paul Warner, AIA, a principal at MKD.

Read the full article for details.

Author: Meghan Drueding
Publication: Residential Architect magazine
Length: 625 words
Date: November 1, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD article

Michelle Kaufmann interview at Green by Design

Link to Michelle Kaufmann interview at Green by Design
greenbydesign.com

Martha Denly of Green by Design was impressed by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann's white paper on "nutrition labels for homes". She had a few questions which Michelle Kaufmann was kind enough to answer.

Of particular interest to Prefabcosm readers:

Martha Denly:

I’d like to challenge the commonly held belief that the initial cost of a green home is always higher. It [may] be safe to assume there’s an average premium for green (you use $1-$2/sq. ft.), but is a premium necessarily the case? Have you seen any examples of green homes that were equivalent in upfront cost?

Michelle Kaufmann:

...I think it’s time that green builders take a (smart!) page out of the cookie-cutter suburban developer’s handbook and start incorporating some of that tried-and-true streamlining into their own practice. Of course, green builders need to take a more sustainable approach, but being able to mass-produce green homes will go farther than anything else to get rid of the green premium.

That’s exactly why we use prefabricated modular construction to produce our homes. It not only allows for reduced costs, but also reduces timeframes and construction waste (as much as 50 to 75 percent less than with conventional homes). It’s helping us to get closer to achieving our mission of making thoughtful, sustainable design accessible to all.

Read the entire post for the full Q&A.

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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD

Good Morning America visits the mkSolaire

Link to Good Morning America visits the mkSolaire
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/SmartHome/popup?id=6074047

Good Morning America's weather anchor, Sam Champion, recently reported from the Smart Home: Green and Wired exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Check out their video and pictures. Though not mentioned there, the Smart Home is the info_smallmkSolaire by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs.

The exhibit runs through January 4, 2009. (See our earlier post for more info.)

Related Posts:
   1. MSNBC visits the mkSolaire (video) (Aug 13, 2008)
   2. mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (Jun 02, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD video mkSolaire

The mkHearth

Link to The mkHearth
mkd-arc.com

info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs recently sent us an email announcing the launch of their latest home design, the info_smallmkHearth.

Inspired by the natural beauty found in rural structures in the american landscapes, the mkHearth™ home is a sustainable approach to the modern farmhouse. With flowing spaces that organically open to one another, the mkHearth™ home revolves around the center hearth space, a fireplace/cabinetry that circulates up the 3 stories.

model: info_smallmkHearth
size: 2,820 sf
beds: 4 + loft
price: $789,500
price/sf: $279
notes: Prices equal total estimated hard and soft costs.

Links:

Recent coverage:

Preston at Jetson Green loves it.

Stephanie at Apartment Therapy Re-Nest says:

Kaufmann's signature touches are evident in the clean, modern lines, and the way each room seamlessly flows into the next.

The one thing we always love about each of Kaufmann's designs is that they look like the perfect place to throw a party. The kitchen always opens to the dining room, to the living room, to outdoor space. The mkHearth is no exception.

Bridgette Steffen covered the house for Inhabitat's Prefab Friday:

We always love seeing hot designers come out with their next hit– and Michelle Kaufmann’s new mkHearth is likely to be the new hot prefab design.

Related Posts:
   1. The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Nov 13, 2007)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model MKD

Prefab seminar in Marin County, California

A real estate agent and a mortgage broker are co-hosting a seminar on modernist prefab next month in the San Francisco Bay Area:

This unique engagement will bring together leading professionals and experts in the field of building, design, real estate, and finance. Anyone who is contemplating the possibility of building a modernist prefab or custom home in Marin County should try to attend this event. Attendance is extremely limited and attendees will be selected on a first registered, first accepted basis.

speaker: Justin Brown of info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs
speaker: Renee Adelmann of info_smallMarin Modern Real Estate
speaker: Brian Stewart of JCF Advisors / All California Mortgage
where: San Rafael, CA
date: November 6, 2008
time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm (reception at 6:30pm)
cost: Free!
notes: You must register via their website. Confirmed attendees will receive exact location details.

(Hat tip: Live Modern)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD California seminar

MKD proposes green "nutrition labels," France already has a good start

Link to MKD proposes green
michellekaufmann.com

Last week, info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs released a white paper on "nutrition labels for homes":

Green homes are in demand. Buying a green home, however, can be a mystifying, exasperating process. With all the various green home labels and certifications available, buyers want for a way to compare the sustainability of one for-sale home to another. Applying a universal sustainability label to homes, just as we apply nutrition labels to food, would answer this need and further encourage the growth of the green housing market...

By coincidence, we just read an article in Green Building Elements that suggests France already has a good start. The article covers the EvolutiV house by designer info_smallOlgga Architectes:

The media in France AND the architecture firm who designed the house feel compelled to advertise efficiency in terms of a single number that is easy to understand and can be used to compare this home to others one might choose. I’ve rarely if ever seen that in discussion of US prefab options (or other green homes) - outside of a LEED rating, we’re often left to guess exactly how eco-friendly that home is. We’d love to see this become more widespread in the US - information is power, and simple, objective numbers like this can help us separate the truly eco-friendly from innovative designs that are green in name (or advertising) only.

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann: there's a bright side to the current housing market troubles (Jan 09, 2009)
   3. Michelle Kaufmann interview at Green by Design (Dec 02, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD

Watch the assembly of Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire

MKD has added the above video to their Web site. It shows the assembly of their mkSolaire at the museum in Chicago. Fun to watch.

There are plenty more where that came from.

length: 1:20

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. mkSolaire to be featured in Chicago museum exhibit (Jan 18, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD video mkSolaire museum exhibition

Michelle Kaufmann Designs completes 30 homes

From a recent press release:

Michelle Kaufmann ... completes 30 homes, sees business triple over past year.

This seems noteworthy, especially considering the current state of the US housing market. Congratulations to info_smallMKD!

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD

Conscious Choice looks at the prefab market

Link to Conscious Choice looks at the prefab market
http://www.consciouschoice.com/

This month's Conscious Choice, "an enlightened urban lifestyle magazine," examines Prefab 2.0 in a recent article:

Judging by magazines, museums and word of mouth, you might think we were in a prefab housing Golden Age.

You’d be wrong — but not by much. Yes, prefab housing is getting more attention than it has for decades. And yes, beautiful prefab homes are on display at museums and design exhibitions. But just because they’ve built them doesn’t mean homeowners are coming in droves. Instead, only about 100 homeowners live in prefab homes in the U.S....

(One quibble: the estimate of 100 is only true based on a narrow definition, e.g. modernist prefab built in the last few years. We take a much broader view of prefab.)

The article included several profiles from around the US:

Chicago, Illinois

Prefab is an interesting idea and like any good academic, Chris Conley wanted to put the theory to a test. So when he and his family set out to build a weekend home in Libertyville, they decided to be their own guinea pigs.

Designer: the homeowner, Chris Conley

Venice, California

The one-story house has turned out to be the home of their dreams. The house came out on time and on budget.

Designer: Jennifer Siegal of info_smallOffice of Mobile Design

Seattle, Washington

He was so convinced prefab was the future that he and his partner Bill Shepherd bought some land on Whidbey Island to try one out.

But if his experience is any example, prefab may not yet be ready for prime time.

Designer: info_smallRocio Romero

New York, New York

Logistically, they were hoping that building the house in the factory would save time and money. But it didn’t quite work out that way, says Morrow. Getting the permits and doing the finish work, like building a screened-in porch and attaching the four modules to one another, took the same amount of time as any other house.

Designer: info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture

San Francisco, California

"We wanted high-quality and enduring style," says [homeowner] Haney. "What we weren't prepared for was the quality of the house. I have built several houses and this is by far the best quality home I've ever lived in. It's fabulous. When you build on-site, there's little quality control. The individual contractors are all supposed to do their jobs, but the overall aesthetic is almost left to chance. In a factory, you have quality control at every step."

Designer: info_smallMichelle Kaufmann

Read the full article for additional details.

title: Prefab 2.0
subtitle: Is prefab housing ready for primetime?
publication: Conscious Choice
author: Heather Boerner
length: 1,500 words
publication date: September 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: OMD MKD article Resolution 4: Architecture Rocio Romero

Modular Homes according to the Christian Science Monitor

Link to Modular Homes according to the Christian Science Monitor
http://features.csmonitor.com/environment/2008/08/13/factory-built-homes-may-be-greener/

The Christian Science Monitor took a look at modular homes last week, focusing on the green qualities:

This summer, two exhibitions of modular houses – at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – are putting a spotlight on how off-site building techniques can shrink the carbon footprint of a new house.

The article cites a number of reasons why building in the factory is a good idea:

  • finish construction usually takes a few weeks, not months, saving energy by requiring fewer trips to the job site by construction workers
  • by building indoors, workers can also more easily make sure that energy-saving features like insulation are carefully and properly installed for maximum effectiveness
  • individual home-building companies may not have the resources to keep current on the latest "high-performance building" techniques ... but modular homes can have state-of-the-art environmental design built into them at the factory

The companies mentioned in the article:

Read the complete article for details.

subtitle: Modular houses are built to higher standards and with less waste, proponents say
publication: The Christian Science Monitor
author: Gregory M. Lamb
length: 1,100 words
publication date: August 13, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD article KieranTimberlake modular

West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27

Link to West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27

This year's West Coast Green building conference and expo comes to San Jose, California at the end of September:

You’ll find over 380 exhibitors showcasing the latest in resource-efficiency among a stunning array of green and healthy building products. Over 100 experts and visionary leaders will be presenting their latest developments, insights, and inspiration at the expanding frontiers of the field.

While there aren't many prefab-specific agenda items worth noting, the conference's educational agenda includes a presentation by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann on "The Art of Mass Customization".

The long list of presenters includes Allison Arieff, former editor of Dwell magazine, and even Al Gore.

The show features a Showhouse built of containers; we'll cover that tomorrow.

where: San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA
when: September 25-27, 2008
registration: $20 ($30 at the door) for Homeowner Day, September 27. $375/day before July 31, $400/day at the door for full conference access.
features: SG Blocks™ Showhouse; speakers Al Gore, Allison Arieff (former editor of Dwell magazine), info_smallMichelle Kaufmann

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House (Oct 08, 2008)
   3. Allison Arieff in LA Times (Mar 18, 2008)
   4. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD conference West Coast Green

MSNBC visits the mkSolaire (video)

MSNBC's Virtual Lifestyles visited the info_smallmkSolaire in Chicago and filed the above video report. Look for:

  • explanations of the home's green features
  • an interview with Michelle Kaufmann
  • a quick montage of the home's assembly
  • various views inside and out
  • a talking plant!

The price mentioned for the home: $450,000.

publication: MSNBC
author: Anne Thompson
length: 3:08
publication date: May 29, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Good Morning America visits the mkSolaire (Nov 05, 2008)
   2. mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (Jun 02, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD mkSolaire

Chicago Tribune on Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire

Link to Chicago Tribune on Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire
mkd-arc.com

The Chicago Tribune visited info_smallMichelle Kaufmann's info_smallmkSolaire exhibit last week:

everything in and about the 2,500-square-foot home on exhibit just outside of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has been designed to show the public how easy it can be to incorporate environmental sustainability into their own abodes.

Michelle Kaufmann commented on her hopes for the exhibit:

"We tried to look for ideas in every choice that we make in our homes ... hoping that everyone who goes through it will be inspired to make some change on some level.... Some people will walk away and want to do an entire new home, or some people will think when they go for their towels next and go for organic linens."

Some of the many features of the home:

  • half the energy of traditional homes
  • a third of the water of traditional homes
  • water from the bathroom sink is diverted to the toilet
  • a bicycle in the children's bedroom must be pedaled for 30 minutes to charge a battery to power video games

Interesting:

Visitors receive a resource guide that tells about the function of each feature, how they're assembled and where they can be purchased.

subtitle: Exhibit shows saving energy within reach
publication: The Chicago Tribune
author: Caryn Rousseau
length: 500 words
publication date: August 8, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (Jun 02, 2008)
   3. mkSolaire to be featured in Chicago museum exhibit (Jan 18, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD mkSolaire

Tour an MKD home in Santa Barbara, June 14

Link to Tour an MKD home in Santa Barbara, June 14
blog.michellekaufmann.com

A info_smallSunset™ BreezeHouse® designed by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs will be open for tours this weekend. From an MKD email:

Beginning at 10am on Saturday, June 14th, a custom Sunset® Breezehouse™ will be open to the public thanks to the Built Green Santa Barbara Expo, Conference & Tour being held that weekend. We built this custom Sunset® Breezehouse™ for an artist couple and their children so it not only reflects their family’s commitment to sustainable living but also their unique personalities and talents.

Some details about the home from the tour page:

The Santa Barbara Breezehouse is unique in its construction. The units flanking the BreezeSpace were built at a factory in Tacoma, Washington – including the framing, insulation, electrical, flooring, tiles, walls and plumbing components – then transported to Santa Barbara on flatbed trucks and craned into place on the foundation. This process reduced the amount of on-site waste generated and the total construction time for the project. Site work was done by local green builders Allen Associates.

(For reference: Allen Associates)

Also worth attending:

The evening prior to that, June 13th at 6pm, I will be delivering a keynote address at the Built Green conference and would love to have you there for that, as well!

Most importantly, both the tour and the conference are free.

The MKD blog shares more details, including images (like the one of the moveable aluminum shutters above).

Well worth a visit!

where: Santa Barbara, CA
date: June 14, 2008
time: 10am - 4pm
cost: free!

Related Posts:
   1. Sunset Modern Cottage on display June 12 - July 19, 2009 (Jun 10, 2009)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours MKD Sunset Breezehouse

Dwell on Design 2008 recap

Link to Dwell on Design 2008 recap
dwell.com

We weren't able to attend this year's Dwell on Design show in LA, so we'll just do a recap from afar.

Dwell's student blogger Jose Garcia interviewed Michelle Kaufmann.

Curbed LA gave a rundown of the prefab neighborhood with a slideshow and commentary.

Marmol Radziner shared some details on their blog. They rolled out the new Rincon 5 at the show:

The 660 square foot Rincon 5 is the largest of our new series of single module accessory buildings. The Rincon 5 is designed to be used as a guest house, office, or vacation retreat.

Apartment Therapy posted their thoughts, with a slideshow.

One of the most popular (and cramped) exhibits was the 1000 sq. ft. HOM shotgun style pre-fab house. Personally our favourite of the homes showcased.

We'll cover HOM in more detail soon. Until then, Jetson Green provided some info:

Of the three models that HOM plans for production, the (smaller) 1000 sf design was exhibited throughout the weekend in LA. HOM designs cost in the $200 psf range, which calculates to approximately $200,000 for a 1000 sf house....

One interesting aspect of these manufactured homes is that they're characterized under the federal HUD code for manufactured housing. Similar to the modern designs we see with miniHome, HOM homes have an axle and wheels that are disguised by skirting and decking.

(For reference: our info_smallminiHome page.)

This year's prefab exhibitors:

Absent from the show, but present last year:

If you visited the show, please leave your impressions in a comment!

Related Posts:
   1. Dwell on Design 2009 at the end of June (Jun 19, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE (May 23, 2008)
   3. Dwell on Design recap (Sep 24, 2007)
   4. Dwell on Design preview (Sep 12, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Marmol Radziner Dwell on Design Modern Cabana Hive Modular tours Dwell MKD pieceHomes conference kitHAUS Empyrean

mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

Link to mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry
http://msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/smart-home/

We previously provided an overview of info_smallMKD's info_smallmkSolaire being installed at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. We also shared a video of the construction.

A couple weeks back, the home opened to the public. We haven't had the chance to visit, but many around the blogosphere have.

Dwell visited on May 8th and reports:

It was a gray and rainy day in Chicago yesterday, but ... Michelle Kaufmann's newest prefab was still producing more energy than it used.

The mkSolaire marks Kaufmann's entry into urban neighborhoods. Designed to fit into a standard 25 ft. wide city lot, the home is seven modules – five for 2500 square foot home and two for the garage, which is designed for flexible future use such as conversion to a guest house when the car is abandoned for good.

Jetson Green visited, along with the folks at PrairieMod, May 9th:

There are a couple of wonderful things about what this exhibit is doing. For example, it is making this approach to design completely accessible to the typical citizen in a relevant manner. It isn't just the stuff of highbrow design and shelter magazines. The Smart Home is absolutely real and is made for real people. It honestly inspires folks to see what can be accomplished with a thoughtful plan and current technology. Another exciting aspect is the fact that a prefab home can be built in the Midwest.

Also featured: an interview they recorded with Michelle Kaufmann.

Kaufmann's hometown newspaper, the Quad-City Times, reported on the home and filled in some details:

Admission to the house is $10, an extra fee for an exhibit celebrating the museum’s 75th anniversary and the 1933-34 "Century of Progress" Chicago World’s Fair.

The idea for the exhibit came about during a brainstorming session as museum staff members considered an attraction from 75 years ago called "Homes of Tomorrow."

"We thought how amazing would it be to build a fully functioning home on the museum property that honors the past but is forward-looking with green and smart technologies," said Anne Rashford, director of temporary exhibits.

Once the idea was set, it didn’t take long to find Kaufmann, 39.

Exhibit details and images are available on the Museum of Science and Industry site.

where: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL
when: through January 4, 2009
details: visiting the home requires a special ticket with a timed reservation; plenty of times are available
price: $10, in addition to $13 museum general admission

Related Posts:
   1. MKD Smart Home to reopen March 19 (Feb 23, 2009)
   2. Good Morning America visits the mkSolaire (Nov 05, 2008)
   3. MSNBC visits the mkSolaire (video) (Aug 13, 2008)
   4. Chicago Tribune on Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire (Aug 12, 2008)
   5. This week: kitHAUS, mkSolaire, containers and more (Apr 05, 2008)
   6. mkSolaire to be featured in Chicago museum exhibit (Jan 18, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD mkSolaire museum exhibition

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
http://www.dwell.com/peopleplaces/conferences/14292127.html

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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Marmol Radziner Modern Cabana Hive Modular tours MKD pieceHomes conference kitHAUS Empyrean

This week: Joshua Tree, EvolutiV, mkSolaire debuts and more

Link to This week: Joshua Tree, EvolutiV, mkSolaire debuts and more
www.hangarprefab.com

materialicio.us 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...

materialicio.us 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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD This Week mkSolaire France Sweden

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

Link to This week: Milan, German prefab, Marmol Radziner and more
http://www.dwell.com/daily/blog/18148519.html

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

Contemporist covered the Huf Haus, a kit company in Germany:

...you 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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD Marmol Radziner This Week Germany Jenesys Buildings

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.

materialicio.us 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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD Hive Modular Sander Architects This Week Sweden

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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: kitHAUS small MKD KieranTimberlake This Week mkSolaire

mkSolaire to be featured in Chicago museum exhibit

Link to mkSolaire to be featured in Chicago museum exhibit

The Michelle Kaufmann blog announces:

...we have been working very hard for the past few months to get to this point and are now finally ready and delighted to announce that MKD is going to be a part of the “Smart Home: Green + Wired, Powered by ComEd and Warmed by Peoples Gas” exhibit at MSI that’s opening this spring! The exhibit is going to include a full-size mkSolaire™ home to be built in on parkland on the southeast side of the Museum and will showcase the very best in sustainable living concepts and solutions.

A bit more from the museum exhibit page:

During its 75th Anniversary year, the Museum of Science and Industry will be building a functioning, three-story modular and sustainable “green” home ... to highlight unique home technologies for the 21st century.

The Greater Fort Wayne [Illinois] Business Weekly quotes Art Breitenstein of the home's builder, All American Homes:

The home’s module construction will be under way for two or three more weeks on one of the All American assembly lines in Decatur....

“This is a special house, a very high-priced house; it has the best of the best. ... there’s a lot of new technology in there that’s one-of-a-kind that if it becomes accepted by consumers, like anything else, the price comes down of course.”

Jetson Green says:

I can't wait to see more!

where: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL
when: May 8, 2008 - January 4, 2009

Related Posts:
   1. MKD Smart Home to reopen March 19 (Feb 23, 2009)
   2. Watch the assembly of Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire (Oct 02, 2008)
   3. Chicago Tribune on Michelle Kaufmann's mkSolaire (Aug 12, 2008)
   4. mkSolaire on display through January 4th at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (Jun 02, 2008)
   5. This week: Joshua Tree, EvolutiV, mkSolaire debuts and more (May 10, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green tours MKD process museum exhibition

This week: weeHouse, Australia and plenty of gingerbread

Link to This week: weeHouse, Australia and plenty of gingerbread

Banks.com loves info_smallweeHouses and the new weeHouse site:

I like weeHouses for three reasons:

  1. They look cool, and what’s not to love about that boxy Frank Lloyd Wright style?

  2. They are eco-friendly....

  3. These houses are smaller and more streamlined, yet still appear functional....

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday covered an Australian prefab home, called The Mod House from Prebuilt. We'll look at that company in more detail soon.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday got excited about a gingerbread version of the info_smallmkLotus:

The only thing better than beautifully designed green prefab is edible green prefab! One of our favorite green architects Michelle Kauffman, in honor of the holiday season, has designed a yummy version of her awesome zero energy mkLotus, made entirely from gingerbread cookies...

Treehugger, Curbed San Francisco, and re-nest also enjoyed the holiday version of prefab.

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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse green MKD Alchemy Architects This Week mkLotus

mkLoft development in Denver

Link to mkLoft development in Denver
mkd-arc.com

Michelle Kaufmann's info_smallmkLoft will be used in a new development in Denver. From the Rocky Mountain News:

Denver developers Susan Powers and Chuck Perry are teaming with Kaufmann to put 40 factory-built town houses on 21 acres near Regis University at West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard. The 1,100- to 1,500-square-foot town houses will be built at the All American Homes factory in Milliken, in Weld County, and trucked 60 miles, in sections, to the Denver site for assembly.

That they're modular won't be apparent, as factory-built houses don't necessarily have the mass- produced, cookie-cutter look they did 30 years ago.

Read more about the plans in the full article.

Author: Mary Winter
Publication: Rocky Mountain News
Length: 625 words
Date: October 27, 2007

Related Posts:
   1. MKD multifamily in Denver (Apr 08, 2009)
   2. Prefab apartments to make downtown Seattle affordable? (Jun 25, 2008)
   3. Colorado modular on a budget (May 30, 2008)
   4. The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Nov 13, 2007)
   5. This week: Bombala, weeHouse in LA, and more (Nov 10, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green MKD article development mkLoft

The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs

Link to The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs
mkd-arc.com

info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs is one of the hottest companies in the modernist prefab world today. Right on the heels of the info_smallmkLotus comes the announcement of the info_smallmkLoft:

This spacious 2-story, 2-bedroom + loft features a double-high ceiling in the living room, creating an open, harmonious environment for reflection and creativity.

mkLoft™ is the perfect design for urban dwelling, whether you are looking to build your primary residence or live/work solution, a duplex, or a healthy community, this home can be designed in 2- or 3-story configurations to suit your needs....

mkLoft™ is also ideal in a multifamily development layout.

The Good Human was impressed:

She has done it again - come out with another stunning example of what a modern prefab can be.

Inhabitat noted the low price of the homes:

Depending on volume and finishes, the typical mkLoft ranges from $130 to $140/sf. This does not include the cost of land nor the permit approval process.

model: info_smallmkLoft
style: modern
price: ~$500,000 (~$135/sf)
size: ~4,000sf
bedrooms: 2 - 3
bathrooms: 2 - 3
how: modules

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. The mkHearth (Oct 27, 2008)
   3. mkLoft development in Denver (Nov 26, 2007)
   4. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
   5. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green MKD development mkLoft

This week: Bombala, weeHouse in LA, and more

Link to This week: Bombala, weeHouse in LA, and more
modern-modular.com

CubeMe discussed the Bombala house, an offering from Modern Modular.

Curbed LA wrote about the first info_smallweeHouse in Los Angeles:

...a three-unit weeHouse (yes, that's how it's spelled) development for Valevista Trail. A family is planning to build the development, which is currently in the permit phase, and sell the homes...

Spanish-language blog Cien Ladrillos wrote a long post about prefabs in Spain.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday and The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday both covered the info_smallmkLoft from info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs. We'll discuss that in more detail soon.

Jetson Green looked at a new container project in Panama City, Panama.

I happened upon a new blog called Prefab Dweller, which looks to cover "modern prefab housing, modern architecture, and green housing." Recent posts include one about info_smallAlchemy Architects' info_smallweeHouse.

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. mkLoft development in Denver (Nov 26, 2007)
   4. Itsy Bitsy weeHouse (Mar 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse MKD containers Alchemy Architects Los Angeles This Week mkLoft

This week: Jeriko House, Drop House, and more

Link to This week: Jeriko House, Drop House, and more
thegoodhuman.com

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday discovered new designs from Gregory La Vardera, many of which are offered by info_smallEcoSteel:

"I would love to have one of these as a year-round home! A true prefab it is not, because the houses are built on-site, but I still love the idea of a ready-made 'custom designed' home plan..."

Last week, The Good Human covered the Jeriko House.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday filed a video report about the info_smallmkLotus.

Last week, Inhabitat discussed the Drop House prototype.

A handful of blogs wrote about the Napa Rocio Romero Prefab, including architecture.MNP and Jetson Green.

Related Posts:
   1. From New Orleans: the Jeriko House (Feb 18, 2008)
   2. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours MKD EcoSteel Rocio Romero This Week mkLotus

CNET visits the mkLotus

Link to CNET visits the mkLotus
cnet.com

Last week CNET released a video report from the mkLotus (3:13). This follows last month's visit to the XtremeHomes factory.

The video features some interior views of the house and an interview with Rebecca Woelke, who's in charge of PR for info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs.

Author: Michael Kanellos
Publication: CNET News
Length: 3:13
Date: October 2, 2007

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
   2. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   3. CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory (Sep 07, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LEED green MKD video West Coast Green XtremeHomes mkLotus

West Coast Green round-up

Other coverage of West Coast Green around the web:

The Contra Costa Times filed a report about the show.

The Las Vegas Wash gave an overview of coverage.

EcoGeek discussed the features of the info_smallmkLotus.

Home by sunset shared more photos of the mkLotus.

The Marin Independent Journal wrote about info_smallMichelle Kaufmann.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   3. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
   4. West Coast Green: Sheri Koones (Sep 28, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green: Altamont Homes and understanding the process (Sep 27, 2007)
   6. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: MKD West Coast Green mkLotus

West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house

Link to West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house
© copyright 2007 Peter Bernheim

By far the most popular and exciting prefab presence at West Coast Green was info_smallMichelle Kaufmann and the info_smallmkLotus showhouse.

The show house was set right in front of San Francisco City Hall, out in the open for all to see. And see it people did. Visitors lined up to tour the home and looked to be waiting upwards of half an hour on Saturday's Homeowner Day (due to the home's size, the show staff were limiting the number of people in at any one time).

While the home was small, around 700 sf, it felt plenty roomy. The home featured a window wall system from NanaWall that opens accordion-style to create a near seamless indoor/outdoor room. The bathroom was luxurious for such a small home. And the ample outdoor living space (decks, patios, courtyards) was a welcome addition.

Some of the features and details that I saw as I toured the house:
• angled walls to make spaces feel larger
• translucent doors to divide spaces but not block all light
• high ceilings
• tons of glass
• control system for house lighting and temperature
• plants on the roof (a "living roof") help to limit rain runoff and provide natural insulation
• quality materials
• built in iPod audio system

All of these add-ons and options push the home out of many folks' price range though. For instance, the NanaWall system runs ~$1,500 per single panel (the mkLotus had xx). My understanding is that the home starts around $150,000, but can venture past $225k with all of the add-ons featured on the show home.

A note worth mentioning, and one repeated throughout the conference: these homes may seem expensive, but much of that is due to their "green" features, from rainwater catchment systems, to solar panels galore.

Jill and Emily at Inhabitat loved the house:

"Above and beyond all the green, however, the house is just a testament to thoughtful, smart design. Every material, system and design choice in the house seems to be thought out, and have purpose. The high ceilings, skylights, gently angled walls, floor to ceiling glass and copious daylight all work to make the 700 sf house feel a lot bigger and more spacious than it actually is."
They also uploaded a bunch of photos of the house to Flickr.

CBS 5 San Francisco offered a video report from the home.

With the mkLotus as the star attraction of the show, Michelle Kaufmann had a sort of celebrity aura to her. She spoke a number of times, on topics ranging from the show house to "Women in Green." She shows great enthusiasm for her work (and the work is prolific). The talks focused on the green aspects of the different MK products. Their work is separated into three categories:
• pre-configured options: pre-designed with finish and fixture options available
• custom designs: feature the MKD aesthetic but fully flexible in design configurations
• modern green communities: multi-family housing (which helps reduce costs significantly)

I'll share further info on a number of developments and new products from MKD in the coming weeks.

More West Coast Green coverage in the coming days.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   2. The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Nov 13, 2007)
   3. This week: Jeriko House, Drop House, and more (Oct 13, 2007)
   4. CNET visits the mkLotus (Oct 12, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green round-up (Oct 02, 2007)
   6. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: small green MKD process conference West Coast Green mkLotus

Dwell on Design recap

We weren't at Dwell on Design last weekend, but a lot of others were.

BLDGBLOG covered a talk by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann and fellow architect Michael McDonough:

"Michelle Kaufmann, meanwhile, still speaking as I type this, is introducing everyone to green roofs, rainwater catchment, passive/active solar energy systems, and the relatively streamlined construction process involved in assembling one of her projects. She even, briefly, touched on issues of affordability (or the lack thereof)."

PrairieMod produced some rambling podcasts from the show. Day 1 featured a review of the opening day speakers and show setup. Day 2 shared some photos from the show and more reviews of speakers.

Inhabitat posted details each day. Day 1: the speakers and some photos. Day 2: the outdoor area and info_smallkitHAUS.

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. Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE (May 23, 2008)
   4. Dwell on Design preview (Sep 12, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: kitHAUS MKD conference company Dwell Dwell on Design

A little more Green

Link to A little more Green
abc7news.com

I'm at West Coast Green, and just wanted to link to a couple more pieces of coverage of the event and the info_smallmkLotus.

From ABC 7 News in San Francisco: a live report earlier this week showed the near-complete house.

"This is a green house which aims to teach you how to be environmentally friendly in your home. Who knew that it could be so stylish? This is a modular home.

It has to be the most stylish one on the planet. It's only 725 square feet -- that's part of the message -- to be green, you don't need to build so big. Since it's modular, you can buy other pieces and add on to it."

The San Francisco Bay Guardian offered up a quirky article about the home and the show:
"Builders plopped down the 800-square-foot structure in just a day....the one-bedroom house costs a mere $199 per square foot, and that's with all the fancy fixings like a stereo system and rosewood floors.

The home was dubbed the mkLotus house by its designer, Michelle Kaufman Designs. The exterior is smart and sleek, with double-paned, floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the living room and sustainably grown red balau wood and slabs of fly-ash concrete siding the back half....

According to XtremeHome CEO Tim Schmidt, without all the extras, an mkLotus could cost as little as $64,000, and he can have one good to go in less than six months."

The San Jose Mercury News wrote:
"If building an eco-friendly house is a stretch, how about a green in-law cottage?

[The] house...'was designed as an oasis,' Kaufmann says. 'It can be perfect for a vacation home, or a home where you feel like you're on vacation.'

The popularity of the two- to four-bedroom Glidehouse brought countless inquiries for in-law units and cottages, said Rebecca Woelke, spokeswoman for Michelle Kaufmann Designs.

'We wanted to give clients a different type of design in a one-bedroom layout,' Woelke said, something that 'opens entire living spaces to the outdoors and brings the outdoors in.' To do that, mkLotus' signature feature is its NanaWalls, floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the living room that fold up like an accordion to welcome nature into the home. 'This house blurs the boundary between the interior and exterior.'"

More reports about the show in the coming days.

Related Posts:
   1. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   2. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   3. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
3 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD conference West Coast Green mkLotus

Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend

Link to Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend
westcoastgreen.com

The West Coast Green residential building conference and expo starts this Thursday in San Francisco. I will be attending and am looking forward to seeing the info_smallmkLotus in person.

West Coast Green is "America's largest residential green building conference". September 20-21 are limited to building professionals, but the general public is invited for September 22s "Homeowner Day":

"West Coast Green will host community leaders and visionaries, such as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Hollywood actor Ed Begly Jr., environmental/civil rights leader Van Jones and many others. Homeowners looking to design and build a new, energy-efficient green home, or those looking to upgrade the efficiency of their existing homes, will benefit from walking the tradeshow floor, abounding with hundreds of products and services to build, remodel, power, insulate, clean, furnish and finance their green homes."

where: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
when: September 20-22, 2007
registration: $25 ($35 at the door) for Homeowner Day, September 22. $325/day for full conference access.
features: mkLotus show home; speakers Allison Arieff (former editor of Dwell magazine), Steve Glenn, Sheri Koones, and Michelle Kaufmann; over 100 green construction product vendors

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. CNET visits the mkLotus (Oct 12, 2007)
   3. A little more Green (Sep 21, 2007)
   4. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   5. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green tours MKD process conference San Francisco mkLotus

This week: IKEA, Quik House, and anticipating West Coast Green

Link to This week: IKEA, Quik House, and anticipating West Coast Green
boklok.com

CubeMe covered the IKEA BoKlok housing system we've discussed.

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday discussed the info_smallQuik House from Adam Kalkin:

"Although there is currently a 6 month waiting list, this looks like a very nice alternative to some of the more expensive prefab homes on the market."

Builder Online anticipates the West Coast Green Building Conference and the arrival of the info_smallmkLotus.

Inhabitat does too.

Jetson Green gave a sneak preview of a new prefab concept, the Nodul(ar) House, which is being announced this weekend at the Dwell on Design conference.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: IKEA, pieceHomes (Oct 28, 2007)
   2. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
   3. Kalkin Quik House (May 15, 2007)
   4. This week: IKEA goes prefab, mountain retreats, and a prefab high-rise (Apr 21, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD containers conference Quik House This Week Adam Kalkin mkLotus IKEA house IKEA

CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory

Link to CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory
cnet.com

CNET has released a video (3:14) showing the info_smallmkLotus being built in the info_smallXtremeHomes factory. CEO Tim Schmidt mentions a key advantage of factory-built homes: reduced construction time with employees rather than contractors. info_smallMichelle Kaufmann discusses the green features and demonstrates the NanaWall.

(Scott adds two gripes: CNET's video player is flaky, and the pre-roll ad is annoying.)

Author: Michael Kanellos
Publication: CNET News
Length: 3:14
Date: August 30, 2007

Related Posts:
   1. CNET visits the mkLotus (Oct 12, 2007)
   2. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
   3. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD process video XtremeHomes mkLotus

This week: XtremeHomes visit, JoT, Lot-ek, and more

Link to This week: XtremeHomes visit, JoT, Lot-ek, and more
homebysunset.com

Home by sunset visited the info_smallXtremeHomes factory and reported back:

"We saw the fully installed folding glass panels, which are called Nanawalls...three sides of the living-dining room. They silently glide away to unite inside and outside: this is how to live large in a small space."

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday covered the JoT House:

"I love this house. [Its] sleek modern lines, affordability and 'green-ness' make it a good option for those looking for a modern prefab house."

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday featured a video of design firm info_smallLOT-EK speaking about their shipping container architecture.

The LA Investor's Real Estate Blog discussed two prefab projects, the WIRED LivingHome and info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab.

Architecture.mnp loves A Prefab Project too.

Related Posts:
   1. A Prefab Project budget (Aug 20, 2007)
   2. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
   3. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   4. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
   5. This week: Japanese prefab, SIPs, and the greenness of big homes (Apr 14, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD containers Marmol Radziner This Week LOT-EK

Apartment Therapy and Lindal Homes

Link to Apartment Therapy and Lindal Homes

'Prefab' can mean more than the modernist prefabs featured in Dwell and other design magazines, as Grace at Apartment Therapy LA found out:

"When friends of mine told me that they were building a prefab house on their lot on the outskirts of San Diego, I was expecting an offshoot of the Glide House. Imagine my surprise when they sent me a photo of their rustic cedar mansion courtesy of Lindal..."

According to the Lindal Cedar Homes FAQ:

"Q: Are your homes prefab (prefabricated) kit homes? A: Our homes are custom designed and crafted around a building system incorporating post and beam construction technology. We further detail the plans and high quality materials with a part numbering system, where every piece of lumber has a place. So, our system differs from true prefab. But our system provides a flexible and accurate approach to building a custom home not found at your local custom builder or in the prefab market."

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: method MKD Lindal Cedar Homes

XtremeHomes: modular building the green way

Link to XtremeHomes: modular building the green way
xhllc.com

We recently reported on the info_smallmkLotus show house from info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs. Modular builder info_smallXtremeHomes will be fabricating the mkLotus at their factory in Oroville, CA.

"XtremeHomes provides a diverse array of architectural styles from ultra-modern to highly detailed alpine homes. Our product offerings address a variety of consumers with our entry level Neighborhood Series™, to an XtremeCustom™ home or a house from one of our Signature Series™ architects. Through its ongoing research and development, XtremeHomes focuses on ways to produce homes with less environmental impact, that are more energy efficient, are healthier and of higher quality. XtremeHomes, an Energy Star® partner, endeavors to build all of its houses to Energy Star®, LEED® and Build It Green® standards."

XtremeHomes will be a part of the West Coast Green building conference in September.

As an aside, are we the first to link to their (new?) Web site? link:xhllc.com. This post should help get them into the Google results:
xhllc.com
xtremehomes

Related Posts:
   1. Live Xtremely Green: the XtremeHomes blog (Jan 17, 2008)
   2. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
   3. CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory (Sep 07, 2007)
   4. This week: XtremeHomes visit, JoT, Lot-ek, and more (Sep 01, 2007)
   5. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   6. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD manufacturer XtremeHomes mkLotus

Kiplinger's on prefab

Link to Kiplinger's on prefab

One year ago, Kiplinger's Personal Finance featured an article on Fabulous Prefabs.

The article details homeowners Scott and Lisa McGlasson's decision to purchase an info_smallAlchemy Architects' info_smallweeHouse as a summer home for a lot they own in Minnesota:

"The couple wanted to keep a lid on building costs, but they did not want to sacrifice great design and solid construction. They met both goals with a two-story modern built by Alchemy Architects, in St. Paul. 'During the day we have a lake view from 8-foot windows,' says Scott. 'But when we close the curtains at night, the living room is chic enough to feel like a New York City apartment.'

The McGlassons' hideaway -- with two bedrooms, one bathroom and tons of personality -- is a prefabricated home. The components were assembled in a factory, trucked to their lot and put together....

Scott and Lisa paid $95,000 for their second home. They chose the layout of the first story from a half-dozen of Alchemy Architects' plans and added a second story to the blueprints, expanding the size to 780 square feet. The firm hired a Wisconsin factory to manufacture the house's components, a process that took about six weeks. The components were trucked from the factory on a flatbed, and a crane helped assemble them (delivery and crane costs ran $6,000). The McGlassons hired contractors to connect the house's wiring to the electrical grid, dig a well and do other finishing work. The final tally was about $160,000, including fixtures and appliances."

The article also outlines some key differences between panelized and modular construction:
"Panelized houses are made of sections stuffed with wiring and insulation. The panels are trucked to your lot, where contractors hired by you (or less commonly, by the prefab firm) join them together. Panelized houses tend to cost more than modular ones. But because the panels can be arranged in different ways, panelized houses can have custom options....

The flexibility of a panelized house makes it superior for building on mountain, beach and lakefront locations, which tend to have more quirks than the typical suburban lot....

The major limitation of modular houses is size: Modular units must be able to travel down highways. 'We have to do a lot of thinking within the box,' jokes Joseph Tanney, a partner at Resolution: 4 Architecture, a New York firm that builds prefab homes using modular and other methods. What's more, modular houses often need thicker-than-usual interior walls to ensure that they will withstand the stress of being lifted onto your lot by a crane. (Panelized homes don't face this problem.) These thicker walls reduce the number of floor plans because there are only so many ways the fatter walls can be disguised."

Kiplinger's included a slideshow that covers several companies we've covered here:
info_smallEmpyrean
info_smallAlchemy Architects
info_smallOMD
info_smallCleverHomes
info_smallLazor Office
info_smallEcoSteel (aka EcoContempo)
info_smallTaalman Koch
info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture
info_smallMKD
info_smallRocio Romero.

Title: Fabulous Prefabs
Author: Sean O-Neill
Publication: Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Length: 1,500 words
Date: July, 2006

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse model CleverHomes OMD MKD article Alchemy Architects EcoSteel Flatpak House iT house Lazor Office LV Series Rocio Romero Taalman Koch

This week: Zigloo, A Prefab Project, mkLotus, and more

Link to This week: Zigloo, A Prefab Project, mkLotus, and more
zigloo.ca

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covers the Zigloo Domestique, a container-based project in British Columbia:

"The DIY Zigloo Domestique integrates shipping containers, personal and sustainable touches, and lots of hard work. Keith Dewey...designed, built, and documented the construction of his Zigloo Domestique home that epitomizes accessible, green, reclaimed, yet comfortable contemporary prefab architecture....

The home is located in Fernwood, one of Victoria's oldest and funkiest areas, and proves that shipping containers are more than just modules for cargo transport or emergency housing. The designer has done a wonderful job of documenting the entire design process, from initial plans to delivery of the containers and final construction and furnishing. The project spans almost two years, and the final residence consists of 8 containers, 1800 square feet, and 3 stories of homey prefab space. Keith's family home design is a great example of shipping containers and prefab techniques as a viable and accessible building approach for just about anyone."

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday discovered A Prefab Project and likes it as much as we do:
"The blog was started back in December of 2006 with discussions about design and construction, and if you go back and read through the entire thing it is quite a journey....

I for one cannot wait to see what it looks like all complete and ready to go!"

Greenerati anticipates the arrival of the info_smallmkLotus at the West Coast Green building conference:
"It won't solve the housing problem here in the City but when West Coast Green occurs next month attendees will get a chance to tour a 'zero energy' Green home right smack in the Civic Center across from City Hall. Yes, it's a prefabricated house but not that nasty 'Prefab' often associated with temporary replacement for housing during and after WWII."

Green Options posted on the eco-friendliness of modular and prefab construction:

"Prefabrication and Modularity are new eco buzzwords on the menu this year. From homes to furniture, designers are beginning to employ new methods of construction and transportation to cut waste and energy consumption, ensure safety, and achieve greater overall methods of sustainability."

Related Posts:
   1. Shipping container homes in Edmonton (Nov 08, 2007)
   2. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   3. A Prefab Project delivery and set! (Jul 05, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green MKD website mkLotus

This week: Micro Compact village, WIRED, iT House, and mkLotus

Link to This week: Micro Compact village, WIRED, iT House, and mkLotus

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday showed off a cool village of info_smallmicro compact homes:

"We often get comments about how difficult it would be to live in some of the Prefab Friday homes that we have featured, and none have received more criticism than the Micro Compact Home (m-ch)...But the proof is in the pudding, and in 2006, the Technical University of Munich in Germany installed a small village of seven of these homes for six students and a professor to live in for a full year."

The WIRED LivingHome buzz has made its way to Australian blog GreenFoot:

"It's the sort of house that both myself and my husband would love - me the green aspects and him the techy-gadgets. Although we wouldn't need as much room or as many bathrooms.

The Wired Home is described as a modernist home in an exclusive enclave of Los Angeles that allows luxury and the environment to live together in harmony.

Sounds pretty cool huh?"

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday covered the iT House from info_smallTaalman Koch:
"...it sure is a gorgeous example of what can be done with metal and glass."

Home by Sunset is a fan of Michelle Kaufmann's info_smallmkLotus:

"Now she's designed a prefab that's as green as possible. I think it's terrific. Note the sod roof, the way accordion doors open entire walls to expand the living space, the sunshades, and the photovoltaic panels."
The post also confirms that the house will be showcased outside San Francisco City Hall during the West Coast Green building conference.

Related Posts:
   1. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   2. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
   3. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
   4. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
   5. The iT House does some soul-searching (Apr 06, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes small green MKD iT house This Week mkLotus m-ch Taalman Koch

This week: mkLotus and Hive video

Link to This week: mkLotus and Hive video
mkd-arc.com

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday added thoughts on the info_smallmkLotus show house from info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs:

"Michelle Kauffman is known for her modern, livable, green, air and light-filled prefab designs, and the mkLotus is no exception. The modular construction allows for customization and flexibility, while sliding doors allow residents to open up their house to the elements....We can't wait to see the real thing this fall at West Coast Green!"
(We covered this Building Conference a few days ago.)

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday enjoys the video of a Hive Modular home that we posted on a while back.

Related Posts:
   1. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   2. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
   3. Hive Modular on YouTube (Jun 07, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD video conference Hive Modular mkLotus

The mkLotus show house

Link to The mkLotus show house
westcoastgreen.com

mkLotus is a new prefab concept from info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs that will debut at the West Coast Green home show. The mkLotus™ modular home is built by XtremeHomes™. "The house features: a living roof, LED lighting, innovative green building materials, indoor & outdoor living." Further details can be found on the mkLotus showhouse page.

Jetson Green is excited about seeing the mkLotus:

"I'm wanting to visit the conference just to see this home and participate in what's going to be the future of residential real estate."

model: info_smallmkLotus
size: 672sf - 1,400sf
br: 1 - 2
manufacturer: XtremeHomes

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: the mkLotus show house (Sep 25, 2007)
   2. A little more Green (Sep 21, 2007)
   3. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   4. CNET visits the XtremeHomes factory (Sep 07, 2007)
   5. This week: XtremeHomes visit, JoT, Lot-ek, and more (Sep 01, 2007)
   6. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
   7. This week: Zigloo, A Prefab Project, mkLotus, and more (Aug 04, 2007)
   8. This week: Micro Compact village, WIRED, iT House, and mkLotus (Jul 28, 2007)
   9. This week: mkLotus and Hive video (Jul 21, 2007)
   10. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
   11. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green MKD conference West Coast Green mkLotus

West Coast Green Conference

Link to West Coast Green Conference
westcoastgreen.com

West Coast Green: Residential Building Conference + Expo "is a feast of innovations, ideas and opportunities designed to expand your business, widen your vision, and stimulate your thinking with the latest, best practices and key players in green building."

On the prefab front:
• Sheri Koones, author of Prefabulous, Sept. 22 at 2pm in room 304.
• Allison Arieff, former editor of Dwell Magazine, Sept. 20 at 11am in room 415.
• Steve Glenn, CEO of info_smallLivingHomes, Sept. 20 at 11am in room 407 about "Building the First LEED Platinum Home"
• Michelle Kaufmann, Principal, info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs, Sept. 20 at 2pm in room 415 about "Show house Case Study"
• Michelle Kaufmann, Sept. 22 at 3pm in Larkin Hall discussing "Making it Easy for People to Go Green"

where: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
when: September 20-22, 2007
registration: $25 ($35 at the door) for Homeowner Day, September 22. $245/day before July 31, $325/day after July 31 for full conference access.
features: mkLotus show home; speakers Allison Arieff (former editor of Dwell magazine), Steve Glenn, Sheri Koones, and Michelle Kaufmann; over 100 green construction product vendors

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. A little more Green (Sep 21, 2007)
   3. Heading to West Coast Green Conference this weekend (Sep 19, 2007)
   4. This week: IKEA, Quik House, and anticipating West Coast Green (Sep 16, 2007)
   5. This week: looking for affordable prefab and volunteers (Sep 08, 2007)
   6. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
   7. This week: Micro Compact village, WIRED, iT House, and mkLotus (Jul 28, 2007)
   8. This week: mkLotus and Hive video (Jul 21, 2007)
   9. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   10. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
   11. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
   12. LivingHomes (Mar 28, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes green MKD conference

Michelle Kaufmann in Sierra Magazine

Link to Michelle Kaufmann in Sierra Magazine
www.sierraclub.org/

The Sierra Club's Sierra Magazine covers a familiar architect:

"Michelle Kaufmann believes that buying an environmentally friendly home should be as simple as ordering a pair of sneakers. Sitting at her laptop in her Oakland, California, office, the architect goes to the Nike Web site, chooses a shoe, and clicks a few buttons. Moments later her customized sneakers are ready for review: white with orange laces and an orange swoosh, the initials "MK" stitched on the tongue..."

Read the full article to see how info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs is working to achieve this goal. Don't miss this bit of good news:

"While her first customers tended to fit the stereotype of the Prius-driving, NPR-listening eco-consumer, Kaufmann is increasingly fielding inquiries from people who just want an attractive, affordable house."

Title: Innovators: The Henry Ford of Green Homes
Author: Dashka Slater
Publication: Sierra Magazine
Length: 850 words
Issue: July/August 2007

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD article

MKD Google mash-up

Link to MKD Google mash-up
sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse

Jetson Green discovered a unique combo of free internet technologies that helps you to display a home by info_smallMKD on your plot of land. Some of the applications involved, primarily Google SketchUp, require a bit of know-how.

Preston's post inspired a couple others. Materialicious explained why architects should love the "mash-up":

"What a great idea! Rather than bother the architect with endless queries like 'Can we change this?' or 'Can I have that?' or 'I don't like this, take it out', you can save time and money doing it yourself, tweaking the design (within certain limits, to be sure) and then presenting the desired customization to the architect. Makes sense to me."

Treehugger offers additional details:

"Google also offers Google Earth and mashed it and Sketchup so that you can put your Kaufmann design on your own property, play with the shadows and orientation, get comfortable with the plans and elevations before you even send her an email."

See also:
MKD in the Google 3D Warehouse
Other prefab options in the Google 3D Warehouse
Google SketchUp
Google Earth

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model MKD process fun website

Some Assembly Required in Virginia

Link to Some Assembly Required in Virginia
walkerart.org

The Some Assembly Required exhibit by the Walker Art Center will be opening at the Virginia Center for Architecture on June 15. (Hat tip: a post on Richmond Magazine's blog).

Tour locations to date:
  Walker Art Center
  Minneapolis, Minnesota
  December 8, 2005-March 26, 2006

  Vancouver Art Gallery
  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  April 29- September 4, 2006

  Yale School of Architecture
  New Haven, Connecticut
  October 27, 2006- February 2, 2007

  The Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Design Center
  Los Angeles, California
  February 28- May 20, 2007
  (our coverage links to a video report)

what: Some Assembly Required Exhibit
when: June 15 - September 30, 2007
who: Black Barn by Pinc House, Desert House by info_smallMarmol Radziner, FlatPak by info_smallLazor Office, info_smallLV Series Homes by info_smallRocio Romero, Mountain Retreat by info_smallResolution 4: Architecture, info_smallSunset Breezehouse by info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs, Turbulence House by Stephen Holl, and the info_smallweeHouse by info_smallAlchemy Architects

Related Posts:
   1. Some Assembly Required at LAMOCA (May 03, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: museum exhibition process Marmol Radziner Lazor Office Flatpak House LV Series Rocio Romero Resolution 4: Architecture Sunset Breezehouse MKD weeHouse Alchemy Architects

This week: LOT-EK returns, a prefab for Second Lifers, and more

Link to This week: LOT-EK returns, a prefab for Second Lifers, and more
www.wired.com

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday has another prefab product from info_smallLOT-EK:

"In terms of architectural features, Lot-ek has created a system that defies the rigidity of an industrial shipping container, providing surprising flexibility in both size and functions. The CHK system comes in two different series- Compact and Loft, and boasts 8 x 8 floor-to-ceiling windows, built-in closets, and wood floors. The best part is its expansion possibilities- regardless of the configuration, it's easy to add on another container to accommodate a home office (or more family members) down the line."

For those who can't afford a prefab house in real life, apparently prefab homes are now available on Second Life (a 3-D virtual world).

A blog called A PreFab Project is documenting the construction of a prefab home by info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture. The most recent post discussed the "First Glitch" of the project:

"John from Res4 called yesterday to say that the factory got the wrong size floor trusses....The factory had apparently framed all the walls and was ready to begin the floor when [they] realized the webbed trusses were too short; so now they're stuck. If they wait for new trusses to arrive, this spot in the assembly line is stuck - no work for the factory. So Jason called me to basically say please allow us to use 2x12s as trusses so we can keep working as scheduled..."

One of the many LiveModern blogs featured some good photos of a SIP-based project throughout the framing process.

Wired shows off a really cool ultra-compact dwelling, available in Europe.

On This is the Last..., blogger Jilly writes about prefab models, including info_smallMichelle Kaufmann's info_smallBreezehouse:

"I've been doing some house hunting and I came across this modern prefabricated home in Sunset Magazine. I think its really cool how they are making this house using recycled materials, you can add solar panels really easily, the living room has a wall that folds so that your room extends to the patio. Its made to have good ventilation and where they could they used recycled materials.

Then my husband showed me this prefab (in Wired magazine) called the 'Loblolly House' and I thought it was just gorgeous."

The Nashua Telegraph reran an article from the Sacramento Bee about the changing perception of 'prefab':
"Factory-built housing is touting environmental benefits and a fresh look to win a new generation of buyers as the industry continues to fight an image of cheap design and endure the same housing slowdown pummeling conventional home builders."

Jetson Green ran a post about info_smallDavid Hertz's LivingHome making it onto the Met Home Design 100 list:

"To me, this is a no-brainer. If I were out of college and established in business, I'd plop down a million in a heartbeat just to get the DH1 built and use it as a vacation home (at a minimum). I'd buy it for the joy of having one of the greenest prefabs in the country and I'd let all my friends stay in it."
And Inhabitat pointed out that the Ray Kappe LivingHome appeared on the AIA/COTE list of the top ten green buildings.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Seattle, modular home history, tiny footprints and more (May 12, 2007)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
   3. The Dwell Home by Resolution 4: Architecture (Apr 18, 2007)
   4. This week: Japanese prefab, SIPs, and the greenness of big homes (Apr 14, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes small green MKD This Week Ray Kappe David Hertz David Hertz LivingHomes RK1 RK2 RK3 RK4 RK5 LOT-EK

Some Assembly Required at LAMOCA

Link to Some Assembly Required at LAMOCA
walkerart.org

The Some Assembly Required show organized earlier this year by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, is now on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art at the Pacific Design Center in LA:

"...the exhibition features eight modern modular house projects that have recently been realized. The designs address a range of approaches to prefabrication, including off-site construction, customized sections that are assembled on-site, and kits with plans and parts from which a house can be constructed."

Ecorazzi says "...you can see scale models of prefab homes, pictures, and samples of materials. Architects Marmol Radziner Prefab, Lazor, and Alchemy Architects are showcased..."

On Blogcritics, LX.TV files a video report about the show, featuring an interview with Leo Marmol of info_smallMarmol Radziner.

where: MOCA at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles
when: February 28 - May 20, 2007

Related Posts:
   1. Marmol Radziner videos (Aug 17, 2007)
   2. Some Assembly Required in Virginia (Jun 01, 2007)
   3. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
   4. Lazor Office's FlatPak House (Apr 19, 2007)
   5. Sexy Prefab (Mar 29, 2007)
   6. Itsy Bitsy weeHouse (Mar 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse MKD museum exhibition Dwell Los Angeles Marmol Radziner local Alchemy Architects Lazor Office

Big Ideas on the Sundance Channel

Link to Big Ideas on the Sundance Channel
www.sundancechannel.com

I've been seeing posts around the blogosphere (e.g. on Jetson Green) about the Sundance Channel's new TV series Big Ideas for a Small Planet. The series focuses on "the forward-thinking designers, products, and processes that are on the leading edge of a new green world." The second episode, Build, was about different green building techniques and one section, 'prefab', featured info_smallMichelle Kaufmann.

The episodes are available for download from iTunes for $1.99 each. The Build episode is definitely worth a watch, at least for a view inside the Michelle Kaufmann factory.

Related Posts:
   1. Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Apr 27, 2007)
   2. Green homes and LEED certification (Apr 23, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green MKD television process

Michelle Kaufmann Designs

Link to Michelle Kaufmann Designs
John Swain Photography

info_smallMichelle Kaufmann Designs has been one of the stars of the prefab movement since designing the info_smallGlidehouse for Sunset Magazine in 2004. The company emphasizes the greenness of its homes and has even built a green factory, mkConstructs, to produce prefab homes. I got some details from Rebecca Woelke, Director of Media Relations:

Do you have many built homes or homes under construction?

We have 15 completed homes, with 2 scheduled for completion by the end of June, and a multi-unit development (San Leandro) is expected to be completed this fall. We are working on 75+ projects, which include single-family residences and MK Communities.

What is mkConstructs?

mkConstructs is...key to our "prenewable" mission: a modern blending of prefabricated systems and renewable resources. mkConstructs is 100% committed to building thoughtful, sustainable designs.

Why did you open your own factory?

The addition of mkConstructs benefits our clients by further streamlining the construction process while providing more predictability of costs and timeframes for home construction. mkConstructs is located in the state of Washington, offering efficiencies with close proximity to many of our material sources and distribution centers. This factory will build homes for California, Washington, Oregon.

What do your homes cost? What does the price include?

In most areas, construction costs are between $200/sf and $275/sf for MKD pre-designed homes, and $275/sf - $400/sf for Custom Projects (all known costs included after permits are let). This does not include the cost of land. For more complex sites and for sites in high-cost areas such as the greater San Francisco area and Los Angeles, the total construction costs will most likely be higher. The actual project cost will depend on many factors unique to our clients MKD Home and building site.

There are both standard models and the custom option on your website. What have customers been most interested in? Do you have any numbers to show how many customers went custom vs. standard?

Of our current projects, 20% of them are custom. The balance of our current projects are pre-designed MKD Homes, which are to be built in various locations in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

What are some of the advantages of your prefab system?

  1. MKD builds high-performance homes.
  2. Our homes are stronger than site-built homes.
  3. We build healthy homes.
  4. We use eco-friendly finishes and materials, renewable/recyclable materials.
  5. We offer a predictable timeframe.
  6. Shorter construction timeframe.
  7. Minimal site work needed by the site contractor/less impact on the site.

Are there any common misconceptions about prefab that you'd like to comment on?

One common misconception I have noticed is how people define "prefab." Among the many classifications of prefabricated homes are modular homes, manufactured homes, and mobile homes. Each of these home types is very different. Although they are all built in a factory, they are built to different building codes, with modular construction at the highest construction/quality level. Many city and county zoning ordinances restrict the locating of manufactured/mobile homes to limited areas, whereas modular homes are more widely accepted. Michelle Kaufmann Designed homes are high-quality, high-performance homes that are built in a factory - not to be confused with "manufactured" or "mobile" homes!

(This interview has been edited for space; it's not an exact transcript.)

Related Posts:
   1. AriaDenver pictures from Michelle Kaufmann: modules en route (Jul 31, 2009)
   2. Michelle Kaufmann Designs closing (May 27, 2009)
   3. The mkHearth (Oct 27, 2008)
   4. The mkLoft from Michelle Kaufmann Designs (Nov 13, 2007)
   5. This week: Micro Compact village, WIRED, iT House, and mkLotus (Jul 28, 2007)
   6. The mkLotus show house (Jul 19, 2007)
   7. West Coast Green Conference (Jul 18, 2007)
   8. Michelle Kaufmann in Sierra Magazine (Jul 16, 2007)
   9. MKD Google mash-up (Jun 04, 2007)
   10. This week: LOT-EK returns, a prefab for Second Lifers, and more (May 05, 2007)
   11. Some Assembly Required at LAMOCA (May 03, 2007)
   12. Big Ideas on the Sundance Channel (May 01, 2007)
3 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green MKD modular modern Glidehouse Sunset Breezehouse Sidebreeze mkLotus mkLoft mkSolaire
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