Entries tagged as 'weeHouse'
size: 324 sf
Worth a look: the listing includes 7 more pictures.
We looked around and found the link:
Title: The Next Little Thing
Subtitle: As the era of McMansions fades, wee houses promote simpler, more efficient living
Author: Joe Bargmann
Publication: The inflight magazine for Continental Airlines
Section: The Idea of the Moment
Length: 1,235 words
Date: June 2009
We received an email this week from Alchemy Architects announcing their weeHouse Open House today and this weekend.
title: Saturn weeHouse Open House
host: Heart of North, LLC
where: Siren, WI
location: 24729 Highway 35/70, Siren, WI 54872 on the west frontage road just north of Siren and south of Highway 70 East
date: May 22 - 24, 2009
time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
notes: Also by appointment
contact: Phone: (715) 349-8800 or email: email@example.com
Tonight (Oct. 16) from 7:00-10:00 pm is opening night for A Clean Break: "An exhibition of modern prefab architecture and high-design, low-waste innovations for the urban environment."
The full exhibition runs from Oct. 17-30. Their description:
See our Oct. 1 post (linked below) for more details.
Architectural Record reports:
The show will feature two actual prefabs:
Also in the exhibition:
The exhibition is free and open to the public.
title: A Clean Break
what: Prefab exhibition
where: 313 South Broad Street at Spruce, Philadelphia
date: October 17-30, 2008
time: Daily, 11:00-7:00
details: free, open to the public
Shedworking reported that Alchemy Architects are considering bringing their weeHouses to the UK:
A recent email from Alchemy Architects says:
Old pricing was in the $150/SF range, so it's quite a drop. Actual pricing depends on your part of the country.
Higher capacity solar kits are available for larger homes. For details: FusionModular.com.
From the mailbox:
The two options:
Also worth mentioning: basic weeHouse pricing for any region in the country is now available. Kudos to the weeHouse folks for making that information so accessible!
model: 2x4 weeHouse
price: from $319,000 (~$150/sf)
size: 2,150 sf
how: complete modules
model: 4x4 weeHouse
price: from $319,000 (~$150/sf)
size: 2,090 sf
how: complete modules
WIRED published an annotated slideshow of small prefabs last week:
The world is getting hotter and more crowded every day, and modular, prefab housing is just what the doctor ordered. When you go small, it's not just about energy efficiency and carbon footprints -- it's also about being strange, cool and beautiful. We've chosen our favorite houses that meld style with globally conscious living. Enjoy.
Some are real and some are vaporware; all have been around the block a few times. And of course, the comments include "why are these so expensive?"
author: Rob Beschizza
length: 12 slides
I like weeHouses for three reasons:
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...
From the mailbox:
We like to think of weeHouses as being Good+Cheap+Fast, and, along those lines, we hope you'll find our new Web site Good+Helpful+Fast. After several months of painstaking discussion and analysis, followed by several more of crying, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, we feel like we've come up with a site that successfully conveys massive amounts of information, while showcasing our office's playful, creative nature. We really hope you like it! Visit us at www.weehouse.com to check out our new line of standard weeHouses, complete with plans, pricing, and superFancy interactive graphics, or to browse our top-notch custom architectural projects. There's lots of great new stuff to see, do, and learn.
The new site features 360 degree views of all of their prefab models and detailed pricing, based on the region of the country you live in. Coming soon: the ability to build and price your custom weeHouse.
Jetson Green is a fan:
I love it because you can see houses they've built, projects in planning....If you're looking to get a home, you want to go with a company that's actually built something.
From the mailbox:
Alchemy welcomes you to visit the newest not-so-weeHouse during their Holiday Open House. This 4 bedroom, 4 bath, 4-box weeHouse is located in Linden Hills [Minneapolis] on a mature, wooded city lot and contains many standard and custom weeHouse elements.
A terrific example of green prefab architecture.
Where: 4221 Ewing Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN
When: December 14, 2007, from 4-7 PM
...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.
Jetson Green looked at a new container project in Panama City, Panama.
The Dwell on Design conference is this weekend in San Francisco.
We won't be there, but here's who will:
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 finished...so 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."
Some prefab-specific events that will be worth checking out:
what: Dwell on Design conference
where: Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA
when: September 14-16, 2007
sponsor: Dwell Magazine
registration: $20 for Exhibition Only pass, September 15-16. $895 for full conference and exhibition passport.
features: over 80 exhibitors and vendors
The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday covered the weeHouse from Alchemy Architects:
"A two bedroom prefab for $109,000? Sounds interesting. Except for the foundation, fitting and seaming of the house after arrival, and utility hookups, these weeHouses from Alchemy Architects come ready to live in. Very cool!"
Luba's San Francisco Real Estate Blog is looking forward to for the upcoming Dwell on Design show:
"Woo Hoo! This is the first year that I'll be attending the Dwell on Design Conference and Exhibition! And I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am!"
Inhabitat also shared their thoughts on the show and recapped their coverage from last year.
Inhabitat's Prefab Friday discussed the microSYSTEM homes this week; we'll take a closer look at those soon.
One year ago, Kiplinger's Personal Finance featured an article on Fabulous Prefabs.
"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 article also outlines some key differences between panelized and modular construction:
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."
"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....Kiplinger's included a slideshow that covers several companies we've covered here:
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."
• Alchemy Architects
• Lazor Office
• EcoSteel (aka EcoContempo)
• Taalman Koch
• Resolution: 4 Architecture
• Rocio Romero.
Title: Fabulous Prefabs
Author: Sean O-Neill
Publication: Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Length: 1,500 words
Date: July, 2006
Quon Modular is a semi-custom prefab system from Australia. Each room is a (mostly) self-contained module, measuring 5 m x 3.1 m (16 ft x 10 ft). Buy exactly what you need placed side-by-side, stacked, or each by itself.
Materialicio.us loves the concept:
"For me, this is the simplest, most efficient system yet devised for a customized, prefabricated house. Design your house using their standard components, place the order, and ten weeks later it's delivered."
Few prefabs offer such a flexible approach. The weeHouse series from Alchemy Architects allows for the addition of specialized modules, such as the sleepTight, but their modules vary in size. v2world was offering a similar product in their v2shell, but last we heard, they were reworking their product line.
company: Quon Modular
size: each module is ~140 sf
price: starts at ~$150,000 for 4 modules (br, bath, kitchen, multi-purpose)
finish level: complete, inside and out, including light fixtures, utilities, and finish
(More coverage: Treehugger)
Exchange rate used: $A1.168 = US$1.00
LiveModern is a website for "anyone interested in modern and sustainable design for housing products and services." EcoSteel, aka EcoContempo, contributes content to the site. Especially worth a look is the construction blog by architect Greg La Vardera:
"Our blog is for tracking the development of new Modern House designs which are available at our catalog house plan site lamidesign.com/plans. We also cover the prefab house products we work on such as EcoContempo, EcoSteel, custom modular, and IBU container based housing."
The blog covers the variety of projects, detailing developments in the ongoing planning and construction of each. A recent post focused on a project in New Mexico, including photos of the site and renderings of the structures:
"The project consists of a trio of buildings - a residence, a garage/shop, and an observatory structure. Yes! That's right. More detail about that later. The three structures are located in proximity to each other at one corner of the site."
At the Vermont Plat House, interior finishes are going in:
"The owner moves in to the house in a matter of days. No doubt there will be more loose ends, but we will see it almost done very soon."An earlier post on the same house had some great exterior shots.
"The proposal was for a student housing village composed of a series of these [stacked] IBU structures. As the competition was being held in concert with a conference on green building, the student housing was proposed as a test bed for new sustainable energy and building systems. It was proposed that the units serve the Engineering school allowing for the students to live in and work at innovating and optimizing the new systems being designed at the school."
Glossary: IBU (Inter-modal Building Units) - Greg La Vardera's name for container housing
"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."
"It's been recently updated, and gives a lot of detail, the kind of detail you don't get from glossy magazine articles."
"They say it has no geographic limitations. So, we say set it up for semi-outdoor summer living anywhere."
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..."
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.
Tour locations to date:
Vancouver Art Gallery
Yale School of Architecture
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Design Center
what: Some Assembly Required Exhibit
when: June 15 - September 30, 2007
Back in February, the New York Times published "Think Small", a story all about small second homes:
"A wave of interest in such small dwellings — some to serve, like the Shepherds' home, as temporary housing, others to become space-saving dwellings of a more permanent nature — has prompted designers and manufacturers to offer building plans, kits and factory-built houses to the growing number of small-thinking second-home shoppers. Seldom measuring much more than 500 square feet, the buildings offer sharp contrasts to the rambling houses that are commonplace as second homes."
"For $90,000...Scott McGlasson...and his wife, Lisa...bought a 700-square-foot weeHouse....It has plumbing, tall glass doors, Andersen windows, laminate flooring, recessed lighting and Ikea cabinets. It is comfortable and attractive. 'But people confuse prefab with inexpensive,' Mr. McGlasson said. 'On a middle-class budget, this was doable, but not easy.' They bought the land — a small lot on Lake Pequaywan in northern Minnesota — in 2002 for $80,000. It already had a septic system, a well and access to utilities.There have been a number of blog posts about, or inspired by, the article since then. Trend Agitator added some commentary:
One rectangular module serves as the main floor; above it is an additional square module that serves as a second bedroom, which must be entered from outdoors via a ship's ladder. Guests love it because it's separate from the rest of the house. 'And because they can lock out our three kids,' Mr. McGlasson said."
"Luxurious small dwellings are the next wave. Defined as less than 700 sq ft, these dwellings are increasingly more aesthetic and available thru prefab manufacturers. As consumers rethink their priorities, these abbreviated structures motivate occupants to edit precisely and define themselves against the open space of the land rather than the footprint of the shelter."
Treehugger criticized the fact that most of the homes discussed in the article are used as second, or vacation, homes:
"Unfortunately, many of the homes profiled in the article are second or vacation homes, further stigmatizing the small footprint prefab as something that can only be used for a period of weeks, not the whole year."
Inhabitat shared similar thoughts:
"Some of those who have found themselves comfortable in these tiny houses have purchased them as second homes, which we find a bit ironic. The romantic notion of a large vacation plot of land, barely flecked with a 10' x 8' footprint is nice, but probably not exactly what Small House Society represents. Do you really get credit for adjusting your lifestyle for the sake of a small house — if you own two?"
Blogs were covering the article as late as last week. Alt^House, a blog covering "news and information on non-traditional home options", covered a guy who lives in a tiny house:
"Most of us think of a 500 square foot apartment as pretty darned small, but what would you say to living a house where the entire area measures only 96 square feet?"
A blog named DO Research showed up in a few places around the blogosphere. The blog is an "online note-to-self occasionally posted up on the internets for the unbuilt prefab home of Nicole Dotin and Eric Olson." They've been writing for a while; their coverage of the Aperture House, mentioned here last week, got attention. Treehugger enjoyed the photos:
"We love showing pictures of modern prefab, hoping that someday it will make good green design accessible and affordable. Nichole Dotin and Eric Olson plan to build a prefab and are clipping their own pictures of favourites. Where others might stick them in a file folder, they store them online as they move around the world from Minneapolis to Reading, UK."
I happened upon a blog that "tracks the building of our house, the first NextHouse by Empyrean." The house is almost complete, and this week, the authors discussed the last-minute craziness of the project:
"As move-in date draws nearer, all the things that need to be handled seem to be converging and conspiring to eat up all of our free time on weekends, and a bunch of time on weekdays as well."
Prefab Update discusses the efficiency of the 7.83 Hz House:
"It only requires two truck loads of materials to assemble, is built with sustainable materials, and is extremely energy efficient. The home is reconfigurable and low cost."
"I have never been certain what to make of Whitney Sander's Hybrid House...(A quick note based on our earlier coverage: every Hybrid House comes with a prefab structural steel frame; some incorporate prefab wall and roof panels.)
Most architects working in prefab are trying to create standard designs, to reduce the cost and risk to the client, and bring the services of talented architects to smaller houses. Sander thinks otherwise and says that 'What we love about the part prefab, all custom™ approach to prefab is that this will be YOUR house, designed exclusively for you...' He then follows an absolutely standard process of client engagement, design, design development and construction documents....
However I think it is a stretch to call it prefab."
Treehugger also showed off a new green home built with shipping containers:
"The R4House prototype consists of two bioclimatic homes (one of 150 m2 and a mini-flat of 30m2) made from materials that close the loop. The energy consumption of both is zero due to its bioclimatic design, the solar panels and the geothermal energy source. The waste production during construction is also zero. Both homes are modular and built from six recycled shipping containers; low-cost and allowing flexibility."
The University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design runs a website/blog tracking their projects. They've been posting weekly on the construction of a new prefab in Kansas City. This week (week 19 of the project), they're nearing completion:
"Our goal was to be finished this week and have all of next week to tidy up and prepare for the open house on the 19th. With the exception of minute detail work, we have reached our goal. All of the siding is finished, the south deck is completed, and the ramp is being clad with Cumaru today. We can now finish our site work by bringing in sod in once high-trafficked areas to the south and between the house and garage."
"...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..."
what: Some Assembly Required Exhibit
where: MOCA at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles
when: February 28 - May 20, 2007
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.
"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."
"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."
The Alchemy Architects were quite zany, with matching blue jumpsuits. A Warholized image of the first weeHouse graced the Alchemy booth (seen above). They didn't take themselves too seriously, but are showing serious results. A couple dozen projects are complete or under way.
kitHAUS brought in a full-size K3 structure and used that as its booth. Visitor's were able to see and touch the product (as opposed to trying to decipher bad photos or floorplans or blocks of wood that were supposed to represent modules). Their structural framing/clamping system (MHS) is really as cool as it sounds.
One satellite prefabber, the man at the helm of Modern Shed, shared details about his hands-on process. His offerings started with a humble shed a couple years back. That shed is now joined by a small studio and, soon, larger prefab dwellings. He and a partner have a number of built studios on the west coast, all of which they have personally delivered and installed. As noted in my earlier post, CA Boom required exhibitors in the Prefab Zone to have built a dwelling. Modern Shed didn't qualify this year (they only have the sheds and simple studios built), but is hoping for next. In any case, I was glad to learn about his refreshing approach and product line among the regular exhibits.
Overall, the vendors had some great information to share, and people were VERY interested. It was difficult to get a word with some of the reps! Topics that came up in discussions with company reps: the regional availability of models and factory locations; permitting issues and process; custom designed models; and site issues. More on those soon!
what: exhibitors at CA Boom
when: last weekend
With just a small number of configuration and appearance options, and a fabrication process that includes all finishes, you really are getting a 'prefab' home. It might not be that custom home you've been thinking about since first grade, but a first grader could probably handle the ordering of this puppy.
The weeHouse features studio, one and two bedroom options, with the ability to customize and build a much larger home. The standard options range in price from $70,000 for a 300sf studio to $110,000 for a 650sf two bedroom. These prices don't include bringing the utility hookups to the site or the home's foundation; homeowners and their contractor are responsible for this on-site work. Standard finish and fixture options include Ikea cabinetry and fixtures, and, for a price, the more high-end Duravit sinks, toilets, and tubs.
The 12' modules are built in the factory and trucked to your (future) doorstep. Hire a crane (at ~$250/hr - $500/hr) to position the structure on your foundation, hook up the utilities and you are ready to go! It doesn't get much easier than that. This method is one that other prefabs really should aspire to.
Alchemy Architects offer a number of custom options too, ranging from the ability to design "not too wee" houses or even to site-build a weeHouse.
price: $69,500 - $109,500 for standard models
size: 300sf - 700sf for the standard models
br: studio - 2 bedrooms
how: complete modules shipped to site, placed with crane
timeline: construction stated as 4-12 weeks