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 Entries tagged as 'steel'

Christopher Campbell hybrid in North Haven, ME

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Raimund Koch

The upcoming issue of Dwell Magazine will feature a hybrid home by info_smallChristopher Campbell Architecture.

The wedgelike shape of the house, the red prefabricated steel frame glimpsed between the slats of two-by-eight-foot pine siding, and the roll-up firehouse doors on the seaward facade all owe a debt to the working buildings of Maine.


The metal frame and wood panels that line the interior were constructed in a barn on the mainland then shipped out by barge. Work crews took lobster boats out to the island each day; the spiral staircase from the main room to the master bedroom was fabricated in a Maine shop; and the granite in the foundation is from Mosquito Mountain near Bucksport. The doors are from Bristol and the builder, Scott Pearson, whom Campbell frequently praises to the skies, is a homegrown Mainer.

View their slideshow.

Subtitle: North Haven, a rocky island in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, is quintessentially New England. As it happens, so is this boat barn–inspired brand of rugged, regional modernism.
Author: Aaron Britt
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Section: Dwellings
Length: 1,423 words
Date: July/August 2009

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resPOD by Matthew Grace

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info_smallMatthew Grace Architecture in Australia now offers four resPOD prefab homes.

According to their site, resPOD is:

an extremely cost effective modular form of flexible living that enables every homeowner to be environmentally responsible and sustainable whilst maintaining a high level of quality and detail.

All models are constructed from steel shipping containers.

Model Size BR Bath Stories

info_smallA-Type 291 sf
(27 m²)
1 1 1
info_smallB-Type 603 sf
(56 m²)
2 1 1
info_smallC-Type 1,120 sf
(104 m²)
3 1 2
info_smallD-Type 1,668 sf
(155 m²)
4 2 3

(We were unable to find pricing information.)

Hat tip: Inhabitat on May 25, 2009.

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Cantilever House by Anderson Anderson Architecture

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John Clark

materialicious recently linked to an interesting Dwell Magazine article from 2005. The article covered a mountaintop house built with prefab elements by info_smallAnderson Anderson Architecture.

the house adds an interesting case study to the ongoing research project that is prefabricated building—another rung to the ladder the building industry needs to climb to maximize prefab’s potential

From the slideshow:

Architect Peter Anderson explains that “the floating nature of the design would not have been possible with conventional onsite framing techniques, nor any of the currently marketed modular home designs.” Using a heavy structural steel frame, engineered wood spline beam system, and structural insulated panels, the architects created a truly unique hybrid structural system and, in the end, a home.

The use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) throughout the house helped speed the construction process. Peter Anderson explains, "The panels themselves hang from and rest upon the steel frame and wood spline beam system, which is the link between the steel frame and the panels. The SIPs provide enclosure, insulation, and the spanning capacity to support the cast-concrete floor."

Read the article for more information.

Subtitle: In an unlikely mountaintop locale, Anderson Anderson Architecture crafted a home out of a complex composition of off-the-shelf components, paving new paths for the prefabricated construction industry.
Author: Andrew Wagner
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Section: Dwellings
Length: 1,389 words
Date: April/May 2005

Related Posts:
   1. So, what are SIPs anyway? (Mar 27, 2007)
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Blue Sky Homes completes prototype

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info_smallBlue Sky Homes recently finished their info_smallYucca Valley Prototype.

It has been exactly 8 weeks since we started this journey and I’m happy to report that the house is finished – furniture is in, television is working, literally a turn-key house!

Check out the post for more pictures.

Related Posts:
   1. Blue Sky Homes builds prefab steel prototype in Yucca Valley, CA (Mar 20, 2009)
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Bercy Chen Studio's modular steel prefab

Link to Bercy Chen Studio's modular steel prefab

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

model: The Annie Residence

According to the architect's website:

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

Check out:

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

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

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The LA Times on Sander Architects and steel framing

Link to The LA Times on Sander Architects and steel framing,0,6176670.story

info_smallSander Architects designs homes that use prefabricated steel skeletons. The Los Angeles Times discusses the advantages of steel:

With costs below those of conventional building methods, quick and easy assembly and no termite issues, prefabricated or pre-engineered steel buildings are finding a place in the residential home market.

Homeowner Thomas Small explains part of his reason for choosing steel:

"Most of the metal in this house is recycled and will be recyclable at the end of its use in this house," Small said.

"And there's also very little waste with metal. It was made at the factory and then shipped here. There was no sawdust. No cutting," he said. "And we didn't have to hire specialized builders. It was built by the contractor who built the rest of the house, and bolted together very easily."

Firm principal Whitney Sander describes the process:

"It fits together like an erector set," Sander explained. "And it goes together in three weeks. The inside takes longer, but the prefabrication can save you months and thousands of dollars."

Some numbers from recent Sander Architects projects:

Two projects completed within the last year cost about $130 per square foot or about one-third of traditional custom residential costs, which can top $400 per square foot, according to Sander.

Small's construction costs were about $175 to $200 per square foot, compared with $120 to $350 for traditional non-custom homes, according to construction experts.

These sounds like impressive savings, though finishes and other construction unrelated to the steel skeleton play a large part in determining final construction costs. Read the complete article for more about Sander Architects and steel framing.

author: Michelle Hofmann
publication: The Los Angeles Times
length: 1,000 words
publication date: June 8, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Custom homes with prefab bones (Mar 29, 2007)
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Two EcoSteel projects moving along

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© Steve Cullen - from

I've received an update on a few info_smallEcoSteel projects. There's been significant progress with the house and observatory (pictured above), designed by info_smallGregory La Vardera, that we first covered them about a year ago.

The large project consists of a 7,000+ sf custom home, a "toy garage" and a private observatory. Definitely not your average home! Because of the project's remote location in Rodeo, New Mexico, not many contractors were available. So, homeowner Steve Cullen chose prefab. Some of the advantages:

  • faster build
  • ease of delivery and installation
  • design flexibility
  • strength and quality control
  • eco-efficiency

A number of images of the home's progress, as well as some cool night shots of the observatory are available on Picasa.

Another project, Goshawk Ranch, has its own blog. Under construction since September, the home looks to be moving along. The blog's most recent post shows the newly installed wall panels and front door.

EcoSteel's prefab system consists of a home's steel frame, both interior and exterior, along with exterior wall and roof panels. The remainder of the design and materials are left to the homeowner and local contractors. We discussed the system in detail last year.

This skeleton-and-skin sort of offering is not uncommon. A number of other prefab companies sell similar systems, with a range of additional design help. info_smallRocio Romero's info_smallLV Series homes come without finishes, but with a list of recommendations on finishes and vendors. And info_smallSander Architects design the entire home, but only prefabricate the steel framing.

Related Posts:
   1. EcoSteel Plat House (Jun 05, 2009)
   2. Emphasizing quality not price (Apr 10, 2007)
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