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

Jennifer Siegel interview at Awearness Blog

Andrew Huff of the Kenneth Cole Awearness Blog recently interviewed Jennifer Siegel, founder and principal of info_smallOffice of Mobile Design (OMD).

Well, there are three advantages [to prefab construction], which are the issues that play out in every building. There's always this issue of design or style, the issue of cost, and the issue of time. And what's exciting about factory-built or prefabricated systems is that all three of those become possible -- better design, less time, less money. And that's really the holy trinity in the design world.

Read part one and part two of the interview. (The post embeds the USA Network video that we covered two days ago, but the interview is their own.)

Related Posts:
   1. Jennifer Siegel named 2009 Character Approved Honoree (Feb 11, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Jennifer Siegel named 2009 Character Approved Honoree

USA Network recently named Jennifer Siegel as their 2009 Character Approved honoree for architecture.

The Character Approved Awards honor the characters of the U.S.A. who are changing the face of American culture. Character Approved honorees are innovators in their field who influence our opinions, our style, and our view of the world. They surprise and inspire us with fresh ideas. They are celebrated by their peers. And they have an authentic style that's all their own.

Jennifer Siegel founded CA-based info_smallOffice of Mobile Design (OMD)

Hat tip: Awearness Blog by Kenneth Cole on February 9, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. Jennifer Siegel interview at Awearness Blog (Feb 13, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Conscious Choice looks at the prefab market

Link to Conscious Choice looks at the prefab market

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) , 

This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse

Link to This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse

I was away this weekend, so here's last week's prefab news a bit late. (Posted Tuesday, but dated Saturday in line with our "This week" series.)

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at info_smallMarmol Radziner's new Rincon 5:

The unit was recently showcased in a Los Angeles event that explored its possibilities as a guest house, yoga studio, and home office. Want to make your new guest bedroom a Rincon 5? The basic unit costs $223,000 to be built, delivered and installed, plus the price of whichever upgrades you think your guests will appreciate most. noted that the price of the OMD showhouse in Venice has been reduced. The home (without the lot) was originally listed at $295,000, and then reduced to $259,000. Now:

reduced to $175,000

Related Posts:
   1. The RINCON 5 from Marmol Radziner (Jan 13, 2009)
   2. OMD ShowHouse for sale, with reduced price (Apr 03, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more

Link to This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more

I missed last week, so here is two weeks of prefab news. Daily posts will resume this week; sorry for the gaps!

Jetson Green links to a student prefab project at Taliesin West:

The students, with Dean Victor Sidy and Jennifer Siegal of OMD, designed a simple but elegant home with sustainability in mind. At first, they were going to prefabricate the structure, but later decided to go instead with on-site, panelized construction using SIPs for the walls, roof, and floor.

Last week, Inhabitat's Prefab Friday discussed a unique idea for Olympic stadiums:

Currently there are plans in place to dismantle around 70% of the proposed London Olympic Stadium, pack up the components, and send them to the host of the 2016 Olympics!

Yesterday, Prefab Friday covered the Joshua Tree house that we've seen previously:

This steel clad prefab is a compact two bedroom “mountain refuge” with a welcoming, and surprisingly roomy, wooden interior.

Two weeks ago, Inhabitat looked at a container home in New Zealand.

LLoyd Alter, of Treehugger, wrote about green prefab at the Huffington Post:

They are everywhere in all the magazines: "Green" modern prefabs. But are they really green?

Treehugger visited the mkSolaire at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry:

The Smart Home has been outfitted with some of the most sustainable and responsible options available for building and furnishing a house, while the landscaping illustrates many ways to sustain and replenish the surrounding environments we live in. It’s really spectacular to see the museum’s courtyard transformed in this way.

Finally, Dwell on Design started yesterday. We'll have a full review of happenings at the show this coming week.

Related Posts:
   1. Taliesen Mod.Fab complete  (Feb 24, 2009)
   2. Dwell on Design bringing an entire neighborhood of prefab homes to LA June 5-8; get in FREE (May 23, 2008)
   3. This week: Joshua Tree, EvolutiV, mkSolaire debuts and more (May 10, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

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

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

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday reported on a London prefab:

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

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

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

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

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

Jetson Green covered an award for the Abōd:

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

Off Beat Homes enjoys the info_smallFlatpak House.

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

G Living examined student housing made of containers.

Related Posts:
   1. Allison Arieff in LA Times (Mar 18, 2008)
   2. This week: French prefab, school, and more (Nov 17, 2007)
   3. This week: prefab school, CA prefab and SIPs (May 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

CA Boom V recap

Link to CA Boom V recap

We couldn't attend this year's CA Boom show in Los Angeles, so here are a few recaps from others:

Curbed LA took a look at the Modern-Shed booth:

One interesting new [entrant] was ... the itty-bitty Modern Shed and its quaint homemade sale sign in the window: "$15,000 with deck. Free Local Delivery."
They also went on a tour of the Red Barn Prefab that we covered previously:
The designer of the home was on site, and gave a brief introductory speech before we started exploring and snapping pictures. The home was built using re-engineered steel, concrete floors (natch) and eco-timber flooring.... The home took nine months to build and actually has a twin next door...

The LA Times slideshow included a tour of an info_smallOMD home.

We previously covered Allison Arieff's related interview; here's the accompanying slideshow.

Related Posts:
   1. Allison Arieff in LA Times (Mar 18, 2008)
   2. CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16 (Mar 05, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

OMD ShowHouse for sale, with reduced price

Link to OMD ShowHouse for sale, with reduced price

Via Curbed LA:

Designer Jennifer Siegal’s widely published prefab prototype, the OMD ShowHouse, originally priced at $295,000 just last month, gets chopped. It's now down to $259,000.

The real estate listing at ("The Value of Architecture") shows $249,000. Key fact:


More details on the home are available at the OMD website.

model: info_smallOMD ShowHouse
where: Venice, CA
style: modern
size: 720 sf
br: 1
price: $259,000 ($360/sf)

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse (Aug 16, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: OMD in LA, container Travelodge, lots of MoMA and more

Link to This week: OMD in LA, container Travelodge, lots of MoMA and more

Curbed LA watched an info_smallOMD home being delivered:

These shots, taken last month, show the delivery of a two-story prefabricated home going up in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica. The 2,200 square foot home is comprised of 4 modular units; these shots show the upper two being installed.

Treehugger reports:

We previously showed the Travelpod, an experimental prefab from Travelodge, and thought it was an interesting one-off. We were wrong; the company is looking seriously at prefab hotels and is building their first in the west London district of Uxbridge, right now.

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday was off this week.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday made a surprising architectural discovery at the the Consumer Electronics Show. We'll cover that model soon.

architecture.MNP discussed a recently completed info_smallResolution: 4 project.

A number of folks had thoughts on the Home Delivery prefab exhibition at MoMA. The Dream Antilles had a good idea:

If these houses are supposed to be good, somebody should live in them during the show and the people who view the exhibit should be visitors in the houses.

Jaunted provided some new details:

Foundations will be laid in February and the homes will arrive in late May, popping up in next to no time.

The Chicago Tribune predicts:

Given MoMA's taste-making power and its location in the media capital of the world, the show could go a long way toward making prefab housing something more than just a glimmer in visionaries' eyes.

greenbuildingsNYC is excited. The Gothamist commented, as did Curbed. Treehugger mentioned the show. The Chronicle of Higher Education likes the idea that professors' work will be included in the show.

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: year in review, Sea Train and more

Link to This week: year in review, Sea Train and more

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday posted a recap of 2007.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered the German 'Option House':

Option is a fully functional, light-filled dwelling that delivers low-impact living in just 70 square meters [753 sf] of elegant and understated space.

Haute*Nature discussed the Sea Train House by info_smallOffice of Mobile Design: amazing example of how you can change the natural environment...

Jetson Green showed a video of a not-yet-built container home:

Looks pretty cool, but let's see if it gets made...

G Living TV says a info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab is coming to Venice, CA:

Slated to begin production early next year, the exact location of the house is being kept secret. All we have at this stage are some specs: three bedrooms and 2,800 interior square footage with a 750 square foot deck.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: straw bales, green mobile homes, and more (Jan 20, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

OMD's Swellhouse in the LA Times

Link to OMD's Swellhouse in the LA Times

info_smallOffice of Mobile Design's info_smallSwellhouse appeared last week in the LA Times:

If Jennifer Siegal has her way, new homes won't be constructed anymore. They'll be installed.

That's the philosophy behind her recently completed Venice SwellHouse, a 3,130-square-foot, two-story residence assembled out of prefabricated structural insulated panels, or SIPs. The panels forming the walls, floors and ceilings were trucked in pre-cut, cored for wiring or plumbing, and numbered -- ready to be snapped together and attached to the steel frame.

Read the full article for details.

Author: Jeff Spurrier
Publication: Los Angeles Times
Length: 750 words
Date: November 15, 2007

Related Posts:
   1. Take a portable swell house home (Mar 29, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: French prefab, school, and more

Link to This week: French prefab, school, and more

Jetson Green reported on La Maison de Demain, a french prefab concept:

The home is built with three prefabricated modules and is meant to show that green design can be affordable and attractive. An important aspect of the house is the open area in the middle, which could be used as a covered patio to extend the footprint of the home into the natural environment.

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday appears to be on an extended hiatus?

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered info_smallOMD's Country School:

The Los Angeles middle school expansion project opens next month to some very lucky kids who will enjoy classrooms filled with light, open learning spaces, and the best and healthiest materials. We’re big fans of Jennifer and her Office of Mobile Design here at Inhabitat, and we’re thrilled that her great prefab designs are being successfully applied to educational contexts- what better way to learn and teach than in a wonderful healthy classroom?

Many blogs reported on the end of DoResearch, a blog that collected information on a couple's favorite prefabs. said

If it’s any consolation, they’ve found some land and they’re planning to build a FlatPak on it in Spring ‘08.

The Prefab Dweller is enthusiastic about the ZeroHouse:

The Zerohouse sure fits both my dreams...

Related Posts:
   1. UK prefab school (Jul 09, 2008)
   2. This week: London, Resolution: 4, OMD and more (May 24, 2008)
   3. This week: Habode, historical prefab and more (Nov 24, 2007)
   4. Zero House on gadget blogs (Nov 19, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: prototypes, why prefab and OMD

Link to This week: prototypes, why prefab and OMD

CubeMe wrote about the Drop House, a prefab prototype:

"Here is a Prototype of a really cool-looking portable house."
Several of the rooms pop out from the main house volume.

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday explained why they write about prefab.

Curbed LA wrote about an info_smallOMD prefab in Santa Monica:

"Green and tidy!"

We'll discuss Inhabitat's Prefab Friday post about the info_smallmkLotus in a separate post.

Jetson Green discussed another prefab prototype, the Tread Lightly House.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Dwell on Design preview

Link to Dwell on Design preview

The Dwell on Design conference is this weekend in San Francisco.

We won't be there, but here's who will:
info_smallAlchemy Architects
info_smallEcoSteel, aka EcoContempo
info_smallEmpyrean International
info_smallHive Modular
info_smallMichelle Kaufmann
info_smallModern Cabana
info_smallRocio Romero Homes

We heard from Alchemy Architects:

"Alchemy Architects will be at Dwell on Design 2007 with a weeHouse to 'tour'. Amazing, but we had a CA client who's weeHouse is just being it'll stop in San Fran on its way to San Diego. It's a very exciting opportunity for people who are interested in a weeHouse to see a weeHouse. We'll be in the outdoor, prefab section."

We know these vendors won't be attending:

Some prefab-specific events that will be worth checking out:
• September 15 and 16, 2:45 - 3:15: "Prefab Discussion Panel" hosted by Michael Sylvester of
• September 15, 2:00 - 2:30: "The Process Behind Prefab:The Design and Production of Green Modular Homes" with Jared Levy and Jason Davis of info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab
• September 15, 3:30 - 4:00: "Creating the First LEED Platinum Home" with Steve Glenn of info_smallLivingHomes

what: Dwell on Design conference
where: Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA
when: September 14-16, 2007
registration: $20 for Exhibition Only pass, September 15-16. $895 for full conference and exhibition passport.
features: over 80 exhibitors and vendors

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 recap (Sep 24, 2007)
   4. Dwell on Design Conference (Aug 15, 2007)
   5. Dwell Magazine, Dwell Homes (Apr 17, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

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_smallAlchemy Architects
info_smallLazor Office
info_smallEcoSteel (aka EcoContempo)
info_smallTaalman Koch
info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture
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) , 

This week: Hive Modular, OMD, WIRED, and more miniHome

Link to This week: Hive Modular, OMD, WIRED, and more miniHome

Equity Green took a look at the info_smallX-Line homes from info_smallHive Modular:

"...$200 per sq/ft still isn't that bad considering the quality that you are receiving. Hive Modular is one of the best prefab, modular companies out there...especially for the price."

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday explored the designs of Jennifer Siegel's info_smallOMD:

"...Turns out it is the model of the Show House by Jennifer Siegal's Office of Mobile Design. It was open so we went in and took a look around and it was absolutely beautiful. Jennifer was there as well to answer any questions so we chatted for a few minutes....Although a little small for a family of 4, this example of what can be built off-site just proves that anything is possible."

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday added thoughts on the WIRED LivingHome and noted that the official site now features some cool videos:

"...Combine all that with some cutting-edge technologies, like automated theatre, temperature, and lighting, and you've got yourself a 4,000 square foot masterpiece of green design."

Jetson Green's Flickr Friday showed off the info_smallSustain miniHome:

"When you see this, you won't believe how much functionality and comfort can go into a mere 325 sf."
He also pointed out this video, from HGTV, about the home:

Related Posts:
   1. Hive Modular blog (Jul 10, 2007)
   2. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
   3. OMD update (May 29, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: micro compact video, budgets and v2world

Link to This week: micro compact video, budgets and v2world

Treehugger reported on a BBC story about the info_smallmicro compact home we've mentioned a couple times before. The BBC report includes a video, and some insight into the home's design:

"It's a very tranquil place but at the same time it's a bit of an adventure - there's always something to slide out or under, pull down, tuck away, generally fiddle with, if only out of the need for space. To live here you have to be ordered: to do one thing, you have to finish another first and put it away. And that may be my and other compact-livers' downfall."

The Maison Tropicale sale made a couple more headlines. An AP story about the sale showed up on quite a few sites, like ABC Money UK:

"Its last owner, Eric Touchaleaume, a French antiques dealer, has said he plans to use the sale proceeds to finance a Prouve museum that will travel inside another Maison Tropicale."
NY Arts Magazine explained the original use for the prefab homes:
"Prouve's aluminum and steel home was designed for French colonists living in Brazzaville, now the capital of the Republic of the Congo."

Future House Now likes A Prefab Project as much as I do, especially the site's detailed budget page:

"It's been recently updated, and gives a lot of detail, the kind of detail you don't get from glossy magazine articles."

Apartment Therapy eyes info_smallV2world's info_smallV2flat:

"They say it has no geographic limitations. So, we say set it up for semi-outdoor summer living anywhere."

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

A Prefab Project

Link to A Prefab Project

I've really been enjoying the posts on A Prefab Project. Homeowners Chris and Sarah track the construction of their prefab home, designed by info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture.

One of the downsides of the modular building method is that modules are limited to a size that fits on a flatbed truck. Chris offers some perspective after a visit to the factory:

"When we were first looking around at the different prefab options, we had no real perspective on what 14' wide or 16' wide would be like for the whole length of a house - those are both obviously fine dimensions for a single room, but how does it feel to have a whole house fit into that width?...yesterday it was reassuring to actually stand in ours and feel how open and comfortable the space is..."

Resolution 4's 16' module width is fairly typical, e.g.
info_smallHive Modular: 16'
info_smallAlchemy Architects: 14'
info_smallOMD: 12' - 14'
info_smallMarmol Radziner: 12'

Chris answered some user comments and questions by listing some of the finish and fixtures they chose. Their goal: "modest and genuinely cost effective (and of course largely unspectacular)".

Another post compares photos of the actual modules in the factory and the renderings that Resolution 4 had provided to the homeowners in the design process.

Last Monday, Chris relayed a funny story about his Grandpa's take on modernist design.

Related Posts:
   1. Lost River Modern by Resolution 4 (Aug 13, 2009)
   2. A Prefab Project you can rent (Jul 10, 2008)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

OMD update

Link to OMD update

When we first covered Jennifer Siegel's info_smallOMD, their website barely worked. I'm happy to report that it's much improved.

The site is definitely worth a visit. It includes details on prefab homes that are completed or in progress. For example, here's a video (4:11 minutes, no audio) of the Pacific Palisades Prefab.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Hive Modular, OMD, WIRED, and more miniHome (Jul 07, 2007)
   2. Take a portable swell house home (Mar 29, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: prefab school, CA prefab and SIPs

Link to This week: prefab school, CA prefab and SIPs

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered a prefab school project in progress by Jennifer Siegel's OMD:

"...We're thrilled to see prefab systems being applied to more public and educational contexts!) While the construction isn't quite finished, we think this is a great opportunity to show the process and progress of an exceptional prefab project- and one of the best (and first) prefab schools we've seen integrate so many green technologies...

We find this project particularly interesting as it is an addition to an existing structure, which provides not only site-specific but aesthetic and programmatic context."

Treehugger covers a prefab concept in the UK by architect Richard Rogers. The post includes over a dozen photos, and quotes a recent Financial Times article (subscription required) with a hat tip to Urbanity.

The San Jose Mercury News ran an article about prefab and price:

"Manufactured homes are no longer the boxy firetraps owned by the poor and elderly. Instead they are increasingly becoming the smartly-designed homes of the young, wealthy and educated.

About 1.4 million people in California live in manufactured homes, and the typical profile of an owner has become younger, more educated and more affluent...

...standard site-built homes cost about $250 a square foot whereas manufactured housing can be as low as $120 a square foot, a big savings for people used to paying top dollar in the Bay Area."

Materialicious (a blog all about building materials) points out that the Structural Insulated Panel Association offers useful information, "including a Green Building section".

Related Posts:
   1. UK prefab school (Jul 09, 2008)
   2. This week: London, Resolution: 4, OMD and more (May 24, 2008)
   3. Take a portable swell house home (Mar 29, 2007)
   4. So, what are SIPs anyway? (Mar 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

This week: New Orleans, Austrian prefab, and weeHouses

Link to This week: New Orleans, Austrian prefab, and weeHouses

A new blog called BLUEPRINT New Orleans explores the future of the city's design and culture. Here, Brad Brooks, talks about "prefab's promise" and the Dwell conference:

"While putting together an initial package of videos about new architectural trends in New Orleans, one of the more promising topics of interest was prefab..."

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story on a prefab home in the area being built from parts from Austria:

"...what ultimately led Pierce and his wife, Peggy, to bring the Thoma Holz100 system to Walnut Creek was the environmental sensibility of using sustainable wood -- in this case, fast- and easy-growing European larch -- in a way that requires no glues, finishes or other chemicals. Various sizes of lumber are layered vertically, horizontally and diagonally to form the solid panels. Then dried wooden dowels are strategically pressed through drilled holes...and expand inside the panels to secure the structure."

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covers David Adjaye's prefab home in the UK.

Cubeme has some thoughts and great pictures of info_smallOMD's Seatrain, a house in LA:

"In keeping with the artistic spirit of the community in which this house is being built, the project has been a collaborative experiment between the client, Richard Carlson, and the fabricators using a design/build approach where creative and structural decisions were made as the house was being constructed."

Treehugger talks about an aluminum framing system mentioned on Mocoloco mid-last year.

Future House Now covers Alchemy Architect's info_smallweeHouse:

"You know, there are some houses that just make you feel good when you see them. I always see fun in the "weeHouse" designs from Alchemy Architects. I can't believe I haven't done a post on them before. [Their] houses have such a cool vibe."

And so does a blog called Design Mind:

"These days the Weehouse is not so wee, but it started out as the little abode you see here. It was in production in the US early in the prefab boom and now has many design options for a full home. But it's this first model that I still love."

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. New weeHouse website (Dec 21, 2007)
   4. This week: IKEA goes prefab, mountain retreats, and a prefab high-rise (Apr 21, 2007)
   5. Itsy Bitsy weeHouse (Mar 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

CA Boom roundup 2: "that one"

Link to CA Boom roundup 2:

I spoke briefly with the info_smallOMD/Jennifer Siegal folks. They had some great product literature, offering a little more insight into their product (vs. their lame website). I saw a couple go into the booth ask for "that one" and point to a rendering on the wall. They've got interest, and some quality products to offer.

info_smallLivingHomes and info_smallMarmol Radziner have great (if pricey!) products. Both Steve Glenn (CEO of LivingHomes) and someone from Marmol Radziner (I didn't get there in time to catch his name) were speaking at a prefab forum yesterday. Marmol Radziner hightlights the design aspect of its product, while LivingHomes emphasizes its greenness and LEED certification. The design of each is largely custom and aimed at those where budget is not really a concern, but you do get what you pay for.

The info_smallSander Architects booth was crowded, so I didn't get much facetime there. I heard Whitney Sander talk at the prefab forum. He fielded some strange questions, like one from a potential buyer wondering how the info_smallHybrid House's steel framing would hold up in wildfire-prone areas (answer: steel framing is better than wood framing). He also got in some good points about the resale value of a prefab home, especially one with some inherit design value.

My favorite discussion was with Marc Asmus of info_smallHive Modular. Before the show I wasn't really won over by their "dual style" approach (modern and traditional versions of each floorplan, like the above). After speaking with Marc, I gained a better appreciation for the approach and their reasoning behind it. He was slightly frustrated that they weren't getting more inquiries into their traditional style options. Modernist prefab was definitely the star of the show, but the ability to offer a product in two different styles should win them more consumers.

And one more to come...

what: exhibitors at CA Boom
when: last weekend

Related Posts:
   1. CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16 (Mar 05, 2008)
   2. CA Boom roundup 3: the eccentrics (Apr 03, 2007)
   3. CA Boom roundup 1: confusion and flux (Apr 02, 2007)
   4. Prefab Zone at CA Boom 4 (Mar 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

CA Boom in the blogs this weekend

Link to CA Boom in the blogs this weekend

There was surprisingly little coverage of CA Boom prefab around the web this weekend. Perhaps all of the bloggers are waiting until they get into the work week to file their thoughts. A couple of posts did show, mostly speaking about green issues:

A report over at Curbed LA about the tour of the Ray Kappe LivingHome model, something I missed.

A few notes and pics of the Prefab Zone over at Curbed LA.

Green LA girl points out that info_smallLivingHomes and info_smallOMD emphasized their green credentials.

Inhabit loves the new location and enjoyed the evening reception. See their pics too.

Related Posts:
   1. More CA Boom in the blogs (Apr 04, 2007)
   2. CA Boom roundup 1: confusion and flux (Apr 02, 2007)
   3. Prefab Zone at CA Boom 4 (Mar 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 

Take a portable swell house home

Link to Take a portable swell house home

Jennifer Siegal's info_smallOffice of Mobile Design (OMD) comes to CA Boom with three distinct home lines.

The info_smallPortable House is a line of homes that can best be described as stylish, updated mobile homes. They are built in the factory and shipped complete (with wheels) to your site. Most models betray that fact, with fairly simple linear or stacked forms as a result.

The flexibility of the info_smallSwellhouse line lends itself to a more varied product. SIPs clad a "signature" S-shaped framing system. The Ecology Sun System (ECOSS) glass panels afford large expanses of uninterrupted glass. Like the portable house, swell houses are custom designed and no standard models are offered.

In the info_smallTake Home, OMD offers four standard configurations: 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom versions. The 1 bedroom is a single 14' x 60' linear module, with a roof sloping in toward the center. The 2,880 sf 4 bedroom is basically double width and double height, coming to 24' x 60'. All models cost about $240/sf and are shipped complete to your site.

One gripe: good luck finding the above information on their website. It's all done in Flash -- with no HTML version and it barely works. Sometimes a click leads somewhere, sometimes not. Details are nearly impossible to find, e.g. 36 lines of text that must be viewed 6 lines at a time.

style: modern
price: $200,000 - $691,200
size: 840sf - 2,880sf for the standard models
br: 1 - 4 bedrooms
how: complete modules or SIP
timeline: unknown

Related Posts:
   1. OMD's Swellhouse in the LA Times (Nov 20, 2007)
   2. OMD update (May 29, 2007)
   3. This week: prefab school, CA prefab and SIPs (May 26, 2007)
   4. Prefab Zone at CA Boom 4 (Mar 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , 
Our aim is to create the web's #1 resource for prefab and modular homes. Read our blog for daily news, and browse around to learn more about the emerging world of prefab.