The world of prefab and modular homes.
  Entries written by Peter

The OPEN Prototype Initiative (OPI)

Link to The OPEN Prototype Initiative (OPI)
http://www.openprototype.com/

We recently came across an interesting project called The OPEN Prototype Initiative (OPI). It is:

... developing a series of prototypical homes to test a new model for the design, fabrication and assembly of highly responsive places of living.

Founding partners:

More information is available on the OPI website:

We look forward to seeing more from this collaboration.

Related Posts:
   1. Bensonwood's Unity House (Mar 02, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process website

Taliesen Mod.Fab complete

Link to Taliesen Mod.Fab complete
http://www.taliesin.edu/pages/MODFAB.htm

Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, posted pictures of their completed Mod.Fab.

[The] prototype residence relies on panelized construction to allow for speed and economy on site or in a factory

PrairieMod tracked their progress from start to finish.

model: Mod.Fab
size: 600 sf
BR: 1
baths: 1

Hat Tip: Jetson Green on February 13, 2009.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more (Jun 07, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model

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

Container home in Kansas City

Link to Container home in Kansas City
http://www.flickr.com/photos/homecontained

materialicious covered a shipping container house in Kansas City. They found the house via LamiDesign idea log.

The look is very basic. In any case, check out the 53 pictures on Flickr. It's interesting that one section has poured concrete walls.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers

The Guardian's favorite prefabs from Inhabitat

Link to The Guardian's favorite prefabs from Inhabitat
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2008/oct/16/greenbuilding-recycling

Back in October, The Guardian provided a gallery of pictures which they consider to be

the best green buildings from the design website Inhabitat

Note: Inhabitat is part of the Guardian Environment Network.

The gallery includes 3 prefab homes:

Hat tip: The Green Blog on October 20, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article KieranTimberlake slideshow

Adam Kalkin container home from 2003

Link to Adam Kalkin container home from 2003
http://www.architectureandhygiene.com/

Jetson Green recently shared pictures of an info_smallAdam Kalkin container house in Maine from 2003:

The beautiful home stretches the boundaries of modern design and is truly a work of art. It was created by stacking a dozen orange "reclaimed" shipping containers in a T-shape while replacing some of the steel panels with large windows looking out over the rocky peninsula to Blue Hill Bay.

Related Posts:
   1. Kalkin Quik House (May 15, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers Adam Kalkin

The American House 08 by William Massie

Link to The American House 08 by William Massie
http://www.massiearchitecture.com/

In their February 2009 issue, Dwell Magazine features an article about info_smallAmerican House 08 by architect info_smallWilliam Massie.

For Massie, creating this “transportable” house proved inspirational.

For over a decade, attaching his computer to a laser cutter, he learned how to draw intricate shapes—such as jigsaw patterns for wood paneling—and have the machine cut them out seamlessly. He then bought his own computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machine, which could drill down into a material to create molds. He was thus able to redefine how standard materials such as concrete, wood, and even rubber were used. They no longer had to be flat or rectangular—they could become sculptural forms.

The prefab part isn't really intended to be practical here:

When the house is moved again, some interior surfaces, such as the plaster ceilings, will, in Massie’s words, “have to be sacrificed.” Redoing them, and reinstalling the floor, will cost about $20,000. The total transport cost, apart from any work to connect the house to the site, will be nearly $45,000. The cost of the house itself? $750,000.

designer: info_smallWilliam Massie
price: $750,000+
size: ~2,500 sf
br: 2
baths: 2.5

The house is listed on ebay. The starting bid was $480,000 and the current bid is up to $490,100.

Read the Dwell article for more details, then visit Massie's website for numerous pictures and a virtual tour.

Subtitle: Art object or machine for living in? Architect William Massie’s personal prefab project takes the mass out of mass customization to create a one-of-a-kind wonder.
Author: David Hay
Publication: Dwell Magazine
Section: Homes
Length: 1,356 words
Date: February 2009

(Hat tip: Materialicious on December 22, 2008)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: one-off

The Clayton iHouse

Link to The Clayton iHouse
http://clayton-i-house.blogspot.com/

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the info_smalliHouse from info_smallClayton Homes. They do not offer model information on their main website, though there is a virtual tour of the house.

The (Maryville, TN) Daily Times interviewed Kevin Clayton, the company's CEO and president, on October 29, 2008.

Metro Pulse had a lengthy article on December 17, 2008:

The core product is a 992-square-foot one-bedroom home featuring a detached “Flex Room” connected by an “Outdoor Living Space” or deck made of recycled materials. If you look at the floor plan ... the main structure looks a little bit like a lower case “i,” with the Flex Room as its dot. Hence the name.

Jetson Green shared some great pictures on January 9, 2009.

TreeHugger had two separate posts on January 10, 2009, one by Lloyd Alter and the other by Brian Merchant.

Last, but not least, a fan created The Clayton iHouse blog. Although not affiliated with Clayton Homes, it is a great source of information.

model: info_smalliHouse
designer: info_smallClayton Homes
price: ~$100,000
size: 1,280 sf
beds: 2
baths: 2

Related Posts:
   1. Clayton iHouse now available (May 12, 2009)
   2. Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee (Oct 29, 2008)
   3. Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Greensboro, NC (Oct 09, 2008)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model

The RINCON 5 from Marmol Radziner

Link to The RINCON 5 from Marmol Radziner
http://www.marmolradzinerprefab.com/rincon.html

We're still catching up on old news. In November, Jetson Green covered the info_smallRINCON 5 from info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab:

RINCON is the moniker for their latest modular series, a line of homes that can double as a small prefab dwelling or ancillary living structure, you name it. The name is inspired by the Spanish word for "nook" -- an apt description for this little accessory structure.

model: info_smallRINCON 5
price: $179,000 base ($223,000 installed)
size: 660 sf
beds: 1
baths: 1

Related Posts:
   1. Podcast features Marmol Radziner and Blu Homes (Aug 14, 2009)
   2. Hollywood Hybrid by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 11, 2009)
   3. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   4. This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse (Aug 16, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model Marmol Radziner Prefab

Envision Prefab's container homes

Link to Envision Prefab's container homes
http://www.jetsongreen.com/2008/11/envision-prefab.html

In November, Jetson Green featured a post by one of their sponsors, info_smallEnvision Prefab.

Envision Prefab ... is bringing container architecture to a new level by creating complete modular housing out of these frames.

The home starts with the basic cargo containers. Factory technicians mark out the windows, doors, mechanical, and plumbing vents and cut through the corrugated metal walls. The interior wall is completely removed, and the containers are braced to prevent any deflections.

See the post for photographs of the construction sequence.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers process company

Michelle Kaufmann: there's a bright side to the current housing market troubles

Link to Michelle Kaufmann: there's a bright side to the current housing market troubles
http://blog.michellekaufmann.com/

Back in November, info_smallMichelle Kaufmann released a new white paper (pdf) titled "Redefining Cost: A Beacon of Hope Shines through Housing Market Gloom".

In it, she says:

The convergence of the financial, energy, and housing crises has essentially become a perfect storm with the power not only to weed out the risky and damaging housing industry practices of old but also to encourage the promulgation of more economically and environmentally sustainable practices going forward.

While the paper doesn't address prefab specifically, it covers issues that could affect the industry. It's definitely worth a look.

Hat tip: Building Systems on November, 27, 2008.

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)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green

The This Old House Home Collection

Link to The This Old House Home Collection
http://bensonwood.com/onthisoldhouse/

In 2005, Dwell magazine launched a line of co-branded prefab homes with several companies. In October, Time Inc's This Old House (TOH) announced they were following suit (paid subscription required):

... to create the This Old House Home Collection by Bensonwood

Publisher Matt Turck said TOH will get an undisclosed share of revenue. The homes will be priced from $300,000 to $600,000.

Turck added that the pact extends his brand's reputation beyond home improvement.

"Factory-built homes are the future of home building," the publisher said. "We want to connect our brand with the future of home building."

This news comes as the This Old House TV series wraps up construction on a info_smallBensonwood home that has served as the subject of the show's latest season. Further information on that project is available on the This Old House blog.

Title: This New House (paid subscription required)
Subtitle: Time Inc. home-improvement title in prefab home pact
Author: Lucia Moses
Publication: Mediaweek
Length: 446 words
Date: October 27, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Building Systems blog podcasts (Jan 07, 2009)
   2. This Old House to go prefab (Apr 29, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model television

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

Glencairn Cottages win an Aurora Award

Link to Glencairn Cottages win an Aurora Award
http://www.glencairncottages.com/charleston.shtml

Building Systems blog reported back in November:

Carl Krave, president of Pocket Neighborhoods, a builder and developer in the Tampa Bay, FL ... recently won the coveted Aurora Award for his Glencairn Cottages project.

These green and energy-efficient model homes, which are built off site by Nationwide Custom Homes (Martinsville, VA), replicate the old, historic homes seen in Key West, FL, and Charleston, SC. The project won the award for the best development on less than 100 acres

Worth a listen: their podcast about Krave's strategy.

Worth browsing: Glencairn Cottages

Builder: info_smallNationwide Custom Homes

Related Posts:
   1. Building Systems blog podcasts (Jan 07, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model development

Modular in Austin, Texas

Link to Modular in Austin, Texas
http://www.statesman.com/business/content/business/stories/statesmanhomes/10/26/1026prefab.html

Catching up on a backlog of old news. Here's a story out of Austin, Texas:

In about seven hours, Austin builder Gary Bellomy used a 100-foot-tall, 100-ton crane to erect a pair of townhomes that are expected to earn the top rating from Austin Energy's Green Building Program.

Not bad, considering a project this size would typically take months to build. The secret: modular construction.

Companies mentioned:

Read the full article for details.

subtitle: 2 projects show new designs, flair for architecture
author: Carrie Alexander
publication: Austin American-Statesmen
section: Homes
length: 985 words
date: October 26, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. ma modular homes by KRDB in Texas (May 27, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: modular

Pictures of the Johnson Creek weeHouse

Link to Pictures of the Johnson Creek weeHouse
http://alchemyarch.blogspot.com/2008/12/not-so-weehouse-update.html

Earlier this month, Contemporist shared pictures of the newly finished Johnson Creek info_smallweeHouse in PA.

Original source: Alchemy blog

model: Johnson Creek info_smallweeHouse
construction method: modules
size: 2,200 sf
br: 3

Designer: info_smallAlchemy Architects.

Related Posts:
   1. Pictures of weeHouse settings in Colorado and New York (Aug 26, 2009)
   2. weeHouse in Continental Airlines magazine (Jun 16, 2009)
   3. weeHouse by Alchemy on display in WI; today and this weekend (May 22, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse Alchemy Architects

The 2+ Weekend House from Jure Kotnik Arhitek

Link to The 2+ Weekend House from Jure Kotnik Arhitek
conhouse.com

Mocoloco covered the 2+ Weekend House, designed by info_smallJure Kotnik Arhitekt:

... the 2+ Weekend House is a container house with a difference - it's made with containers manufactured expressly for housing (vs. cargo containers). "As opposed to the other container projects, which mostly feed on the excess of available cargo containers, ConHouse pushes the development of containers manufactured especially for housing and office purposes."

The company's Conhouse (container house) Web site has lots of details:

See also: more pictures of the 2+ Weekend House.

model: 2+ Weekend House
construction method: containers

(Hat tip: materialicious on December 10, 2008; also covered by Treehugger on the same day)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model containers company

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

Prefabs in Turkey

Link to Prefabs in Turkey
http://www.orcayapi.com/

Turkish newspaper Hürriyet reports on Turkey's first eco-friendly prefab homes by Orca Yapı Sistemleri:

Orca Yapı began work on the design in 2006. A project request from Sudan required the company to design a steel-structured prefabricated home unit, with a two-year guarantee, that could endure temperatures ranging from plus 50 degrees to minus 50 degrees Celsius. The company added their own requirement of earthquake durability, making it more attractive in the domestic market. The design's first thumbs-up came from the Ministry of Public Works whose tests revealed the house to be durable in earthquakes reaching 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Sustainability and earthquake durability aside, the real draw for the unit is the cost.... The baseline cost for a unit, which does not include any alternative energy production methods like the active solar power water heating system that is installed on the show model in Kocaeli, is $295 per square meter.

That comes out to about $27.50 a square foot. That's in Turkey; I wonder how much it would cost to build the same home here.

The company website is in Turkish, but they do have a video page that's worth a look.

Publication: Hürriyet
Length: 712 words
Date: October 31, 2008

(Hat tip: Treehugger)

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

LOT-EK's Puma City

Link to LOT-EK's Puma City
lot-ek.com

Not a residence, but pretty impressive. Architecture blog Y08 took notice of info_smallLOT-EK's new Puma City:

24 shipping containers are retrofitted and transformed into PUMA CITY, a transportable retail and event building that is traveling around the world...

The building is fully dismountable and travels on a cargo ship ... it will be assembled and disassembled a number of times...

(Hat tips: Treehugger, Jetson Green, ecosistema urbano)

Related Posts:
   1. Puma City in Boston for 2 more days (May 14, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers LOT-EK

GreenPod open house this weekend in Burlington, Washington

Link to GreenPod open house this weekend in Burlington, Washington
http://www.greenpoddevelopment.com/

We just received an email from Ann Raab at info_smallGreenPod Development:

Our first GreenPod home, Franny’s Pod, named after its owner ... will be complete in a few days!

Members of the press, government officials, and the public are invited to tour Franny's new home, talk with GreenPod designers and staff, and learn more about sustainable living.

where: Burlington, WA
location: Transform manufacturing plant, 11857 Bay Ridge Drive
date: December 13-14, 2008
time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
cost: Free!

Related Posts:
   1. GreenPod Development (Apr 02, 2009)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green modular GreenPod Development

Agriboard SIPs made from wheat and rice straw

Link to Agriboard SIPs made from wheat and rice straw
http://www.agriboard.com/

Treehugger's Lloyd Alter recently attended the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston. He describes Agriboard Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) made by Agriboard Industries as

perhaps the best thing I saw

We previously covered SIPs and how they are made.

In constrast, an Agriboard SIP:

... uses wheat and rice straw that is normally burned or ploughed under, and builds it into a panel that delivers R-25, not as good as a styrofoam SIP but pretty good and in a form that gives you a tight envelope.

Related Posts:
   1. So, what are SIPs anyway? (Mar 27, 2007)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green SIPs

Homes for Our Troops goes modular

We're still catching up on news from last month. Here's a story worth covering:

Homes for Our Troops is a non-profit organization that provides homes to military personnel with severe injuries or disabilities sustained in active-duty wartime. Tidewater Modular Homes of Virginia Beach teamed up with Nationwide to provide the house for Bartlett, which will be set on its foundation in Chesapeake on Veteran’s Day Nov. 11.

Bartlett, who lives in Norfolk, came to Martinsville on Wednesday for a reception at Nationwide. He toured his future home in progress, stepping through the rooms on a $110,000 pair of prosthetic legs.

His new modular home is 1,475 sf and handicapped-accessible.

Some links:

Author: Kim Barto
Publication: Martinsville Bulletin
Length: 1,173 words
Date: October 23, 2008

(Hat tip: Charles Bevier of Building Systems on October 24, 2008)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article modular company local

The KTainer project

Link to The KTainer project
http://kathy.sneakyfrog.com/ktainer.html

A couple of weeks ago, materialicious covered Kathy Tafel's KTainer project:

With partners, I own land in a remote part of California. It has wild beauty, and some need of environmental restoration. Our first years there were spent in basic infrastructure such as water and road. To be there on a more regular basis, though, we needed to not spend hours setting up and tearing down a tent each time we visited. My partners built a yurt. I am building a house framed by shipping containers.

According to her website, the KTainer house was made from 4 24' containers which she purchased on Craigslist.

Also on the site, she details the process throughout various stages of construction and shares pictures:

Her conclusion:

there is far more romance in the idea of a shipping container home than the actuality of building one. Working with metal is a pain. You need to know metal-working skills or someone who has them. It is dangerous to work with power tools of course, but angle grinders and welders are especially not for the faint of heart. I am of course happy with the result, but this has been harder work than I imagined, and I didn't do the hardest labor.

If you are interested in shipping container homes, or considering building one yourself, Kathy's site is a must-visit.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers process

3 prefabs among winners of the second annual Lifecycle Building Challenge

Link to 3 prefabs among winners of the second annual Lifecycle Building Challenge
http://www.lifecyclebuilding.org/

The winners of the second annual Lifecycle Building Challenge (LBC2 or LBC 2008) were announced recently. About the challenge:

Lifecycle building is designing buildings to facilitate disassembly and material reuse to minimize waste, energy consumption, and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Also known as design for disassembly and design for deconstruction, lifecycle building describes the idea of creating buildings that are stocks of resources for future buildings.

Given those goals, it's no surprise that the three winners in the Building category are prefab:

TriPod by Carnegie Mellon University

TriPod is a prototype house demonstrating the "Plug and Play" concept and is designed to provide an innovative alternative to the currently unimaginative housing industry. ... [A] mechanical "core" ... acts as a motherboard that is able [to] accept multiple "pods" that are living, cooking, and sleeping spaces. This modular design allows homeowners to change their homes by adding or subtracting pods to suit their needs over time.

The Workshop by Schemata Workshop

There are two units in the building — in the first iteration the first story is an office; the second is an apartment. The building is elevated on concrete piers and cantilevers over an existing structure on-site

info_smallLoblolly House by info_smallKieranTimberlake Associates.

(See our previous coverage of Loblolly House.)

The challenge is sponsored by West Coast Green, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Building Materials Reuse Association, American Institute of Architects and Southface.

(Hat Tip: Jetson Green on October 29, 2008)

Related Posts:
   1. The EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge; July 31 deadline (Jul 01, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green KieranTimberlake competition

Washington Post on sticks, panels and modules

The goal of prefab is clear:

For more than a century, architects and builders have strived toward a prefabricated, industrialized house, one made in a factory so that economies of scale would be realized and the product would be affordable to all home buyers.

It's worth remembering that the current "stick built" process was itself an important innovation, "prefabricating" the basic components:

Until the 1830s, most houses in America were built with post and beam framing. All the pieces were hand-hewn and held in place with complex joinery, and home building was a time-consuming, costly process. Around then, however, steam-driven saws that could produce large quantities of accurately sized building lumber and machines that made huge quantities of iron nails began to appear in the larger cities.

An enterprising Chicago building contractor, George Washington Snow, saw the potential for these new products to revolutionize the building industry. He devised a method of framing that was much faster and far less costly.

One step forward in the meantime: panels (6% of homes built in the US in 2007).

the 2-by-4 stud walls sometimes are assembled in factories and hauled to a job site, an approach called panelizing.

A bigger step: modular (3% of homes built in the US in 2007).

a method of building in a factory an entire conventional wood-framed house in sections, loading each one onto a flatbed trailer, trucking it to a job site and then setting it in place with a crane.

Read the whole article for a few details on pros, cons, and possible futures.

Author: Katherine Salant
Publication: Washington Post
Section: Page F06
Length: 815 words
Date: November 1, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: historical article panelization

The Daily Telegraph looks at prefab options

Link to The Daily Telegraph looks at prefab options
microcompacthome.com

Last month, The Daily Telegraph in the UK compiled a list of prefab products, describing them as

a burgeoning crop of 'instant' homes that take the prefab to a whole new level.

Included on the list:

model designer

The Loft Cube Werner Aisslinger
  39-55 sq m
(420-592 sf)
£63,500 - £88,500
($95,496 - $133,042)

info_smallMicro Compact Home Richard Horden of info_smallHorden Cherry Lee
  2.6 m cubic units
(8.53 ft)
about £26,000 ($39,086)
excluding installation

Homes 2 Go Dutch company Spacebox, brought to Britain by Benfield ATT Homes
  18 sq m
(194 sf)
£22,950 ($34,500)
excluding delivery

Weberhaus
  200 sq m
(2,153 sf)
from £300,000 ($450,990)

info_smallM-house Tim Pyne
  100 sq m
(1,076 sf)
£147,500 ($221,736)

Eco Pod Aidan Quinn of Eco Hab
  28 sq m
(301 sf)
£30,000 ($45,099)

Read the full article for pictures and further details.

Author: Kiera Buckley-Jones and David Nicholls
Publication: Telegraph.co.uk
Section: Property / Features
Length: 743 words
Date: October 10, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model article UK

Sanctuary Village modular development

Link to Sanctuary Village modular development
http://www.sanctuarync.com/gal_village.htm

Here's an interesting modular development that was announced last month:

Haven Custom Homes ... and Sanctuary Communities have begun construction on the first home in Sanctuary Village, a Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) located in the western mountains of North Carolina ...

Sanctuary Village will be a walkable, mixed-use village that will encompass 24 acres of multi-generational living with mansion flats, village houses, tree houses, mountain cottages and a civic/commercial component that will include shops, cafes, book stores, cultural events and community gathering spots a short stroll from homes.

We found this explanation of a Traditional Neighborhood Development:

a comprehensive planning system that includes a variety of housing types and land uses in a defined area. The variety of uses permits educational facilities, civic buildings and commercial establishments to be located within walking distance of private homes...

Haven Custom Homes emphasizes the advantages of building "in an off-site, climate controlled environment where the materials used in your home are protected from the weather."

  • Precision construction resulting in straight walls, square corners, fitted windows and flat ceilings.
  • Extra reinforcements in bearing walls.
  • Move in 16-23 weeks after execution of a contract and your approval of final drawings and finish schedules.

Facts:

Links:

(Hat tip: Building Systems on October 29, 2008)

Related Posts:
   1. The Quarters by Haven Custom Homes and Sanctuary Communities (Apr 13, 2009)
   2. The Pennywise House by Russell Versaci (Mar 17, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model development modular traditional Haven Custom Homes Allison Ramsey

HandCrafted Homes in Better Homes & Gardens' New Home

Link to HandCrafted Homes in Better Homes & Gardens' New Home
http://www.handcraftedhomes.com/

In September, Charles Bevier of Building Systems blog mentioned a 2-page spread in the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Better Homes & Gardens' New Home Magazine (BH&G).

BH&G shines the spotlight on the Gull Island.... The design is one of many Poole has created for ... the Southeast market, homes that are turnkeyed by a network of authorized builders.

The blog post summarizes comments by Bill Murray, general manager of HandCrafted, on the advantages of modular construction:

  • less time (120 days full turnkey versus 12 to 18 months for site building the old fashioned way)
  • meticulous inspection
  • modular units are constructed in the controlled environment and sealed from weather before shipping to the jobsite

The issue will be in newsstands through November.

manufacturer: info_smallHandCrafted Homes
size: 2,180 sf
bedrooms: 3
bathrooms: 2.5
status: available

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model modular traditional

The Christian Science Monitor examines Everhouse

Link to The Christian Science Monitor examines Everhouse
http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2008/10/23/everhouse-a-new-plan-for-post-katrina-homes/

Two weeks ago, the Christian Science Monitor featured Everhouse, a simple design meant to address the post-hurricane housing shortage near the Gulf Coast:

700,000 homes damaged ... and 250,000 homes destroyed

The designer of Everhouse looked to the advantages of prefabrication to help.

To keep costs down, the components of an Everhouse are made by a factory in Palatka, Fla., and then delivered to the land where each unit will be built. And like a desk from Ikea, the pieces arrive with all the necessary materials included...

They opted for a “panelized” design, because the concrete panels are easy to transport and give both the designer and homeowner a good amount of flexibility in house plans.

Key benefit: the shell can be assembled in one day.

The company hopes to produce 1,500 homes per year.

model: Everhouse
designers: John Sawyer and Harold McKenna
size: 1,300 sf
price/sf: $68
notes: price is about half the cost of traditional affordable housing in the area

Sawyer also sees a shortage of skilled construction labor in the region. Read the article for his proposed solution.

Subtitle: A team redisigns the who, how, and what of Gulf Coast affordable housing
Author: Paul Sedan
Publication: Christian Science Monitor
Section: Innovation
Length: 865 words
Date: October 23, 2008

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Three Junipers iT house development

Link to Three Junipers iT house development
http://www.threejunipers.com/

From the husband and wife team at info_smallTaalman Koch Architecture comes news of a small development of 3 iT houses: Three Junipers.

Situated on 5 acres of pristine high desert landscape, each house offers an uninterrupted view of Pipes Canyon and the Pioneertown sawtooth peaks...

The iT house utilizes a "light touch" installation approach, minimizing the construction footprint through use of smaller scale, modular elements and minimal packaging material.

model: info_smalliT House
price/sf: $150 - $220
size: 1,600 sf
bedrooms: 3
bathrooms: 2

In tandem with that announcement, a new itHouse website has been launched with:

  • iT house configuration options
  • details on the framing system
  • explanation of the on-site assembly

Also worth a look: an informative blog following the construction of the first iT house.

(Hat tip: Jetson Green)

Related Posts:
   1. itHouse exhibit display by Taalman Koch Architecture (Aug 24, 2009)
   2. The iT House does some soul-searching (Apr 06, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: development iT house

New prefab from Sander Architects in The New York Times

Link to New prefab from Sander Architects in The New York Times
http://www.sander-architects.com/residential/briard/briard.html

Last month, the New York Times covered a new prefab home in Culver City, CA designed by info_smallSander Architects:

Inspired by the house that Charles and Ray Eames created in 1949 from a prefabricated steel frame and doors, windows and the like ordered from a catalog, the architects took the project on the condition that they could pursue a novel strategy. Besides using acrylic, Panelite, recycled steel and Styrofoam, they would try unusual ingredients like sunflower husks for wall panels and bookshelves, and blue jeans (for insulation).

Some facts about the house:

  • 4,200 square feet
  • 30 feet high (due to zoning)
  • took 3 years to plan and construct the entire project

Final construction cost:

$528,000, only about a third of the going rate for architect-designed houses of this size in the Los Angeles area.

That comes out to about $125/sf. Not bad.

Check out a slideshow of the house (13 pictures). Read the entire article for more details.

Author: Michael Webb
Publication: The New York Times
Section: D6
Length: 832 words
Date: October 16, 2008

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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

Passive homes from Sweden

Link to Passive homes from Sweden
http://www.emrahus.se/vara_hus.asp?page=104#

Back in March, Swedish designer info_smallKjellgren Kaminsky Architecture and developer info_smallEmrahus presented six prefabricated "passive" homes at the Hem & Villa housing fair in Malmö, Sweden, with a second presentation last month.

Here's a paraphrase from Google's translation of the Emrahus home page:

The reason that we no longer need a heat source is that the house has well insulated walls and ceiling ... which retains the heat generated by household appliances, lights, TV set, and people who live in the house.

The houses:

model br size

Villa VÄRDE 3 1,292 sf
Villa Mittskepp 2 1,722 sf
Villa Sida Vid Sida 2 1,722 sf
Villa TÅRTAN 4 1,862 sf
Villa Fixa 4 2,045 sf
Villa Dragspel 2 - 4 1,076 - 2,153 sf

Blog coverage:

Related Posts:
   1. Villa Grow from Kjellgren Kaminsky and Emrahus (Mar 26, 2009)
   2. Small homes from Sweden (Oct 17, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Sweden

Casa Grossi and prefabricated concrete wall panels

Link to Casa Grossi and prefabricated concrete wall panels
http://www.guidottiarchitetti.com/index.php?node=288&lng=1&rif=91e54aded7

In Italy, info_smallGiacomo Guidotti e Riccarda Guidotti Studio di Architettura designed a home that uses prefabricated concrete wall panels as the exterior cladding. That's common in commercial and industrial buildings but rarely seen in residential construction.

One advantage of this method: the concrete forms both the exterior and interior wall surfaces, reducing time spent on finishes.

(Hat tip: materialicious)

The Swiss Architecture Museum included the home in an exhibition last year:

The Casa Grossi in Monte Carasso (2000-04) is particularly interesting. It is a narrow, rectangular building, a dwelling on the fringe of the building zone. This minimalist structure, clad with prefabricated concrete elements, conveys an impression of being hermetically sealed to the outside world, but surprises us with an atrium inside - serving as both a stairwell and an access core - lit from a roof light on the 2nd floor.


Here's some background information on prefabricated concrete wall panels from an excellent reference site called the Whole Building Design Guide.

Paul E. Gaudette explains:

Architectural precast concrete has been used since the early twentieth century and came into wide use in the 1960s. The exterior surface of precast concrete can vary from an exposed aggregate finish that is highly ornamental to a form face finish.... Some precast panels act as column covers while others extend over several floors in height and incorporate window openings...

In general, prefabricated concrete wall panels can serve one of two purposes:

Precast cladding or curtain walls are the most common use of precast concrete for building envelopes. These types of precast concrete panels do not transfer vertical loads but simply enclose the space. They are only designed to resist wind, seismic forces generated by their own weight, and forces required to transfer the weight of the panel to the support....

Load-bearing wall units resist and transfer loads from other elements and cannot be removed without affecting the strength or stability of the building.

It's not clear whether the Casa Grossi wall panels are load bearing.

Related Posts:
   1. The Perrinepod: concrete prefab from Australia (Aug 16, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model concrete

Prefabs for extreme conditions

Link to Prefabs for extreme conditions
http://www.icewall.com.au/?p=isc&m=gal&i=During%20Transportation/transportation01.jpg

materialicious covers a different sort of prefab product that's been around for a while. From the company site:

The Igloo Satellite Cabin is designed to provide safe, reliable accommodation in remote areas. It has been used for over 25 years in conditions ranging from the tropics to polar icecaps. Units can be flown by helicopter fully assembled, and often fully equipped, to locations inaccessible by road transport. Igloos are ideal short-term accommodation for exploration and research, as well as an attractive alternative for eco-tourism.

Igloos can be lengthened to six or more metres by adding sets of extension panels, or interlinked by tunnels to provide a complete weatherproof base.

The Australian Antarctic Division has a bit more info on the history of the cabins:

2007 marked the 25th year since the first fibreglass Igloo Satellite Cabin was designed and manufactured in Tasmania. As at January 2008, 159 Igloos had been purchased by 45 institutes and individuals in 18 countries, with the majority for use in Antarctica.

More details:

  • designed by the late Malcolm Wallhead
  • now manufactured under license by info_smallPenguin Composites
  • nicknamed “apples”
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: unconventional

Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee

Link to Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee
http://www.clayton-media.com/showcaseofhomes/knx_models/exterior/home28.html

info_smallClayton homes is holding a showcase of homes this Friday, Saturday & Sunday in Knoxville:

This is your opportunity ... to tour dozens of new homes without wasting gas or walking too much. Examine the amenities and style available in today's housing.

Whether you are looking to buy or just looking, it will be the one time this year to see so many houses in one place.

See our earlier post for more details on the company and their previous showcase.

According to their website, the following homes will be on display in Knoxville:

4 BR, 2 Bath   Size

Fireside II   2,048 sf

3 BR, 2 Bath   Size

Avondale Marquis   1,848 sf
Avondale   2,048 sf

Blazer   1,088 sf

Blue Ridge   1,216 sf

Century   2,176 sf

Cumberland Marquis   1,680 sf
  2,112 sf

Elevation Series   1,344 sf
  1,568 sf

Elkmont   1,456 sf
  1,680 sf

Esprit   1,064 sf

Excel   1,216 sf

Glencrest   1,792 sf

Heartlander   1,568 sf
  1,680 sf
  2,128 sf

Manchester   1,216 sf

Mountaineer   1,280 sf

Norris   2,432 sf

Pinebrook   1,568 sf

Pinecrest   1,680 sf

River Run - Original   1,344 sf
River Run   1,664 sf

Worthington   1,056 sf
Worthington - Original   1,568 sf

2 BR, 2 Bath   Size

Community   1,056 sf

I-Home, Green House   1,280 sf

One thing we couldn't tell from their site: which are "modular" (built to local codes) vs. "manufactured" (HUD code).

where: Knoxville, TN
location: Knoxville Convention Center, 701 Henley Street
date: October 31 - November 2, 2008
time: 9:00am - 9:00pm
cost: Free!

Related Posts:
   1. Clayton iHouse now available (May 12, 2009)
   2. The Clayton iHouse (Jan 14, 2009)
   3. Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Greensboro, NC (Oct 09, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours modular Clayton Homes

Blu Homes

Link to Blu Homes
bluhomes.com

We recently received an email from info_smallBlu Homes.

According to their website:

Our first homes are under development in Utah and Massachusetts, and are expected to be completed in Winter 2008.

All of their modular homes are fully finished, with a fabrication time of 4-6 weeks and installation time of less than 10 days. They offer several models:

model size baths price range

Origin studio - 2 BR 1 $50,000 - $115,000

Retreat 2 BR 2 $165,000 - $195,000
3 BR 2 $210,000 - $255,000

Balance 2 BR 1 $125,000 - $150,000
2 BR + office 2 $165,000 - $195,000

They also offer "Flex" spaces to enlarge an existing home.

From their site:

  • Co-founder and President, Bill Haney, shares (video, 2:35) their philosophy.
  • Follow their blog.

Preston at Jetson Green has covered the company:

As did Andrew Stone of Active Rain.

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: Blu Homes acquires rights to Michelle Kaufmann's designs (Sep 30, 2009)
   2. Podcast features Marmol Radziner and Blu Homes (Aug 14, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green company Blu Homes

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

The SF Chronicle looks at the Harbinger

Link to The SF Chronicle looks at the Harbinger
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2008/09/24/HOR71301UK.DTL&o=0

Last month, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article on West Coast Green's showhome, the Harbinger House from info_smallSG Blocks LLC:

What makes this year's showcase home different from the prefab modular model seen last year [MKD's info_smallmkLotus] in San Francisco is not all the green bells and whistles ... it's the actual framework of the house that is truly innovative. This year's showstopper is made from five 40-foot-long shipping containers that once roamed the high seas

The article repeated a comment we've seen a few times:

a layman can't tell that, underneath its sleek lines, Harbinger was once a collection of lowly shipping crates

The advantages of shipping containers?

They're made of heavy-gauge steel, which holds up nicely in a hurricane or earthquake, but is usually too expensive to use in construction. [SG Blocks] gets the containers cheap - $500 to $2,000 a pop - because the fuel costs to ship them back empty to China or other places overseas are prohibitive. Because of the United States' huge trade imbalance, there are many empty containers lying around.

Harbinger details:

  • made from 5 shipping containers
  • 2 stories
  • 1,700 square feet
  • about 5% less expensive than building in wood or other conventional materials
  • can be built 40% faster

SG Blocks facts:

  • founder: David Cross
  • location: St. Louis
  • has built 6 single-family homes in the US (designed by Lawrence Group)
  • 400-unit elder-care facility in Oceanside, CA will be unveiled soon

Author: Paul Kilduff
Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
Section: G - 3
Length: 807 words
Date: September 24, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House (Oct 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model containers article West Coast Green

Prefabs in the Community (today in Philadelphia)

Link to Prefabs in the Community (today in Philadelphia)
http://www.acleanbreak.org/

If you are planning to attend A Clean Break in Philadelphia this weekend, don't miss their presentations being held across the street from the exhibit. Here's one:

speaker: Geoff Warner, AIA of info_smallAlchemy Architects
speaker: Dan Rockhill, JL Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture and director of Studio 804 at the University of Kansas, and principal of info_smallRockhill & Associates
where: Philadelphia, PA
location: The University of the Arts, CBS Auditorium in Hamilton Hall, 320 Broad Street
date: Saturday, October 18, 2008
time: 2:00 - 3:15pm
cost: free
notes: Q&A led by PeiLin Chen of info_smallDiamond & Associates

Each will discuss their unique modular programs and successes with this chosen method of construction, particularly as an affordable and environmentally-friendly solution to land vacancy and community revitalization.

Related Posts:
   1. Opening night for A Clean Break in Philadelphia (Oct 16, 2008)
   2. A Clean Break, in Philadelphia (Oct 01, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: seminar event

Small homes from Sweden

Link to Small homes from Sweden
http://www.jonaswagell.se/html/minihouse1.html

Design blog Dezeen reports on the Mini House, which takes advantage of new zoning laws in Sweden:

Since January 1st 2008 Swedish property owners are allowed to build a 15 sqm house on their land without a building permit.

The details:

  • indoor space: 15 square meters (161.5 sf)
  • outdoor space: 15 square meters (161.5 sf)
  • 2 people can assemble in 1-2 days
  • built with SIPS (panels made of plywood and styrofoam)
  • 8 components per house (assembly process shown on the Nordic Marine site)
  • requires site preparation of a foundation e.g. concrete slab
  • won the Innovation Award 2008 from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the UK

More about the concept:

Mini house is a “friggebod” concept which brings some fun and excitement to a dull and conservative market. The concept means prefabrication, flat-pack delivery and weekend-long build-up! Building a house should be fun and easy. Kind of like putting together an Ikea cabinet!

(As best we can tell, friggebod means garden hut or shed.)

See the original post for 11 pictures and more details.

model: Mini house
available: Europe
size: 161.5 sf
price: €12,200 - €17,700 ($16,500 - $24,000)
br: 1

(Hat tip: Treehugger)

Related Posts:
   1. Passive homes from Sweden (Nov 04, 2008)
   2. More small prefab: Metroshed (Jun 19, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model small Sweden

Opening night for A Clean Break in Philadelphia

Link to Opening night for A Clean Break in Philadelphia
http://www.acleanbreak.org/news.htm

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:

... a pop-up neighborhood of modern and sustainable design with an emphasis on modular and prefabricated homes. The outdoor exhibition offers full-scale homes to tour, installations by architects, urban farming, transportation, environmentally-friendly furniture, public art and other high-design, low-waste products.

See our Oct. 1 post (linked below) for more details.

Worth noting: pictures of the info_smallweeHouse arriving.

Related Posts:
   1. Prefabs in the Community (today in Philadelphia) (Oct 18, 2008)
   2. A Clean Break, in Philadelphia (Oct 01, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse tours seminar

Modular home seminar tomorrow in Sagamore, MA

Link to Modular home seminar tomorrow in Sagamore, MA
http://www.rdamodularhomes.com/model.htm

If you are considering a modular home and live near Boston, MA or Providence, RI:

what: The Modular Advantage - "Why Should I Build Modular?"
where: Model Home at 1 Bluff Road (off Rt. 6A), Sagamore, MA (near Cape Cod)
when: Thursday, October 16, 6:30-8:30pm
RSVP: 508-888-6244 or 508-888-4212 (limited seating)
price: Free!

  • Learn What A Full Service Builder Does For You.
  • Discover The Benefits Of Modular Construction.
  • Understand The True Cost Of "Drop Ship" Homes.
  • Permitting Process
  • Tear Downs & Rebuilds
  • Popularity of in-law-additions
  • Free Mortgage & Financial Information.

A little more info on the company:

RDA Inc. offers full real estate, permitting, financing and construction services to handle the new home building process from concept through completion.

Interesting to note, they build only info_smallWestchester Modular Homes.

Their site offers additional information:

(Hat tip: Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA)

Update: fixed the city in the title.

Related Posts:
   1. 3-unit modular in Saratoga Springs, NY (Mar 10, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours local 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

New York Times asks: will prefab "catch on?"

Link to New York Times asks: will prefab
nytimes.com

On the New York Times' Freakonomics blog, Annika Mengisen wonders whether prefab will ever catch on. For answers, she questioned two authors of prefab books, Allison Arieff and James Trulove.

Here are the questions posed; read the full post for their answers.

  • Where do prefab houses stand in the U.S. real estate market?
  • What, if anything, is the housing crisis doing to prefab?
  • What would push prefab beyond a niche market?
  • If prefab did catch on, what would the economic implications be?
  • What does prefab do for the environment?
  • What could prefab do for storm-prone areas?
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article

Reminder: Marmol Radziner open house this Sunday

Just a reminder:

There will be a info_smallMarmol Radziner Open House in Venice, CA this Sunday, October 12, from 2pm - 5pm. Free but reservation required.

Next week you can hear firm principal Leo Marmol, FAIA. Wednesday, October 15, 6pm - 8pm ($22).

Related Posts:
   1. Upcoming Marmol Radziner events (Sep 09, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Marmol Radziner

Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Greensboro, NC

Link to Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Greensboro, NC
http://www.clayton-media.com/showcaseofhomes/greensboro.html

info_smallClayton Homes is holding a Showcase of Homes at the Triad Center in Greensboro, NC this weekend, October 10-12. From the press release:

Literally, Clayton Homes constructs a temporary neighborhood in the parking lot of The Triad Center, fully adorned with sidewalks, landscaping, mailboxes and street signs. The Showcase of Homes provides an opportunity for people to tour a variety of manufactured homes and see how dramatically the homes have changed in recent years.

What to expect:

  • 20 new, fully-furnished homes on display
  • on-the-spot financing
  • hot dogs, drinks and popcorn
  • $100 gas card drawings each half hour

Clayton CEO Kevin Clayton explains:

Our unofficial motto is 'Best Home -- Best Price' and we take that very seriously.

It has been his mission since taking over as CEO ten years ago to produce manufactured housing that surpasses site-built homes in look, quality, and value.

Clayton Homes produces both "manufactured" and "modular" housing. These terms have a specific meaning in the industry, part of which is covered on their website:

Manufactured Home: Built entirely in the factory under federal code administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).... Covers single or multi-section homes and includes transport to the site and installation.

The industry stopped using the term "mobile home" (and presumably "trailer home") when the HUD code became effective June 15, 1976. Not mentioned: manufactured homes do NOT qualify for a traditional mortgage, in part because the homes tend to lose value every year.

Modular Home: Built to state, local or regional code where the home will be located. System-built homes are transported to sites and installed.

These homes are built to the same standards as conventional "site-built" homes and qualify for a standard mortgage. (In fact they are often somewhat stronger in order to survive transportation and installation by crane.)

At least one home in the Showcase had 2 stories (see above), so it appears that a mix of both types will be shown.

More about Clayton Homes:

  • owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway
  • recent news coverage outlines how they've avoided the current sub-prime issues

what: info_smallClayton Homes is holding a Showcase of Homes
where: Triad Center in Greensboro, NC
date: October 10-12
time: 9am - 7pm
details: free and open to public

Related Posts:
   1. Clayton iHouse now available (May 12, 2009)
   2. The Clayton iHouse (Jan 14, 2009)
   3. Clayton Homes Showcase of Homes this weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee (Oct 29, 2008)
   4. What is the difference? (Jul 21, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model tours modular Clayton Homes

West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House

Link to West Coast Green 2008: The Harbinger House

We didn't make it to this year's West Coast Green, but followed the coverage of those who did. Most interesting: SG Blocks' Harbinger show house.

We previously gave an overview of the house in the run-up to the show. The home was designed by Lawrence Group and built by SG Blocks, SG standing for "sustainable, green."

Inhabitat visited and gave a full review. I found this quote about containers particularly interesting:

The same local skilled workers who repair the containers are hired to repurpose them into house modules, which can then be easily shipped on trains. This process translates into a miniscule transportation footprint and blazingly fast build times: “when you deliver the finished components to site, you can install up to 12 containers using one crane in one day - that’s the equivalent of a 5,000 square foot house that is set in place in one day”.

Preston over at Jetson Green toured the house.

Everyone I talked to loved it. You might think that a shipping container home would feel closed-in and constrictive, but this home certainly wasn't. At 1700 sf, everything felt just right to me.

The home will be on view at other trade events:

The Harbinger Home will go on a journey just as the containers did. It will go to the Urban Land Institute next for their October show, then up to Washington DC for Ecobuild America [in December].

Private Island Blog approves:

The home is ideal for island life as it is set up for the use of solar power and rainwater recycling.

The story behind the name:

West Coast Green had a contest in the naming of the house. The winner, Gregory Schaefer, came up with "Harbinger House", saying:

'By definition, a harbinger is something which allows us to see the future, a foretelling, a symbolic event or bridge. I think we usually are aware of these in hindsight, but here, today we can clearly see the future. The Harbinger House is a model of sustainable design that needs recognition for its forward thinking vision and creativity.'

Visit the West Coast Green site for a long (55 minute) video of the assembly of the Harbinger House. Floorplans are also available.

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. The SF Chronicle looks at the Harbinger (Oct 23, 2008)
   3. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model tours containers video conference

Three weeHouse open houses in the next two weeks

Link to Three weeHouse open houses in the next two weeks
weehouses.com

Via email from info_smallAlchemy Architects, we learned about 3 upcoming open houses for the info_smallweeHouse.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

  • 10am - 5pm
  • Sloansville, NY

Sunday, October 12, 2008

  • 10am - 5pm
  • Ulster Park, NY

As these two homes are private residences, please RSVP and get specific directions by emailing Betsy Gabler: betsy@weehouses.com.

The third open house is public:

Thursday, October 16 - Thursday, October 30, 2008

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. weeHouses are now cheaper than ever (and can even power themselves!) (Sep 04, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours Alchemy Architects

Panasonic's modular homes

Link to Panasonic's modular homes
panasonic.net

A blog called Greenlight has some interesting news:

The Japanese electronics giant has assembled a strategic plan to start making modular homes in about three to five years that will combine green construction along with sophisticated electronics to curb energy consumption.

While the energy savings ideas are new, Panasonic "already has a construction division that makes modular homes in Japan."

Though not likely to be coming to the US anytime soon:

the U.S. could be the last market it approaches...

Related Posts:
   1. Your next home could be a Toyota (Aug 05, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article

This week: Swedish prefab, BURST*008 and Redondo Beach containers

Link to This week: Swedish prefab, BURST*008 and Redondo Beach containers
http://www.modernliving.se/

Contemporist looked at homes from info_smallModern Living in Sweden.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered info_smallBURST*008:

The BURST homes ... are clearly not about affordability, but about systematizing the process of designing homes based on specific rules.

Inhabitat also wrote about the Redondo Beach house from info_smallDeMaria Design Associates:

The home, constructed with a combination of prefabricated shipping containers and traditional buildings materials, is a stunning beachfront residence.

Related Posts:
   1. Prefab at CES: Logical Homes and Peter DeMaria (Jan 16, 2008)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week Sweden BURST*

Sidekick Homes from Kephart Living

Link to Sidekick Homes from Kephart Living
kephartliving.com

ColoradoBiz Magazine reports on Sidekick Homes from info_smallKephart Living:

Sidekick specializes in ADUs, or accessory dwelling units. They're anti-McMansions, small — sometimes tiny — living quarters built for backyards of existing homes, typically for aging relatives. Hence, they’re sometimes called "mother-in-law" or "granny" flats.

That's a great niche for modular construction.

The article included some local details:

One complication for the backyard ADU business is that zoning rules vary among municipalities and neighborhoods. ....

"They’re promoted by cities like Arvada [Colorado] as a way to help with the affordable housing issue and the issue of housing the aging population, which are both coming together pretty strongly right now," Kephart says.

In Denver, ADUs are allowed only in neighborhoods zoned for mixed use, such as Stapleton...

Other basics:

  • price: $75,000 - $200,000
  • size: 400 - 1160 square feet
  • owner Michael Kephart launched Sidekick Homes early this spring

The best part:

They're ... pre-built and trucked from the factory to the home site with everything from the ceiling fixtures to the kitchen counters intact.

Author: Mike Taylor
Publication: ColoradoBiz Magazine
Section: Small Biz
Length: 686 words
Date: September 30, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model company second homes

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

A Clean Break, in Philadelphia

Link to A Clean Break, in Philadelphia
weehouses.com

Architectural Record reports:

From October 17 to 30, a temporary prefab “neighborhood” in Philadelphia will offer an optimistic view of what a revitalized city might look like in the near future. A Clean Break, curated by Minima Gallery, will be a central event of DesignPhiladelphia, an annual series of lectures, studio tours, and exhibitions organized by the Design Center at Philadelphia University.

The show will feature two actual prefabs:

Also in the exhibition:

renderings of residences designed by Gans Studio & dArchitects, Studio 804, and Interface Studio Architects ...

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

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

Related Posts:
   1. Modular3 by Studio 804 in Kansas City (Jun 30, 2009)
   2. Prefabs in the Community (today in Philadelphia) (Oct 18, 2008)
   3. Opening night for A Clean Break in Philadelphia (Oct 16, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse tours miniHome article Pennsylvania

NPR covers Home Delivery

Link to NPR covers Home Delivery
http://www.npr.org/templates/common/image_enlargement.php?imageResId=94130108

Last week, NPR covered MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition. The story shared many of the same details we've already reported. However, one new tidbit was the mention of a large prefab project going up in Brooklyn:

On a former landfill in the reedy seaboard of southern Brooklyn, where ocean breezes gently stroke the air, the sound of power tools splinters the morning silence.... the first phase of the Nehemiah Spring Creek affordable housing development.

Spring Creek looks like any construction project, built the conventional way. But the town houses lining these just-paved streets aren't actually built on site. They were trucked in, arriving at the site in almost move-in condition...

The town houses are prefabricated, manufactured miles away in a vast warehouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Then they are brought here whole on a flat-bed truck at night, when they won't interfere too much with New York City traffic...

The online article and accompanying audio are worth a visit.

show: Morning Edition
station: National Public Radio
author: Jim Zarroli
length: 1,700 words; 7:19
publication date: September 15, 2008

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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

Allison Arieff reviews Home Delivery

Earlier this month on her New York Times blog, Allison Arieff posted a well-argued commentary on MoMA's Home Delivery show:

The puzzling thing about "Home Delivery" is its focus on homes that you can’t actually have delivered. The exhibition is chock full of gorgeous and historically significant architectural drawings and models, but the curatorial agenda of the show is muddled.

Specifically:

...it’s hard to understand the decision to exclude from the exhibit the small but significant group of architects who are actually producing prefab homes on a significant scale today.

She mentions:

In contrast, Arieff liked the Whitney Museum's now-closed show on housing pioneer Buckminster Fuller:

Eccentric to be sure, this visionary couldn’t have been more prescient with his concerns about the way we live.... In contrast, "Home Delivery" has tons of cool stuff to look at, but it really does feel odd that a show about homes has so little to say about the experience of actually living in one.

I'm sorry that we missed that one.

Read the full post for more details; Arieff knows the field.

blog: By Design
publication: The New York Times
author: Allison Arieff
length: 1,400 words
publication date: September 15, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: museum exhibition

This week: new materialicious, responses to affordable green prefab and Cellophane House

materialicious moved from materialicio.us to materialicious.com. They've been reposting old content and adding some new content.

Jetson Green's guest post on affordable, green prefabs sparked a few responses around the web. Treehugger's Lloyd Alter concluded:

If Jim Kunstler is right and the American suburban experiment is dead, then there will be lots of cheap labor about and prefab is pretty much dead too- it will never be competitive.

But at some point when the housing market returns and there are banks that lend money, people are going to demand the quality and consistency that comes from a factory. That's why cars aren't built in driveways.

BuildingGreen also had something to say:

Unlike Ludeman, I'm not ready to give up on prefabrication just yet. I still think there's promise in the idea of prefabricated green, especially in the mainstream and affordable housing markets. As for green modernist housing, the benefits of prefabrication may never come through for such a relatively small market.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at the Cellophane House from info_smallKieranTimberlake Associates:

If its ease of construction doesn’t amaze you, consider the aluminum frame and structural polycarbonate floor plates. Or the easy bolt connections that facilitated the easy assembly and the available built-in environmentally-friendly features, and then you just might be wondering if you covet the ingenuity behind these homes.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week website

Photo tour of the new Marmol Radziner Palms House

Link to Photo tour of the new Marmol Radziner Palms House
ttp://www.coochicoos.com

Design blog coochicoos shared some photos from his weekend visit to info_smallMarmol Radziner's Palms House.

Related Posts:
   1. Hollywood Hybrid by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 11, 2009)
   2. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   3. Marmol Radziner's Palms House (Aug 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours Marmol Radziner

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

This week: Werner Sobek, sheds, and domes

Link to This week: Werner Sobek, sheds, and domes
http://www.wernersobek.com/

Apartment Therapy Chicago looked at Werner Sobek's R128 and H16 homes:

These structures aren't available through a manufacturer; they're custom homes designed using lightweight, modular parts. The "prefab" part of these homes lies in their skillful engineering. R218 (shown above) is made from 100% recyclable, easy-to-assemble mortise and tenon joints and bolted joints, while the H16 is made from prefabricated architectural concrete...

And Apartment Therapy New York caught The New York Times' coverage of "high-style sheds":

The focus of the story is on the immediate gratification of prefab sheds ...

Prior to the New York Times' articles, Treehugger wrote about friggebods, or Swedish garden sheds:

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter have designed a lovely little 100 square foot cabin/office/guest room prefab that is lovely to look at.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered the Danish Easy Domes:

The dome offers individuals the opportunity to build their own high quality homes, coming with pre-built wooden sections, ready to assemble on either a concrete or timber plinth. Once on site, the dome houses take only one day to raise and seal, and for domes less than 50 square foot, no crane is needed to complete construction.

Related Posts:
   1. The New York Times looks at small prefab and more small prefab (Sep 11, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: small This Week unconventional

The New York Times looks at small prefab and more small prefab

Link to The New York Times looks at small prefab and more small prefab
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/garden/11tiny.html

On Wednesday, The New York Times filed a pair of articles on small homes. The first, specifically covered prefab sheds:

Tiny, high-style prefabricated sheds like the Kithaus have received a great deal of attention over the last year, with admiring coverage in design blogs and magazines, and roughly four times more companies producing them now than five years ago. So far, the market is still small, though a tipping point of sorts may have been reached this year, when Design Within Reach began selling the Kithaus, along with furnishing packages to turn it into an instant office, bedroom, pool house or den.

Companies and models included in that article:

The second explained the "tiny house" phenomenon:

... spaces that are smaller than 1,000 square feet and, in some cases, smaller than 100. Tiny houses have been a fringe curiosity for a decade or more, but devotees believe the concept’s time has finally arrived.

Prefab models mentioned:

publication: The New York Times
author: Michael Cannell
length: 1,250 words
publication date: September 10, 2008

publication: The New York Times
author: Steven Kurutz
length: 1,600 words
publication date: September 10, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Small houses in the Economist (Feb 27, 2009)
   2. This week: Werner Sobek, sheds, and domes (Sep 13, 2008)
   3. Tiny Houses (May 23, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: small article

Upcoming Marmol Radziner events

Link to Upcoming Marmol Radziner events
marmolradzinerprefab.com

info_smallMarmol Radziner recently completed construction of their Palms House in Venice, CA. Here are the Open House dates:

Click the above links to reserve a slot. Space is still available on all dates.

Event better, you can attend a special session at the house hosted by firm principal Leo Marmol, FAIA:

what: Open House of Marmol Radziner Palms House
where: Palms House, Venice, CA
when: 9/14, 9/27, 10/12 from 2pm - 5pm
details: reservations are mandatory; click the above date links to reserve your spot

what: "An Evening with Leo Marmol"
where: Palms House, Venice, CA
when: 9/24, 10/15 from 6pm - 8pm
price: $22.00
details: reservations are mandatory; click the above date links to reserve your spot

Related Posts:
   1. Hollywood Hybrid by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 11, 2009)
   2. Reminder: Marmol Radziner open house this Sunday (Oct 10, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL)

Unique plywood framing concept

Link to Unique plywood framing concept
http://media.www.bsudailynews.com

An interesting story from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana:

Michael Gibson recently finished a building prototype that utilizes prefabrication techniques in a way that has never been done before....

Gibson's plan included two standard prefab walls and two experimental walls he called lattice walls that were made of plywood instead of the standard dimensional lumber, which he said wastes materials. The lattice walls also used less material because of an assembly form called nesting, in which several lightweight boards nest together in a V-shaped fashion.

"The beautiful thing about the lattice walls and how they nested together was that they used less nuts and bolts," Gibson said. "They were also very lightweight, and the pressure from the roof was pretty evenly distributed, which prevented the structure from racking."

Most of the companies we track use a small number of accepted framing techniques. Some use SIPs:

Others use traditional framing (whether wood or steel):

And a few use unique metal framing systems:

Worth noting: the plywood framing system used in the info_smallBURST* model, currently on view at MoMA's Home Delivery show, used a similar plywood framing system.

subtitle: Prototype utilizes experimental walls made of plywood
publication: The Ball State Daily News Online
author: Sean Armie
length: 550 words
publication date: September 7, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: system article local

This week: Lifepod and weeHouses in the UK

Link to This week: Lifepod and weeHouses in the UK
http://www.kyuche.com/lifepod08.html

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at the Lifepod:

Escape to the beach, the mountains or the trees in San Francisco-based Kyu Che’s sustainable Lifepod. Loosely based on the traditional Mongolian ger (or ‘yurt’ as the Russian translation goes), the Lifepod is at once organic and high-tech. Built to be highly portable, the Lifepod is a fully functioning, off-the-grid mini capsule for modern nomadic living.

Shedworking reported that Alchemy Architects are considering bringing their weeHouses to the UK:

Mark Ramuz from Garden2office is talking to them about the possibility of bringing over the smallest of their buildings if there is enough interest.

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. Yurts! (May 28, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse This Week unconventional

weeHouses are now cheaper than ever (and can even power themselves!)

A recent email from info_smallAlchemy Architects says:

We have now included more and lowered our prices! 2,000 SF weeHouses with Good Stuff are around $125/SF or less, leaving you extra coins to put into your site.

Old pricing was in the $150/SF range, so it's quite a drop. Actual pricing depends on your part of the country.

Also mentioned:

Order a weeHouse SMALL with an off-grid Solar Package before November 1, 2008 for only $99,000 [$109,000 for CA and other states west of Colorado]. Outfitted with Fusion's 720W AC Energy Kit, you only need to provide the foundation, well, and septic to have a completely finished retreat.

Higher capacity solar kits are available for larger homes. For details: FusionModular.com.

Related Posts:
   1. weeHouse for sale in Wisconsin (Aug 04, 2009)
   2. weeHouse for sale in Duluth, MN (Jul 17, 2009)
   3. weeHouse in Continental Airlines magazine (Jun 16, 2009)
   4. weeHouse by Alchemy on display in WI; today and this weekend (May 22, 2009)
   5. Three weeHouse open houses in the next two weeks (Oct 07, 2008)
   6. New 4x weeHouses join the weeLineup (May 19, 2008)
   7. New weeHouse website (Dec 21, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse model cost Alchemy Architects

A Prefab Project: the house and blog are done

We've thoroughly enjoyed A Prefab Project which chronicles the construction of a Resolution: 4 Architecture prefab in West Virginia. Homeowner Chris more or less calls it quits in a recent post, and I can't help but be a little sad.

Granted, the home is complete, but the blog has been such a great resource for understanding the process of building a prefab.

If you haven't taken a look at the blog previously, it's definitely worth it, especially now that the long road is coming to an end.

Related Posts:
   1. Lost River Modern by Resolution 4 (Aug 13, 2009)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL)

This week: two weeks of prefab news

Link to This week: two weeks of prefab news
http://www.arkitekthus.se/

Well, not exactly "this week", more like "the last two weeks." Here's all the news from while I was away on vacation.

Earlier this month, architecture blog Contemporist covered some minimal prefabs from Swedish company Arkitekthus:

Their goal is to bring good design to a larger market that otherwise could not afford an architect designed home.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at Travelodge's shipping container hotel in England:

The completed design uses eighty-six containers of various sizes that were retrofitted into bedrooms and bolted together onsite. The exterior has been clad and fitted with windows, thus converting the assemblage into a seamless 120-bedroom hotel.

Inhabitat also showed off the XO Mobile Structure from 70ºN Arkitektur:

... embodies an extreme of living simply - or simply living. The gorgeous prefab features a minimalist two-room construction that comes as-is and goes anywhere you please.

The Dwell blog discussed prefab sheds:

Lately, I've been coveting a Modern Cabana or Modern Shed for my personal back-40 in Los Angeles.

Treehugger cited another Dwell blog article in a post about "park models," or trailers, and their relation to prefab:

There is a vast infrastructure of trailer parks around North America that are due for change and upgrading, and a few visionary park operators are beginning to look at the market for modern.

(I posted this Tuesday, but it still carries the tag of our This Week series, usually released on Saturdays)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week

I'll be away this week ... new posts soon

I am on vacation all of this week, but will be returning September 1. Look for new posts then.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL)

Washington Post looks at prefab through the lens of Home Delivery

Link to Washington Post looks at prefab through the lens of Home Delivery

The Washington Post discussed MoMA's Home Delivery show earlier this week, leading with a quite provocative line:

The architect who masters prefabricated housing -- how to make homes that are well designed, mass-produced, affordable and easy to build -- may well go down in history as the Last Architect.

Got my attention, at least. The article continues with the prodding:

As a fascinating and important new Museum of Modern Art exhibition, "Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling," makes clear, they have mostly failed. But if anyone ever succeeds, perhaps the grand challenge of domestic architecture would be over -- time's up, pencils down.

The article makes many such observations and poses a few questions:

The paradox of the prefab dream, which began with proles in boxes, is that it lingers in the bourgeois craving for luxury goods and second houses.

And so does prefab turn out to be just another designer accessory, not so different from Louis Vuitton handbags or Prada shoes, industrial status symbols that are basically the same from unit to unit? Is it true once again that the blessings of modernism, supposedly a gift for the many, are really just a prize for the few?

Some specific thoughts on the homes in the show:

the ridiculously small confines of the Micro Compact House will [not] leave you with any desire to live there.

the System3 project ... is a compelling piece of architecture by any standard.... Stand in the System3 for a few moments, and you want to live here.

In summary:

"Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling" will leave you honestly conflicted, dubious about where history has brought the prefab dream. And more than ready to move into a prefab castle, just as soon as you can buy a nice plot of land and muster the down payment...

What do our readers think about The Posts's observations? Have most of prefab's early practitioners failed? Is prefab just a "prize for the few?"

While reading the full article, be sure to check out the accompanying slideshow.

subtitle: Prefabricated Housing Gets Prime Real Estate in Exhibit at MoMA
publication: The Washington Post
author: Philip Kennicott
length: 1,850 words
publication date: August 17, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article museum exhibition

Home Delivery shots at Flickr

Link to Home Delivery shots at Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16353290@N00/2726144568/

From Materialicio.us, here's a useful tip for those interested in MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition:

I just went to see the show myself this past monday, and I put the best of the photos I took up on Flickr the next day. I tagged them and yesterday decided to see who else had visited and tagged their photos with “Home Delivery”. I was pleasantly surprised to see many other photos on Flickr. A great way to get a photo tour if you can’t make it to the show.

The link: Flickr Home Delivery search

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL)

Witold Rybczynski goes to MoMA

Link to Witold Rybczynski goes to MoMA
http://www.slate.com/id/2197176/slideshow/2197362/fs/0//entry/2197359/

Witold Rybczynski filed a slideshow report from MoMA's Home Delivery show. In his usually candid style, he gives his impressions of the show, inside and out:

Prefabricated houses have remained an elusive goal for architects, and the MoMA show is a stylish litany of second-place finishers, also-rans, if-onlys, and downright losers.

I'd dare to say that just being included in the MoMA show makes each of the featured projects a first-place, upright winner, but maybe that's just me. Anyway, back to Witold:

After considering some 500 firms, the museum chose younger, lesser-known architects, and the range of solutions demonstrates both a sense of enthusiasm and a variety of novel prefabrication technologies.

He shares his thoughts on the info_smallBURST*008:

The rather crudely built structure looks out of place here—or, I suspect, anywhere.

The info_smallSystem3:

most people's idea of contemporary prefabrication: It's elegant, stylish, and rather austere.

Larry Sass's Instant House:

an ingenious and very complicated answer to the wrong question. ... The laser-cut decorative fretwork on the porch is nice, though.

The info_smallm-ch:

Nothing revolutionary here, but a very nicely designed package.

(Though he suggests buying an Airstream trailer instead.)

And the info_smallCellophane House:

The design, fabrication, and construction are seamlessly integrated, and the various pieces are automatically ordered from the fabricator to suit the design as it is entered into the architect's computer. If there is a Next Big Idea in prefabrication, this may be it.

For the rest of Rybczynski's thoughts and some great photos, check out the whole slideshow at Slate.

subtitle: Would you buy a home made in a factory?
publication: Slate
author: Witold Rybczynski
length: 10 images, 1,200 words
publication date: August 13, 2008

(Hat tip: Treehugger)

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
   2. NPR interviews Slate's prefab skeptic (Nov 01, 2007)
   3. Slate: The Prefab Fad (Aug 27, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: museum exhibition slideshow

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

This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse

Link to This week: Rincon 5 and OMD showhouse
marmolradzinerprefab.com

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.

Materialicio.us 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) , Tags: OMD This Week

West Coast Green container Showhouse from SG Blocks

Link to West Coast Green container Showhouse from SG Blocks
http://www.westcoastgreen.com/program/showhouse.php

This year's West Coast Green features a new Showhouse built of containers:

At its core, the 1,700 sqft two-story home will be made of reused shipping containers, which will make construction, in any environment, sustainable, fast, and safe.

Being built right on the tradeshow floor, the home will open to a series of outdoor living spaces and decks, showcasing a dramatic outdoor kitchen ... and a stunning garden of native and naturalized plants and mature olive trees.

The stats:

  • 1,700 sf
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2 stories

Jetson Green likes it:

It's a 1700 sf container home, but you probably can't tell just by looking. Sustainability will be number one, with GreenPoint and LEED certification in the plans. Plus, it seems that ecofabulous will be doing the interior design work, so the home, you can believe, will be modish, posh, and green.

Until August 18, you have the opportunity to come up with a name:

Name the Showhouse!
We’ll pick the top submissions, and post them for everyone to vote on.
Whatever name gets the most votes, wins!
We will announce the winning name on September 1st

company: SG Blocks
where: West Coast Green building conference
when: September 25-27, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green in San Francisco: October 1-3, 2009 (Sep 25, 2009)
   2. CNN: SG Blocks (Jun 15, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers conference West Coast Green

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

This week: more MoMA, Glenburn, and GreenMobile

e-OCULUS, the blog for the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, criticized MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition:

Even though digital fabrication is interesting, I believe there is so much more that goes into prefab housing today than mass production. The eras represented in the exhibition are coming together to create contemporary prefabrication that exists out of necessity, invention, experimentation, as well as digital design. If MoMA had chosen to include examples of buildings that are built, or at least in planning phases ... the exhibition would have more relevance and urgency needed to put the many current prefab ideas into production.

DVICE, a blog from SciFi.com, shared some favorites from the show.

Inhabitat had a double Prefab Friday. First, they linked to ScribeMedia's video from MoMA, seen above:

Chock full of interviews with architects and led by Chief Curator of Architecture & Design Barry Bergdoll, it’s a must-see for anyone interested in a current survey of the potential of prefabricated housing.

Second, they covered the Glenburn House:

...it would be easy to miss this deceptively simple, yet elegant house nestled into the surrounding countryside. But once you have reached this beautiful abode designed by Sean Godsell it’s hard to forget it.

A useful link: Sean Godsell's site.

Jetson Green provided an update on the GreenMobile® from Mississippi State University:

At present, the university ... is trying to finalize agreements with industrial partners.

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Marmol Radziner's Palms House

The Marmol Radziner blog has lots of news about their recently completed Palms House.

The home's specs:

  • 2,800 sf
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • living/dining, kitchen, office

KTLA, a TV station out of LA, visited the house last week and filed a number of video reports (hosted by a slightly overbearing correspondent). One is seen above. A couple others:

Back in June (sorry we missed this!), the home was featured on Planet Green Channel's Renovation Nation:

Our episode highlights the green features of prefab building and follows the Palms House as it traveled through our factory.

Be on the lookout for a re-run in your area.

Related Posts:
   1. Hollywood Hybrid by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 11, 2009)
   2. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   3. Photo tour of the new Marmol Radziner Palms House (Sep 18, 2008)
   4. This week: Marmol install, Chile, and BURST (Jun 28, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: video Marmol Radziner

Loblolly House book (and DVD!)

Link to Loblolly House book (and DVD!)
papress.com

Another new book: info_smallKieranTimberlake Associates principles Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake profile the design and construction of their info_smallLoblolly House in a volume released in June:

Through the use of state-of-the-art building information modeling (BIM), the architects were able to streamline the design-build process. Thousands of parts were collapsed and integrated into a few dozen panels and blocks that slid into an aluminum frame set on wooden pylons. Consisting of 70 percent prefabricated components, the kit-of-parts house was assembled (mostly with a wrench) and lifted into place on-site in less than six weeks.

The Dwell blog approves:

... handsomely documents the entire design-build process of the Loblolly House.... I dare say this book should be required reading for all architects, contractors, and developers.

Also worth noting:

The book includes a DVD of the film "A House in the Trees" by producers Rick Deppe and Kathleen Blake, a real-time documentary of the design, fabrication, and assembly of Loblolly House.

The list price of $40.00 is reduced to $26.40 at Amazon.

See also: our page of prefab books.

subtitle: Elements of a New Architecture
author: Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake
release date: June 2008
list price: $40.00
details: 176 pages, Hardcover
publisher: Princeton Architecture Press

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Marmol Radziner monograph released

Link to Marmol Radziner monograph released
papress.com

info_smallMarmol Radziner + Associates released a new monograph last month. Written by firm principles Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner, the book also features a foreword by Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker. From publisher Princeton Architectural Press:

If you design some of the most stylish and beautiful modern houses in the Los Angeles area, including many for celebrity clients, how do you ensure that the projects are built to the standards you, and your patrons, demand? If you're the highly sought-after firm of Marmol Radziner + Associates, you do what an increasing number of practices are doing: become your own contractor, building your projects with the same rigor and beauty with which they were designed, and, in the process, remake your firm into one of the most visible and successful design-build firms in the country....

[The book] explains in detail how this pioneering design-build firm — one of the few led by architects — has managed to integrate building–installation, construction, and fabrication into one seamless design process.

Keep an eye on the Marmol Radziner blog for announcements of book signings.

Listed at $40.00, the book is on sale at Amazon for $26.40.

See also: our page of prefab books.

subtitle: Between Architecture and Construction
author: Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner
release date: July 2008
list price: $40.00
details: 176 pages, Hardcover
publisher: Princeton Architecture Press

Related Posts:
   1. Hollywood Hybrid by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 11, 2009)
   2. Marmol Radziner Prefab writes a blog (Feb 20, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: book Marmol Radziner

Your next home could be a Toyota

Link to Your next home could be a Toyota
toyota.co.jp

Very interesting -- though apparently not headed to the US. From an article in the Wall Street Journal:

Best known for its top-selling cars like the Prius and Corolla, Toyota is looking to apply its ecofriendly image and technical know-how to help boost sales of its small and little-known prefabricated-housing division.

Unbeknownst to most of us, Toyota prefabs have been around for awhile:

Since 1975, Toyota has been building steel-frame houses designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons and keep out burglars.

The tie-in with Toyota's vehicles is certainly interesting:

Toyota's aspirations as a home builder are also gaining new importance with the planned launch by 2010 of its plug-in vehicles, gas-electric hybrid cars with powerful lithium-ion batteries that drivers will need to recharge at home. The car maker is testing an electricity-monitoring system in its homes that would charge the vehicle during off-peak hours to keep utility bills low, while the car's battery can serve as an electrical backup, powering the home during blackouts.

I can't help but quote this imagery:

At the Kasugai Housing Works in central Japan, one of Toyota's three prefab-housing factories, an assembly line of robots, conveyor belts and helmeted workers produced a steady flow of rectangular steel-framed cubicles finished with staircases, kitchen cupboards, bathtubs and toilets.

The timeline sounds right:

Most Toyota homes are made from six or more of these large cubicles, which are assembled -- like Legos -- on the building site. From its start on the factory floor to its final completion on site, a Toyota home can be built in 45 days, less than half the time it takes for contractors to build a typical wooden-frame home, Toyota says.

Alas:

Other than what it called a one-time "experiment" building a development of 50 homes near its truck plant in San Antonio in 2006, Toyota says it has no ambitious plans to build homes outside Japan.

The company's past sales leave much room for expansion, within Japan and abroad:

  • 5,000 units in 2006
  • 4,600 units in 2007

I couldn't find an official Toyota Homes Website, just this little tidbit from Toyota's homepage.

Read the whole article for some housing issues that are specific to Japan.

subtitle: Steel-Frame Houses Get Renewed Push, Tie-In to Electric Cars
publication: The Wall Street Journal
author: John Murphy
length: 1,000 words
publication date: July 2, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Panasonic's modular homes (Oct 06, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model article company

More on Zamore

Here's a round-up of other recent coverage on Zamore Homes.

Inc.com included Zamore's pitch:

...I sell detailed designs, plus a list of materials that customers can have shipped from nearby facilities, including Trussway for building supplies and Ikea for cabinets. I was the general contractor for the first three homes, which will be on sale in Houston this summer. Eventually I'll charge $3,000 to $7,000 for the list and drawings.

materialicio.us concludes:

Pretty damn cool, if you ask me…

Dwell's blog wonders:

But is Zamore’s method the most sustainable? Michelle Kaufman, a leader in the prefab industry, argues that, in her experience, it’s more energy efficient to build offsite.

Apartment Therapy Los Angeles remarks:

Now if they could only reduce the price of the land itself here, we'd be living in pre-fab comforts!

Jetson Green covered the homes earlier this month.

Related Posts:
   1. Zamore Homes (Aug 01, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Zamore Homes

This week: Method Homes, HOM, containers and lots more Home Delivery

Link to This week: Method Homes, HOM, containers and lots more Home Delivery
http://www.homlifestyle.com/

A busy week!

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday enjoyed Method Homes' cabin:

we’re happy to report that Method Home’s modern wood wonder has blossomed into a beautiful home.

Inhabitat also covered HOM:

Simple, purposeful, ecological and crafted, HOM houses are meant as secondary residences; a HOM away from home to which busy urbanites can escape in style.

Jetson Green wrote about a container home in San Francisco, designed by Leger Wanaselja Architecture:

It's a simple design that shows what [is] possible with innovative home construction.

Visit Jetson Green for the full post and a bunch of photos of the home. The previous day, Preston previewed the West Coast Green showhome:

It's a 1700 sf container home, but you probably can't tell just by looking.

We'll cover West Coast Green and the showhome in more detail soon.

And a little more news on MoMA's Home Delivery show. New York's The Villager discussed the show:

“Home Delivery" ... is a coup for quality. It’s also a tour of prefab past, a spiffy toy store of drawings, models and actual toys from the century-plus history of industrialized home construction.

Business Week reran a short article from Architectural Record on the show:

One of New York's most exciting cultural venues this summer is a vacant lot in Midtown Manhattan....

Moco Loco ran a series of posts on their favorite three homes in the show. They introduced the show Monday. On Tuesday, they covered the info_smallSystem3 house:

Inside, its austere bearing gives way to a more luxurious simplicity...

Wednesday's post featured an interview with Cellophane House designer James Timberlake:

What will happen to this particular home on October 21? We are working on this concurrently with the show. We have discussed the possibility of auctioning the house.

Thursday's post looked at info_smallBURST*:

But marveling at the architecture is not the point of BURST*. Ultimately, the structure puts the emphasis on nature: The house’s rear elevation unfurls in a cascade of bleacher-style seating, all the better to sit and enjoy the view—out.

Related Posts:
   1. Method Prefab (Sep 03, 2009)
   2. Balance S-M-L Series from Method Homes (Mar 12, 2009)
   3. HOM Escape in Style: modern manufactured homes (Jun 18, 2008)
   4. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article This Week museum exhibition

Zamore Homes

Link to Zamore Homes
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/features/5893924.html

Last week, The Houston Chronicle took an in-depth look at Zamore Homes.

When Sears started selling kit houses by mail in 1908, the company promised that a man of average abilities could assemble any of the models in the catalog — from a small gabled cottage to a roomy Dutch colonial....

Exactly one century later, Houston architect Brett Zamore is bringing kit homes back.

Zamore assumes that the average man or woman of today has neither the desire nor the ability to assemble a home. That's why Zamore Homes will gather the materials, coordinate delivery and manage the construction process....

Some homes are local:

Zamore is just finishing construction on three kit houses in Houston's West End, on Center near Thompson.

Some not:

Mississippi native Karen Parker ... mother of six lost her Biloxi home to Hurricane Katrina ... selected Zamore's design and finally moved into her 1,400-square-feet home this past January.

The article provides a good working definition of "prefab":

In the strictest terms, prefabricated homes are built and assembled in a factory and then shipped to the property. In a larger sense, the term could also apply to homes with prefabricated parts that are assembled on site.

Zamore Homes models fall into the latter category.

In all, there are seven designs, in sizes that reach 2,200 square feet. But the KIT05 can grow as large as the homeowner wants.

Here's the models and specs from the Zamore Homes site:

  • KIT00: 400 sf, 1 bedroom ("little casita")
  • KIT01: 992 sf, 2 bedrooms
  • KIT02: 1,250 sf, 2 bedrooms
  • KIT03: 2,000 sf, 2 bedrooms
  • KIT04: 2,200 sf, 3 bedrooms
  • KIT05: varies
  • KIT06: 1,300 sf, 3 bedrooms
  • KIT500: 504 sf, 1 bedroom

Compared to local costs in the Houston area:

... new construction going for $130 to $170 per square foot.

The pricing sounds quite competitive:

Zamore's kit homes cost between $110 and $150 per square foot, which includes hard and soft construction costs. [information on hard vs. soft construction costs]

Here's our quick comparison to other kit homes:

CompanyModelsMaterials suppliedAdvises
info_smallRocio Romeroinfo_smallLV Seriesonly the walls and roof framingwindows, finishes and other materials
info_smallkitHAUSinfo_smallk3everything except interior fixtures (plumbing, lighting)None
info_smallJeriko Houseinfo_smallJeriko Houseall finishesNone

The materials and finishes page on the Zamore Homes site is worth a look.

Read the full article for more details.

publication: The Houston Chronicle
author: Maggie Galehouse
length: 1,800 words
publication date: July 17, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. More on Zamore (Aug 04, 2008)
   2. Historic Prefab: Sears Homes (Jul 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article kit Zamore Homes

Home Delivery in the MSM

Listen (~16:00) to a broadcast from New Hampshire Public Radio about the show, featuring an interview with Stephen Kieran of info_smallKieranTimberlake Associates.

Bloomberg Television's James Russell reviewed the exhibition:

... a wildly ambitious display of the pleasures and peculiarities of prefabricated houses. The prototypes, augmented inside the museum by a rich history of the genre, capture both the earnestness of architecture's obsession with industrial technique and its faith in technology as an agent of progress.

Read the whole thing for some specific criticism -- and possible upside.

USA Today offered an overview:

an engrossing survey of the prefab movement...

The New York Times profiled info_smallBURST*08 and architects Jeremy Edmiston and Douglas Gauthier. The path to realizing the home was not an easy one:

... arranging all the parts into the right piles so they could just be snapped into place at MoMA turned into a logistical nightmare lasting weeks rather than days. While they sorted, the 15 or so architecture students on hand were trying to reassure the contractors about a model that looked as sturdy as a collapsible fan. As for the architects, they were running back and forth to their offices, scrambling to update the drawings and struggling to raise money.

The full chronicle of the home's construction is worth a read, but sadly, it sounds like we won't be seeing future prefabs from the pair:

For the two architects, however, the success is bittersweet. After nine years their partnership has ended. “This is our last project together,” Mr. Edmiston said.

New York Magazine's architecture critic also reviewed the show:

This sporadically exciting but ultimately diffuse show begins indoors, on the sixth floor, and sidles up on the present by way of the past. It opens, brilliantly, with both....an exhibit that can’t quite decide whether prefabrication should be treated with irony or exuberance.

publication: New Hampshire Public Radio
author: Virginia Prescott
length: ~16:00
publication date: July 17, 2008

publication: Bloomberg Television
author: James S. Russell
length: 860 words
publication date: July 21, 2008

publication: USA Today
author: David Minthorn
length: 625 words
publication date: July 22, 2008

publication: The New York Times
author: Ariel Kaminer
length: 1,100 words
publication date: July 22, 2008

publication: New York Magazine
author: Justin Davidson
length: 940 words
publication date: July 20, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Home Delivery in the blogs (Jul 23, 2008)
   2. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article museum exhibition

Online exhibition for Home Delivery show

Link to Online exhibition for Home Delivery show

Dwell reports:

...for those who can’t visit the city anytime soon, the museum now has an online version of the show, replete with installation videos, archival footage, and an interactive timeline of prefab housing.

Admittedly, clicking through Home Delivery can’t beat scaling the five structures that now stand in the museum’s adjacent lot. But it’s certainly the next best thing.

The online exhibition takes over the top portion of the blog. It's quite comprehensive; well worth a look.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: website museum exhibition

This week: Ideabox, Method Homes, and unconventional

Link to This week: Ideabox, Method Homes, and unconventional
http://methodhomes.net/

Jetson Green wrote about Ideabox.

Ideabox has been busy adding ... Cubes to their product mix.... The cubes are 215 sf each and can be attached to Confluence Modern to grow the size a little bit.

JG also covered the Method Homes Cabin:

...Method Homes' first foray into green prefab is met with success as the home is complete -- it looks gorgeous and exudes the company's "Down to Earth Prefab" tagline. The cabin home is currently available for tours and, if you like it, you can place an order for your own.

Moco Loco also looked at the cabin:

The first prefab cabin by Seattle-based Method Homes (completed in 3 months) is based on a flexible template that allows for a full range of customization.

We'll take a more in depth look at both companies soon.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at two different unconventional prefabs. First, they covered strange treehouses from Our Planet Retreats:

Our Planet Retreats, an innovative UK-based company, is building eco-resorts in gorgeous pristine locations like the Phillipines, Vanatu, and Papua New Guinea. Visiting guests stay in simple floating spheres in the trees that are reached by spiral stairs. Crafted from fiberglass and built by locals, each sphere can accommodate up to 4 people.

They also wrote about EcoShack's Nomad Yurt:

...a beautiful soft-shelled structure that finds elegance in its simplicity.

(Dated Saturday but actually posted on Monday. Sorry for the delay.)

Related Posts:
   1. Method Prefab (Sep 03, 2009)
   2. Ideabox Open House on March 26, 2009 in Port Townsend, WA (Mar 23, 2009)
   3. Balance S-M-L Series from Method Homes (Mar 12, 2009)
   4. This week: Method Homes, Énóvo, Canühome (May 17, 2008)
   5. This week: prefab concepts, debate, and more (Aug 25, 2007)
   6. Yurts! (May 28, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week

Home Delivery in the blogs

Link to Home Delivery in the blogs

MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition opened this weekend. The blogs were full of coverage.

Voxant's TheNewsRoom includes a video report. (Note: the video is interesting -- but runs automatically, may be slow, and may cause browser problems.)

Zavod Big, a design blog in Eastern Europe, covered the "Touch" home from Kannustalo of Finland.

Green in Medusa featured some beautiful images of the show, plus this note:

Whether you like these architects and the concept of Pre-Fab or not the show is worth visiting.

Treehugger featured pictures last week and a look at several reviews on Monday.

Dwell shared some photos.

Core 77 showed off an image of a futuristic wall fragment at the show.

future forum 2008 included exquisite photographs, interesting discussion, and this conclusion:

HOME DELIVERY is an impressive narrative about both failures and successes of the concept. What is evident in the optics of the MoMA showcase is that prefabricated homes have evolved over the years and now come in astonishing variety and appeal to the most sophisticated expectations.

C-MONSTER.net also has photos.

Related Posts:
   1. Home Delivery in the MSM (Jul 30, 2008)
   2. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: museum exhibition

Home Delivery exhibition catalog available for purchase

Link to Home Delivery exhibition catalog available for purchase

MoMA's exhibition catalog is available for purchase (Amazon, sale price $29.70), but won't ship until August 1.

The catalog includes three essays:

  • "Home Delivery: Viscidities of a Modernist Dream from Taylorized Serial Production to Digital Customization" by Barry Bergdoll [curator]
  • "Scandinavia: Prefabrication as a Model of Society" by Swedish historian and critic Rasmus Wærn
  • "Postulating the Potential of Prefab: the Case of Japan" by Ken Tadashi Oshima, a historian of Japanese architecture.

Other contents:

  • "substantial descriptive texts" of each of the 63 projects in the show, written by Peter Christensen
  • contributions from guest authors Robert Rubin, Friedrich von Borries, and Florian Breipohl
  • a chronology of prefabricated buildings
  • a selected bibliography

Sounds like a must-have.

subtitle: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling
author: Ken Oshima, Rasmus Waern, Barry Bergdoll, Peter Christensen
release date: August 2008
list price: $45.00
details: 248 pages, Hardcover
publisher: The Museum of Modern Art

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

This week: Greensburg 5.4.7 Art Center

Link to This week: Greensburg 5.4.7 Art Center

The blogs were mostly abuzz with news of MoMA's Home Delivery show this week. We'll provide a rundown of coverage early next week.

In other prefab news, Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at a community art center designed and built by Studio804 of the University of Kansas School of Architecture:

...this innovative building uses modular design with the length of long truck trailers as the defining width component measure - an outside the box thinking that makes larger prefab buildings possible.

Lots more info on the project page.

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MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times

Link to MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/07/18/arts/0718-DWELL_index.html

The New York Times architecture critic provided a glowing review of MoMA's Home Delivery in this morning's paper:

"Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling," which opens on Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art, is a delightful surprise....In a tour de force Mr. Bergdoll [the show's curator] was able to build five full-scale model houses for the show in a lot just west of the museum. The effect is startling: expressions of a suburban utopian world surrounded by Midtown’s looming skyscrapers.

Mr. Bergdoll has not only managed to track down some unexpected gems, he has also arranged them in a way that allows us to see them with fresh eyes. He makes a convincing case that prefabricated housing was both a central theme of Modernist history and a dream that remains very much alive today.

We've provided extensive coverage of the full-scale homes; this review adds details on the accompanying exhibits:

[the show] presents more than 80 projects, from humble experiments in suburban living to stunning works of cretive imagination.

Here's a sample: (plus some external links we dug up)

Read the full article for more details and a new slideshow with 12 images.

One correction to the article: the frame of the info_smallCellophane House is aluminum not "lightweight steel."

subtitle: At MoMA, a Look at Instant Houses, Past, Present and Future
publication: The New York Times
author: Nicolai Ouroussoff
length: 1,500 words, 12 slides
publication date: July 18, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   2. Worth a look: New York Times Home Delivery slideshow (Jul 09, 2008)
   3. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   4. BURST* update (Mar 25, 2008)
   5. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   6. The m-ch (micro compact home) (Jan 10, 2008)
   7. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   8. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
   9. Maison Tropicale sold for $4.97m (Jun 06, 2007)
   10. Prefabs get demolished (May 07, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process article museum exhibition Jean Prouvé

Pop-up hotel technology from Abilmo

Link to Pop-up hotel technology from Abilmo
http://www.abilmo.fr/en/content/view/16/30/

Abilmo produces and supplies prefabricated, "pop-up" hotel rooms for large events in Europe:

Far too many events lasting only a few days are faced with the challenge of ... accommodation which cannot be satisfied by the existing hotel capacity.

The solution comes in a small, efficient package:

Each room once folded measures: 4.40m x 2.38m x .468m [14.4' x 7.8' x 1.5']

Compact loading of 18 foldable multi-purpose rooms per truck.

Each room includes most of the comforts one would expect in a hotel:

  • Ceiling hung with cloth, low voltage lighting, wood flooring, furniture in wood
  • Area of 12 Sqm [130 sf]
  • Thermal and acoustic insulation, individual heating and air conditioning system
  • Individual bathroom with WC, shower and hot water

Abilmo's concept seems to have applications beyond hotel rooms. The concept of reusability is becoming more popular; we've seen a few examples in the past couple years. Most recently, we've reported on the groHome, winner of last year's EPA Lifecycle Building Challenge and info_smallKieranTimberlake's Cellophane House. Both of these models embrace the idea of reusable building parts.

Treehugger seems convinced:

It is an interesting idea - why build an entire hotel for a big event when you can just move it around?

A video tour of the home:

available: Europe
size: ~130 sf
br: 1
details: collapsable, reusable

Related Posts:
   1. Prefab hotel in London (Mar 03, 2008)
   2. Prefab hotel rooms in Amsterdam (Aug 24, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: hotel reusable

KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House

Link to KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House
http://kierantimberlake.com/featured_projects/cellophane_house_1.html

Last week, Lloyd Alter wrote about info_smallKieranTimberlake's info_smallCellophane House ... which reminded me that we hadn't yet covered it in detail. The home is one of the five in MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition.

Referencing a talk given by Steven Kieran and James Timberlake a few years back, Lloyd explained why the Cellophane House is so exciting:

I saw that prefab wasn't just about building in a factory, but was about reinventing the way we build, not just where.

...

"Chunking" is what car manufacturers do; they have subassemblies that are put together into modules, and then put together into the finished product. Builders already do a bit of that, buying pre-hung doors and nail-in windows. KieranTimberlake take it to the next level on the Cellophane House.

Visit Treehugger to read Lloyd's complete post.

Here's more info from the KieranTimberlake project page for the home:

Cellophane House is a five-story, offsite fabricated dwelling... The 1800 square-foot residence has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living and dining space, a roof terrace, and a carport.

Like their info_smallLoblolly House, this one is designed to be easy to put together and take apart.

Cellophane House relies on a system of customizable elements. An aluminum frame serves as a matrix on which other factory made elements like floors and ceilings, stairs, bathrooms, and mechanical rooms can be attached. The aluminum structural framing is bolted, rather than welded, allowing it to be taken apart as easily as it is assembled. Moreover, this frame allows any of the walls, floors, structure, or envelope to be replaced at any time, without invasive modifications.

They describe the concept using soaring rhetoric:

A building is, at root, nothing more than an assemblage of materials forming an enclosure. We recognize that these materials came from somewhere, are held together for a time by the techniques of construction, and will at some future time transition into another state. While we tend to think of buildings as permanent, they are in fact only a resting state for materials, a temporary equilibrium that is destined to be upset by the entropic forces that drive the physical universe.

Definitely worth a view: a time-lapse video of the home's assembly.

I'll give Lloyd the final word (as I'm inclined to agree):

[The Cellophane House is] a demonstration of pushing the technological building envelope to the very edge; like so many things that came out of the space program that are now part of our everyday life, there are ideas here that in ten years will probably be part of every building.

style: modern
size: 1,800 sf
br: 2
how: aluminum framing system

Related Posts:
   1. James Timberlake discusses lean manufacturing (Mar 05, 2009)
   2. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   3. groHome can be taken apart (Jul 02, 2008)
   4. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   5. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
   6. The m-ch (micro compact home) (Jan 10, 2008)
   7. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   8. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model system KieranTimberlake museum exhibition

This week: all about MoMA Home Delivery

Link to This week: all about MoMA Home Delivery
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/magazine/13Matter-t.html

MoMA's Home Delivery show opens a week from tomorrow so it's been getting a lot of attention around the web.

The New York Times added a little article blurb to the slideshow they posted the other day:

Even by New York City standards, it’s quite a sight. On a 17,000-square-foot vacant lot just west of the Museum of Modern Art, a mini-suburb of contemporary houses is being built — practically overnight.

Lloyd Alter of Treehugger wrote a series of posts on the exhibition:

HAUTE*NATURE took a green perspective.

We'll let Inhabitat's Prefab Friday have the last word:

get down to the MOMA to take in this fantastic prefab extravaganza.

Related Posts:
   1. Worth a look: New York Times Home Delivery slideshow (Jul 09, 2008)
   2. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week m-ch System3

A Prefab Project you can rent

Link to A Prefab Project you can rent
lostrivermodern.com

We've been following A Prefab Project's construction of a info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture home since near the beginning.

Over a year later, the home is complete and available to rent. It's an excellent opportunity to understand what a Resolution: 4 Architecture home can be. Homeowners Chris and Sarah have definitely put a lot of energy and care into the home, and it shows.

A few guests have been testing the place out over the past couple months. Chris shared some stories:

... all of the folks who have stayed so far have been superstars. John and Laura, our first guests, talked with me for an hour on the phone about their visit, and took copious notes. (And have already booked two more weekends!) Chris and Ritamary chipped in one of those wire brush scrubbers for the grill. Ross and Libby sent along a professional-quality blurb and a fancy corkscrew. And Jake, whose Herculean bicycle trip from Pittsburgh to our cabin really cannot be appreciated unless you are a biker.

Jake documented his bicycle trip to the cabin with a blog and great photos.

Our previous coverage of the project:

where: Lost River, West Virginia
price: $150 weekdays, $200 weekends

Related Posts:
   1. Lost River Modern by Resolution 4 (Aug 13, 2009)
   2. A Prefab Project budget (Aug 20, 2007)
   3. Learn from a Prefab Project (Jul 23, 2007)
   4. A Prefab Project delivery and set! (Jul 05, 2007)
   5. A Prefab Project (Jun 06, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process website

Worth a look: New York Times Home Delivery slideshow

Link to Worth a look: New York Times Home Delivery slideshow
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/07/09/arts/20080709_PREFAB_SLIDESHOW_4.html

Today the New York Times published an online slideshow documenting the progress of the homes in MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition.

Definitely worth a view.

publication: The New York Times
length: 7 slides
publication date: July 9, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. This week: all about MoMA Home Delivery (Jul 12, 2008)
   3. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process museum exhibition

UK prefab school

We don't usually cover non-residential prefabs, but a quick blurb published in the The Times (UK) caught my eye last month:

Work has begun on Britain’s first flat-pack school, which is arriving in a convoy of 20 lorries from a prefab building specialist in Switzerland.

St Agnes CE Primary in Longsight, Manchester, will be built from ready-made wooden frames that cut construction time, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds. Six hundred computer-cut wooden panels will be added, to complete the three-storey building. The biggest panels weigh two tonnes and are 12m (36ft) long.

Manchester's Evening News provided a little more info and the above video:

The panels will be made in a factory near Lausanne in Switzerland which specialises in manufacturing pre-fabricated panels from sustainable forests nearby. Holes for doors, window and sockets are drilled in advance using precise cutting techniques.

Other advantages:

Designers say the specially-treated timber joists are even more fire-resistant than steel, which can buckle and break under high temperatures.

Last year we covered a house in the San Francisco area that used a similar system made by Thoma Holz in Austria.

publication: The Manchester Evening News
length: 600 words
publication date: May 30, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Modular classroom from Project Frog (Dec 08, 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) , Tags: video UK school

The Home Delivery blog is hiding some of their best videos

Link to The Home Delivery blog is hiding some of their best videos
http://momahomedelivery.org

I'm a little obsessed with the progress updates over at MoMa's Home Delivery blog. Not least: several of the videos are great -- but some of their best are hidden behind a proprietary interface.

Try this. In the top right corner of their blog, move your mouse over the image. With luck, a control bar will slide up a bit from the bottom. Click the tiny square icon on the right and notice that the hard-to-read gray text on a light gray background changes. In theory, that means you switched to another video. In practice, it's hard to tell since there's not much action in some of them.

The time-lapse installation videos are definitely worth a look -- though it would be much better if each video was in a separate post that bloggers could link to.

Related Posts:
   1. Home Delivery update: install videos to drool over (Jun 26, 2008)
   2. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: video website BURST*

This week: Home Delivery, immigrant housing, prefab in NYC, and more

Link to This week: Home Delivery, immigrant housing, prefab in NYC, and more
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/arch-sass-0703.html

MIT's news office described the work of professor Larry Sass for MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition. (We covered details of his "Digitally Fabricated House for New Orleans" and the MIT yourHOUSE project back in January.)

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday took advantage of the holiday to talk about prefab and migration:

How can architecture reconcile the transborder pressures of providing adequate housing with the inevitable tides of hyper-immigration? How can it help manage the increasing sprawl of the destitute colonias swelling between the two countries? And how can we bring new models of planning and infrastructure to areas of booming migrant settlement?

Materialicio.us covered a new community of homes, built by Wieler, a company which we will cover in depth soon:

Nathan Wieler and his wife were the owners of the original Res4a Dwell House who worked with Dwell to set up the original competition, built the house, tried to sell the house but remained there, and went on to promote prefabs...

Related Posts:
   1. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   2. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week

groHome can be taken apart

Link to groHome can be taken apart
http://www.lifecyclebuilding.org/2007/winner-grohome.php

Yesterday we mentioned the EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge. We're most intrigued by last year's winning student entry, Texas A&M's groHome:

Using a library of pre-manufactured components brought to a site and assembled efficiently, the structure is designed with a specialized bolted connector [joint] that allows for components to be unplugged easily and without damage. Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID) can be embedded to take inventory and check the history of components.

More detail on the "gro(w)ability" of the home:

The plug and play concept is taken from the computer industry. .... The chrysalis of this idea is in our joint, the groJoint. It is designed to receive a beam on four sides and column or foundation on the top and bottom. Connections are all bolted which allows for components to be "unplugged" easily and without damaging the component....

The Texas A&M Solar Decathalon Website has more background information on the team and the project.

A few of the prefab companies we cover already use similar standardized systems:

Related Posts:
   1. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   2. The EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge; July 31 deadline (Jul 01, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: system process

The EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge; July 31 deadline

Link to The EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge; July 31 deadline
http://www.lifecyclebuilding.org/

We missed this item last year when we covered West Coast Green 2007: the EPA's Lifecycle Building Challenge. From a West Coast Green email:

... a design competition for students and professionals focusing solely on innovation regarding deconstruction and building material reuse.

And the Lifecycle Building Challenge was born! Submissions from architects, students, planners and builders poured in, ranging from de-nailer guns to radio-tagged, re-useable wall panels to design that considers reuse as it's primary function.

The awards were presented last year at West Coast Green.

The Challenge returns to this year's show. The ability to take apart a building and re-assemble it elsewhere seems like prefab in its purest form.

where: West Coast Green 2008
deadline: July 31, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. 3 prefabs among winners of the second annual Lifecycle Building Challenge (Nov 20, 2008)
   2. groHome can be taken apart (Jul 02, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green system process West Coast Green

WIRED LivingHome still for sale; price reduced

Link to WIRED LivingHome still for sale; price reduced
http://www.rochedaleln.com/download/editing/flash/013.jpg

We first looked at the WIRED LivingHome back in July 2007. The home was open to the public in November and shortly thereafter was put on the market. According to Curbed LA:

...the home, originally listed at $4.15 million, has been re-staged and priced at $3.75 million.

Likely, the nation's real estate slump has something to do with the price revision. If you're looking for a top-of-the-line prefab though, here's what you get:

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 4 bathrooms
  • 4,057 sf
  • $924/sf

Tons of pictures are available at Redfin and on the home's own site. Curbed toured the home in November and provides some additional photos.

Our other coverage:

designer: Ray Kappe for info_smallLivingHomes
where: Brentwood, CA
price: $3.75m
details: 5 br, 4 bath, 4,057 sf

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: WIRED LivingHome (Sep 02, 2009)
   2. New LivingHomes video and photos (Aug 03, 2009)
   3. KieranTimberlake LivingHomes (Jun 24, 2009)
   4. WIRED LivingHome open for tours! (Nov 06, 2007)
   5. WIRED webcam (Sep 10, 2007)
   6. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes for sale California

This week: Marmol install, Chile, and BURST

The LA Times featured the above video (3:03, following a short advertisement) of the install of the info_smallMarmol Radziner prefab in Venice, CA that we mentioned last week.

Jetson Green enjoyed the video:

It's fun ... because you can see Ron Radziner's enthusiasm bubble inside as he explains one of his company's newest creations. These guys are having fun, you can just tell.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday took a look at La Reserva:

This stunning prefab in Colina, Chile, is the work of Santiago-based architect Sebastián Irarrázaval. Despite its unique form, it is not meant as a custom design but rather a housing solution that can take shape repeatedly. Constructed of concrete, steel and timber, the 120 square meter structure (1290 sq ft) lives large with a simple geometric that is at ease with the surrounding landscape.

Plenty Magazine's blog covered the info_smallBURST* models that will be a part of the upcoming Home Delivery exhibition at MoMA:

“Everyone thinks prefab is just a big chunk of house you dump on a site and then you bolt it down,” says [designer] Gauthier. “Ours is a little bit more like an Ikea project. It’s thousands of pieces that can all be handled and stitched together on site.” Though the interior of the Burst*008 house will be modified to respond to the constraints of New York City and the MoMA’s specific building requirements, the structure will share many attributes with its Australian seaside counterpart.

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   2. Marmol Radziner's Palms House (Aug 08, 2008)
   3. This week: historical, Flatpak, LVL tour, and more (Jun 21, 2008)
   4. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: video Marmol Radziner This Week BURST*

The LA Times on Sander Architects and steel framing

Link to The LA Times on Sander Architects and steel framing
http://www.latimes.com/classified/realestate/news/la-re-metal8-2008jun08,0,6176670.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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: cost Sander Architects steel

Home Delivery update: install videos to drool over

This last week has seen some impressive progress in the installation of homes for MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition, opening July 20.

In the video above, the System3 home hatches from its shipping containers and is craned onto its temporary foundation in midtown Manhattan. The bones of the BURST*008 model can also be seen in the video, from about 0:10 to 0:25.

Visit the Home Delivery blog for up-to-the-minute blog posts, images and videos.

Related Posts:
   1. The Home Delivery blog is hiding some of their best videos (Jul 08, 2008)
   2. BURST* update (Mar 25, 2008)
   3. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   4. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process museum exhibition System3 BURST*

Prefab apartments to make downtown Seattle affordable?

Link to Prefab apartments to make downtown Seattle affordable?
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2004440036_inhabit27.html

The Seattle Times reported a few weeks back on an attempt by Unico Properties to bring affordable housing to Seattle:

Several years ago, Unico lost some good downtown office tenants to outlying locations. Sperling says that when he asked the companies why they were moving, they told him most of their employees spent too much time commuting and couldn't afford to live in Seattle.

So, Unico turned to modular construction:

The company retained architectural firms Mithun and HyBrid to explore whether units could be built economically that might appeal to the design, environmental and technological tastes of young urbanites.

The result: the two Inhabit prototypes. The wood-frame units were built in a factory in Burlington, Skagit County, trucked to Seattle, and lifted by crane onto the plaza at the base of Unico's Rainier Tower.

For reference: Mithun, HyBrid Architecture.

The savings?

[The Inhabit units cost] 15 percent less than a conventional project.... [and] the prototypes were built in just three weeks. Units could be put together while other work is going on at the site, and neighbors wouldn't experience as much disruption.

Features of the units include:

  • 480 - 675 sf
  • studio - 1 bedroom
  • 62 units total
  • floor-to-ceiling windows, a "green" roof to reduce stormwater runoff

Our previous coverage of prefabs being used for similar high-density developments:

author: Eric Pyne
publication: The Seattle Times
length: 950 words
publication date: May 27, 2008

(Hattip: Jetson Green)

Related Posts:
   1. KieranTimberlake and LivingHomes: match made in prefab heaven? (Jun 19, 2008)
   2. Prefab hotel in London (Mar 03, 2008)
   3. mkLoft development in Denver (Nov 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Seattle development modular

Modular construction can help homes to resist hurricanes

Link to Modular construction can help homes to resist hurricanes
http://www.katrina.noaa.gov/satellite/images/katrina-08-29-2005-1345z2.jpg

We've previously mentioned Mississippi's Safeway Homes in regards to their strength and affordability. The Sun Herald ("Southern Mississippi's Newspaper") explains further:

Modular homes built in north Mississippi are the first in this state to receive a Fortified Home designation that qualifies the owner for...insurance discounts once the home is properly installed.

"The desire was to build a home that was very strong, but also very low-cost to maintain," said Dan Hobbs, CEO of Safeway Homes in Lexington, Miss. "The whole purpose was to build excellent quality work-force housing. It's cost-efficient housing."

Some specifics about how the Fortified Home program works:

Safeway Homes are designed to withstand 150-mph winds. While the design has received Fortified Home approval, the designation is awarded only after certified personnel have completed foundation and final inspections to ensure each home is properly and permanently anchored, and meets elevation requirements.

To learn more about the "Fortified...for safer living®" program, visit the Institute for Business & Home Safety site. Read the full Sun Herald article for more details on Safeway Home's designation.

subtitle: Modular company meets safety standards that could lower insurance bill
company: Safeway Homes
author: Anita Lee
publication: The Sun Herald
length: 575 words
publication date: June 10, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Modular construction helps make homes affordable (Nov 21, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article modular Mississippi

Two EcoSteel projects moving along

Link to Two EcoSteel projects moving along
© Steve Cullen - from http://picasaweb.google.com/CullenRanch/CROAndMilkyWay

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)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process EcoSteel website steel

This week: historical, Flatpak, LVL tour, and more

Link to This week: historical, Flatpak, LVL tour, and more
http://andreasangelidakis.blogspot.com/2008/06/tube-prefabby-guy-dessauges.html

Treehugger covered an historical, and quite unconventional, prefab:

Around 1960, Swiss artist Guy Dessauges wondered why we were so square. "The vault resists pressure much larger than the flat ceiling. For the same quality of materials. I wondered why we could not use the cylinder to build a home. The only problem was the diameter of the cylinder. It was necessary to have a diameter large enough to install two floors. The idea crystallized in ten minutes."*

*translated quote from Treehugger

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday loved the photos of the info_smallFlatpak House we've seen before.

The LVL home tour received some good coverage this week. The blog "the girl in the green dress" wrote:

the lvl open house in maine was a success with about 100 people visiting my friend jim's house.

She also took some photos that were picked up by Jetson Green and Materialicio.us.

Curbed LA provided a photo update of a Marmol Radziner home going up in Venice, CA:

last we heard, the home, which belongs to firm founder Leo Marmol, will be done in about a month.

Related Posts:
   1. Sausalito, CA FlatPak for sale (Jun 26, 2009)
   2. This week: Marmol install, Chile, and BURST (Jun 28, 2008)
   3. Tour a Rocio Romero LVL Home on June 14th in Maine (May 27, 2008)
   4. Flatpak house in Aspen (Mar 14, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours historical LV Series Marmol Radziner This Week

Alchemy Architects write a blog

Link to Alchemy Architects write a blog
http://weehouses.com/flash/weeGallery/gallery/johnsoncreek/large/9.jpg

info_smallAlchemy Architects has had a blog for a while, but just recently, Alchemy's Betsy Gabler has been updating frequently with information on the info_smallweeHouse.

One post covered a not-so-weeHouse in PA:

Owners of the Johnson Creek weeHouse have graciously provided some great new pictures of their 4 box weeHouse in Pennsylvania.

The Alchemy Architects website provides a description of the home (seen above) and additional images:

This 2,200SF 3BR retreat home consists of a larger main unit accommodating most daily activities and a smaller sleeping tower. Both units are connected by an elevated patio bridge component.

A post from last week profiled a weeHouse in upstate New York:

  • process started with Alchemy in October 2007; site work (client started from scratch which means even putting in their own septic and well systems) and preliminary design happened throughout the winter of 2007-2008
  • house is due to be 'set' in Fall 2008
  • floor plan follows the weeHouse side x side PAIR that has two bedrooms and one bath; client added screen porch (great idea!) using Alchemy's additional design services and also worked with their general contractor to customize a walk-in basement...
  • total square footage (including exterior deck and porch) = 1250
  • (06/08): price for weeHouse PAIR in NY is listed at $189K; this house with additional design options/fees is still coming in at under $200K (about $160/SF); additional costs include site work, basement, transportation, and set/hook-up fees (many of these are priced differently by region)

We're still waiting for the Build a wee page to become active. Hopefully we'll see that announced on the blog soon!

Also: there's a weeHouse page, updated frequently, on Facebook. You have to be a friend to see the profile, but you can find it through a search.

Related Posts:
   1. New weeHouse website (Dec 21, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process Alchemy Architects website

KieranTimberlake and LivingHomes: match made in prefab heaven?

Link to KieranTimberlake and LivingHomes: match made in prefab heaven?
livinghomes.net

We briefly covered the KieranTimberlake and LivingHomes partnership when it was announced in March. The official announcement (pdf):

Combining their respective expertise and knowledge, LivingHomes and KieranTimberlake have developed the LivingHomes Building System [LBS], a proprietary platform that combines modules for kitchens, baths and utility cores, and "Smart Panels™", that integrate mechanical ducting, electrical and plumbing. With complexity and cost concentrated in particular panels and modules, this flexible building system allows for high-volume fabrication ... and easier transportation.

Last year, we discussed KieranTimberlake's earlier "smart cartridges" which were used in the construction of their info_smallLoblolly House. A bit more about the advantages of the system:

In addition to lower cost and faster production, the LBS allows for the unprecedented adaptability of previously 'fixed' spaces. The new "expandable" single family LivingHome by KieranTimberlake is designed to grow with the changing needs of its inhabitants and can be easily reconfigured from a modest 900 sf dwelling for a single person or young couple to a spacious 2,160 sf four-bedroom home for a growing family. LivingHome owners will be able to purchase addition rooms from LivingHomes, when they need them, and LivingHomes will assemble those rooms on site.

The LivingHomes by KieranTimberlake line features just two models, the KT1 and the KT2. The KT1 comes in three subtle variations, each able to be expanded differently.

For instance, the KT1.1 can grow from the 1 bedroom, 1,020 sf "small" version to the 4 bedroom, 2,160 sf "large" version by adding three additional modules. Difficult to describe with words, the extensions seem both logical and organic; take a look at the KT1.1 brochure (pdf) to see how the changes occur.

About the KT2:

The LivingHomes KT2 line of single family townhomes feature three floors of living with attached two car garages, making them an excellent alternative to multi-story condominium developments.

This sort of expandability makes perfect sense with prefab structures and KieranTimberlake's "Smart Panels™" seem to be a key component. I for one am interested to see how this partnership grows. Something that should help them along: prices between $155/sf - $215/sf.

model: KT1 from info_smallLivingHomes and info_smallKieranTimberlake
size: 1,020 - 2,160 sf
status: planned
expected price: $155/sf - $215/sf
br: 1 - 4
style: modern
how: modules

model: KT2 from info_smallLivingHomes and info_smallKieranTimberlake
size: 1,540 sf
status: planned
expected price: $135/sf - $185/sf
br: 2
style: modern
how: modules

Related Posts:
   1. Ray Kappe multifamily by LivingHomes (Jul 09, 2009)
   2. KieranTimberlake LivingHomes (Jun 24, 2009)
   3. Prefab apartments to make downtown Seattle affordable? (Jun 25, 2008)
   4. KieranTimberlake partners with LivingHomes (Mar 19, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model LivingHomes KieranTimberlake

HOM Escape in Style: modern manufactured homes

Link to HOM Escape in Style: modern manufactured homes

Dwell on Design visitors loved the prototype info_smallHOM Escape in Style. Kimberly Parker, head of PR for HOM, provided some details.

[It] is a comprehensive product line of fully manufactured, high-design modern homes and carefully crafted furniture, accessories and systems.

Designed by KAA Design Group in Los Angeles, the three different HOM models range from 1,000 - 3,600 sf and can include as many as 6 bedrooms! The listed price per sf is $200, though customization options will most likely push that number higher.

HOM is a manufactured home -- commonly known as a "trailer":

HOM is different from pre-fab, modular, or component housing in that it utilizes a proven 85-year old industry to build and transport the product while a North American dealer distribution network manages the entire process.

One advantage of the "mobile home" designation of HOM:

The HOM unit is towed to your site on its own axle and wheels by a semi-trailer truck. The axle and wheels remain in place under the HOM, disguised by skirting and the modular deck system, thus allowing HOM to be relocated in the future. HOM falls under the federal HUD code of manufactured housing. This category replaced what was formally referred to as "mobile housing" in the early 1980s.

There are a number of differences between the more traditional construction of most prefabs and the construction of manufactured housing. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before buying. We'll write more on those differences soon.

model: Model 1
size: 1,000 sf
br: 2

model: Model 2
size: 2,000 sf
br: 3-4

model: Model 3
size: 3,600 sf
br: 4-6

All models:
status: prototype/not yet for sale
price: ~$200/sf
style: modern
method: trailers ("manufactured")
housing code: HUD

Related Posts:
   1. Builder Magazine highlights prefab houses (May 29, 2009)
   2. This week: Method Homes, HOM, containers and lots more Home Delivery (Aug 02, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model trailers modern

pieceHomes introduces extraPieces, modular additions for existing homes

Link to pieceHomes introduces extraPieces, modular additions for existing homes
piecehomes.com

Because we couldn't be at Dwell on Design, we sent out some emails to see what attendees had to say. From Jonathan Davis at info_smallpieceHomes:

Dwell was a fantastic event, the pieceHomes booth was constantly busy with a stream of very interested, knowledgeable attendees. We launched two new homes along with our new line, extraPieces: modern, green, modular additions for existing homes.

A bit more about the two new homes:

...the Flat Wrap, another in the Wrap series, is a 1,765sf 3 bedroom one story home with expansive glazed walls allow for true indoor/outdoor living. The 1,900sf three story loft Cube House can be used for urban-infill where smaller footprints and higher density are appropriate.

With these two additional models, pieceHomes offers nine standard models, ranging in size from the one bedroom, 320 sf Container House to the 1,900sf Cube House. All of the pieceHomes models, including three custom projects, can be seen in their online brochure (pdf).

The extraPieces concept sounds intriguing:

extraPieces™ provide the extra space needed without having to build a whole new home. Add a family room or a master suite to an existing home, or build a new garage and studio in the backyard. Exterior materials can be customized to complement the finish of the existing home. Interiors can also be customized to meet particular needs and conditions, such as adding a kitchen and full bath to turn eP: studio into a guesthouse. Each of the extraPieces™ uses the same palate of green materials, energy efficient technologies and sustainable construction practices as the new homes by pieceHomes®.

The extraPieces range includes studio, master suite, and extension modules. This product is the first I've seen that offers such prefab solutions specifically for adding a room to your existing home. If they can match a traditional look, perhaps it could be Scott's prefab kitchen?

model: extraPieces from info_smallpieceHomes
size: 475 - 910 sf
br: 0-1
style: modern
how: modules

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
   2. Wanted: a Prefab Kitchen (Apr 30, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model addition modular pieceHomes modern

Last week: House for an Ecologist and George Maciunas

Link to Last week: House for an Ecologist and George Maciunas
http://www.aia.org/cod_ideas06_winners

I got quite sick over the weekend, so I am playing catch-up. Sorry for the delay! There was a lot of prefab news last week; we'll cover the majority of it in other posts.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at the contest-winning Landscape House (a conceptual design):

In 2006 the AIA set forth an architecture challenge to create ‘A House for an Ecologist’– a home base from which a US Fish and Wildlife Service Ecologist in Residence could live and conduct field research.

Read the post for details.

The Maya Stendhal Gallery is hosting a prefab exhibition from June 5 to August 23.

George Maciunas Prefabricated Building System presents an exciting chapter in artist George Maciunas’ prolific oeuvre, focusing on his ventures in architecture. The exhibition critically examines a particular architectural project for a prefabricated mass housing system, which Maciunas drafted in the late 1950s and developed toward utopian ends through 1965.

It looks like I'm not the only one who missed the opening. Coverage last week included materialicio.us and Treehugger.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week

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

brio54: you decide what you want and how you want to build it

Link to brio54: you decide what you want and how you want to build it
www.brio54.com/

info_smallbrio54 is a new prefab outfit started by architect Gernot Bruckner and partner Philip Macari. Their focus:

Passion for modern green design, and a simpler, more affordable building process.

We are committed to providing modern people with an environment that reflects their personal and functional needs.

While they are still working to build their first prototype, the plan sounds like a good one:

Aside from being the creators and the driving force behind the 'brio54|brand', we are in charge of product development. The production, delivery, and installation of our homes is handled by a team of national and international partners.

Specifically, Stock Building Supply, a company with 310 locations throughout the United States handles the supply of all materials to your site. The Brio54/Stock delivery system uses something called 'feature paks':

It combines on-site and factory based fabrication into one '[H]ybrid' solution....

'You-pick' offers a fast and easy way to customize your 'feature paks' to fit your needs.

Brio54 promises that their "owner-builder based construction system requires no general contractor..." and offers two options for project management, depending on your comfort level (and budget):

'Hands-off': Stock provides the overall project management between paks and the site supervision.

'Hands-on': You save, we advise. Overall project management and site supervision is your responsibility.

Currently, the website provides details for three different concepts, the H1, H2 and H3, ranging from 2,400 to 2,900 sf. The completed homes include interiors provided by Valcucine/DOM, insulated concrete foundation walls from Amvic Building Systems and windows and doors from SwissShade & Security.

Jetson Green covered the brio54 models in February. Inhabitat's Prefab Friday followed and fell in love. GLiving.tv also commented:

The aim of brio54 is to offer functional, inspiring and affordable modern design to the masses, and from what I can tell, they’ve succeeded (at least at the concept stage).

It all sounds exciting; I can't wait to see some pricing info and the prototype when complete.

model: H1, H2, H3 from info_smallbrio54
status: prototype
size: 2,400 - 2,900 sf
br: 3-4
style: modern
how: kit

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL)

MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery

Link to MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery
http://www.nysun.com/arts/turning-a-1200-piece-puzzle-into-a-home-with-moma/78789/

With MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition just 6 weeks out, signs of substantive progress are appearing. And it's definitely fun to follow along.

From an article in the New York Sun last week:

Inside a 20,000-square-foot warehouse space in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood, about two dozen people gather most weekday mornings to work on a giant plywood puzzle. There are square-shaped pieces with oval holes in their midsection and jagged ones, resembling enormous saw blades. When they complete the 1,200-piece puzzle, they will have built a house -- or at least the skeleton of one.

Next week, that residence — collapsed into three accordion-like pieces — will be loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken to a vacant lot abutting the Museum of Modern Art. There, the design of the New York architects Jeremy Edmiston and Douglas Gauthier will rise in June, alongside four other modern dwellings

The article speaks of info_smallBurst*.008 from Gauthier Architects. We get a little more info from the MoMA Home Delivery blog:

So far the hiccups we’ve had have been solved by the application of elbow grease and collaboration. Our gratitude to all who have given us both.

Other homes are also moving along. info_smallKieran Timberlake's Cellophane House has a frame and quite a bit of glowing acrylic!

The info_smallSystem3 House is in a shipping container (very cool one minute video) somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.

And, DelMarvaNow.com shared some details on the fabrication of the 'Housing for New Orleans' exhibition home. That home is a version of yourHouse by MIT's Lawrence Sass.

Check out the full Home Delivery blog to see videos, images and tons of updates on each home's construction. Read the full New York Sun article for more detail on the Burst* project and the exhibition.

author: Gabrielle Birkner
publication: The New York Sun
length: 875 words
publication date: May 29, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
   3. BURST* update (Mar 25, 2008)
   4. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   5. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   6. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model process museum exhibition

This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more

Link to This week: Taliesin, Joshua Tree, mkSolaire and more
http://prairiemod.typepad.com/prairiemod/2008/06/taliesin-prefab.html

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) , Tags: OMD green This Week mkSolaire Dwell on Design

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

Colorado modular on a budget

Link to Colorado modular on a budget
www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_9365484

The Denver Post reports on a modular homeowner near Denver:

Jill Warner is having a new home built in Salida that's as green as possible without "going overboard," she said.

...

Warner wanted to buy a prefab home from the beginning, but her early research revealed a stiff price tag — about $320 per square foot using an out-of-state builder.

Then she dug deeper and found companies closer to home. That cut the price by more than half.

Warner found Northstar Homes, based in Loveland, Colorado. According to Hollis Hunt of Northstar:

...people incorrectly assume going green means a sizable price tag. He says homebuyers can make choices that won't break the bank.

Their site features some helpful resources, including a list of modular home myths.

Read the full article for other tips on how to build prefab and meet your budget. The article also updates readers on the MKD development in Denver that we've reported on previously.

subtitle: Factory-built homes create less waste than traditional homes, helping to shrink carbon footprints
author: Christian Toto
publication: The Denver Post
length: 704 words
publication date: May 25, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Aspen goes modular  (Dec 04, 2008)
   2. mkLoft development in Denver (Nov 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green cost local Colorado

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

Link to This week: London, Resolution: 4, OMD and more
www.bere.co.uk/

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) , Tags: OMD interview UK Resolution 4: Architecture school This Week

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

New 4x weeHouses join the weeLineup

Link to New 4x weeHouses join the weeLineup
weehouse.com

From the mailbox:

Not-so-weeHouses designed for full-time living are now part of Alchemy's 2008 weeHouse line. We're introducing two new 4x (four-by) houses featuring 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, and 2200 square feet of living space.

The two 4x models join eight existing info_smallweeHouse models from info_smallAlchemy Architects, and represent the largest weeHouses yet to be introduced. Some background on the designs:

One challenge in pre-designing one house for different people on different sites is that the design can compromise individual needs. With the 4x, we've taken a single, efficient-but-spacious layout and made it flexible enough to work for various needs. Whether your site is a narrow urban lot or a spacious rural one, whether it faces North, South, East or West, the 4x is adaptable. In an über-flexible solution, we can even turn the house upside down (¡) to accommodate second level entries on sloping lots.

The two options:

  • 2x4 : 2 layers of 2 boxes with an overhanging top floor. There's an emphasis on windows on the long side perfect for wider lots.
  • 4x4 : 4 independent sliding boxes create decks and overhangs on the ends, making this layout ideally suited for narrower or urban lots.

Both houses have a central storage core, two possible kitchen orientations and flexible arrangements for entries and large master suites.

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
br: 3
style: modern
how: complete modules

model: 4x4 weeHouse
price: from $319,000 (~$150/sf)
size: 2,090 sf
br: 3
style: modern
how: complete modules

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. weeHouses are now cheaper than ever (and can even power themselves!) (Sep 04, 2008)
   4. New weeHouse website (Dec 21, 2007)
   5. Itsy Bitsy weeHouse (Mar 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse model Alchemy Architects

I've been busy; daily posts will resume soon!

Some of you may have noticed the lack of daily posts recently. I've been driving cross-country, trying to squeeze in some work between visiting friends and family.

Daily posts and site updates will resume in a few weeks.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Prefabcosm

This week: Method Homes, Énóvo, Canühome

Link to This week: Method Homes, Énóvo, Canühome
http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/16/method-homes-modular-cabin/

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday discussed the Method Homes Modular Cabin:

This month we’re welcoming a brand new builder to the prefab scene as Method Homes launches its first house!

Method’s prefab prototype is currently in the final stages of construction ... We can’t wait to see the finished product!

Jetson Green covered the Énóvo House, a modular from Montreal:

...from my research, the Énóvo name seems to represent something bigger -- the idea that a green, modular home can evolve with the needs of the owner. According to the website, Énóvo can be adapted to most any terrain, and because it's configured by modules, the design can morph according to the various particularities [of] an owner's life and needs.

Jetson Green also shared several photos of the Canühome:

Designed by Institute Without Boundaries, canühome is a healthy, sustainable, and affordable home.

We'll be sure to cover all three models in more detail soon.

(Dated Saturday but actually posted on Sunday. Sorry for the delay.)

Related Posts:
   1. Method Prefab (Sep 03, 2009)
   2. Balance S-M-L Series from Method Homes (Mar 12, 2009)
   3. This week: Ideabox, Method Homes, and unconventional (Jul 26, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model log cabin This Week

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

The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom

Link to The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom
http://www.mercurynews.com/homeandgarden/ci_8982600?nclick_check=1

We've covered the Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley before; here's a new story about the home from the San Jose Mercury News:

The 2,400-square-foot house was built in panels by manufacturer Empyrean at its factory in Acton, Mass., shipped to the Bay Area and assembled on-site. It incorporates energy-efficient technology and sustainable materials and is the seventh in a series called the NextHouse; the project has been a collaboration with San Francisco-based Dwell magazine, which has 12 more under way across the country.

Lots of people think prefab equals one-size-fits-all.

"Prefab is somewhere in the middle between the builder home, which is like a pair of jeans that's made for the average person, and the custom home, which is like a couture item," says Sam Grawe, editor in chief at Dwell, which has been promoting modern prefab architecture since its debut more than seven years ago.

"Prefab gives you the opportunity to design your own home but also has the efficiencies of the builder's model."

subtitle: Modern designs show the new face of factory-built houses
author: Holly Hayes
publication: San Jose Mercury News
length: 1,100 words
publication date: April 19, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article Empyrean NextHouse

This Old House to go prefab

Link to This Old House to go prefab
http://oldhousemyhouse.thisoldhouse.com/2008/04/welcome-to-west.html

Via the American Chronicle:

...This Old House partners with custom homebuilding company, Bensonwood, to build a new timberframe home.... Cutting-edge techniques, including extensive uses of prefabrication and green technologies, will be implemented to construct a new home on property owned by the Favat family in Weston, Massachusetts....

As both the architectural firm and prefabricator on the project, Bensonwood will build 75 percent of the house in a controlled workshop environment. Entire wall systems and room modules will be built, outfitted for plumbing and wiring, with windows and finishes added, in many cases, right in the workshop. Additionally, the timberframe will be created using traditional hand-craftsmanship, as well as the latest computer-aided woodworking technology, providing a level of structural integrity that will last hundreds of years. Many of the home's components will be assembled onsite by crane over a three-week period in early June....

Thisoldhouse.com will feature progress of the Weston project 24/7 through four Webcams powered by EarthCam....

More info on Bensonwood is available at their website.

Also worth a mention: This Old House has a blog, Old House My House, which will be a great place to keep track of the progress of the Weston prefab.

publication: American Chronicle
length: 950 words
publication date: April 25, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. The This Old House Home Collection (Jan 08, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: television article

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

Building a home in 90 days in Maryland

Link to Building a home in 90 days in Maryland
http://www.gazette.net/stories/032108/businew193118_32408.shtml

Back in March, Maryland's Gazette.net reported:

Amid today’s gloom and doom in the housing industry, Vince and Stephanie Scuderi are happy — finally — to talk about building their dream home.

They chose a modular home design, an alternative construction method that can save time and money....

The house was together within hours, with all the major workings in place, including framing, drywall, roofing, plumbing, electrical wiring, cabinetry and trim.

‘‘The only problem sometimes raised by the homeowner is that they see it assembled in one or two days, then wonder why it takes another 90 to 120 days to finish,” Dean said. After assembly, much work remains, including well, septic and other utility hookups, porches and decks, driveways and landscaping.

Manufacturer: North American Housing Corp.

The full article has more details and images.

author: Steve Berberich
publication: Gazette.net
length: 1,100 words

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

Boston-area home goes modular (with video)

This is a great video from New England's NECN:

A little context:

One year ago, the Lee family was unhappy with their home.... They decided to take their old house down to the ground and build a modular home on the land....

The Lees ordered their modular home from a Pennsylvania company. They went modular not because of money, but because of time. The house was assembled like a puzzle - piece by piece.

Each box was about 85% complete on the inside when it was put together....

Modular was clearly the way to go.

Also featured: Sean Sweeney of Heritage Modular.

site: NECN
length: 5:30
release date: April 12, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: video modular local

This week: container video, WIELER, sheds and more

Link to This week: container video, WIELER, sheds and more
http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/04/11/prefab-friday-custom-designed-wieler/

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday showed off a WIELER home:

Architect Dustin Ehrlich has created a custom prefab home near Chapel Hill, NC. Commissioned by his parents and constructed by WIELER, the structure mixes stone, wood, stainless steel and rusted corrugated metal to create an extraordinary first, and lasting, impression.

Jetson Green shared a video on container architecture:

In this super informative interview, G Living sits down with Peter DeMaria to talk about his work using containers in modern home design and construction. I was really impressed with DeMaria -- he tells you everything you ever wanted to know about container architecture...
Jetson Green also discovered the iT House blog.

Apartment Therapy New York discussed the New York Times' coverage of prefab sheds.

Related Posts:
   1. LA Times on mini prefabs (Jun 18, 2009)
   2. Modern sheds, cabanas, and studios (Apr 16, 2007)
   3. The iT House does some soul-searching (Apr 06, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: video iT house Modern Shed This Week

CA Boom V recap

Link to CA Boom V recap
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/03/ca_boom_the_pre.php

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) , Tags: OMD tours conference CA Boom Los Angeles

Marmol Radziner home installed in Santa Cruz, California

Link to Marmol Radziner home installed in Santa Cruz, California
(http://www.scsextra.com/story.php?sid=66690

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports:

Technology entrepreneur Philippe Kahn has taken home construction, environmental stewardship and style to a new level.

Kahn ... had his new home near the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor trucked in from Los Angeles.

The prefabricated house was delivered last week in 18 pieces, each wrapped in white plastic and stored in the harbor parking lot. By today, the pieces, made of steel and glass, will be fit together like a puzzle to make a 3,200-square-foot, three-bedroom home on Fairview Place....

Kahn's home was constructed by Marmol Radziner, a Los Angeles architectural firm that specializes in custom, green modern homes built with prefabricated technologies.

Read the full article for more details and additional photos.

author: Shanna McCord
publication: Santa Cruz Sentinel
length: 500 words
publication date: March 17, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article San Francisco Marmol Radziner

Empyrean International launches new website

Link to Empyrean International launches new website
empyreanint.com

Modular builder info_smallEmpyrean International has launched a new website. We've previously covered their Acorn and Deck Houses and discussed their info_smallDwell NextHouse at length.

The new site features much improved navigation and more detailed information:

Speaking of Empyrean, the Silicon Valley NextHouse was open to visitors last week. Interior designer Sally Kuchar was there and shared stories and photos on her sallyTV blog.

Related Posts:
   1. Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30 (Mar 11, 2008)
   2. Empyrean's Acorn and Deck House (Nov 16, 2007)
   3. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours Empyrean Dwell website NextHouse event

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

OMD ShowHouse for sale, with reduced price

Link to OMD ShowHouse for sale, with reduced price
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/02/on_the_market_s_10.php

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 TVOA.net ("The Value of Architecture") shows $249,000. Key fact:

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE LAND – UNIT MUST BE TRUCKED TO BUYER’S OWN SITE.

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) , Tags: OMD for sale

Modular dormitories

Link to Modular dormitories

The New York Times reports on modular dormitories:

The three-story dormitory at Yale’s Pierson College, which houses about 18 students, was assembled during spring break.

Read the full article for details.

author: Alison Gregor
publication: The New York Times
length: 1,200 words
date: March 26, 2008

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL)

Home Delivery blog goes live!

Link to Home Delivery blog goes live!
momahomedelivery.org

MoMA is curating a blog for the Home Delivery exhibition. It went live Monday.

So far, Kieran Timberlake has posted on the Cellophane House:

STATUS:

  • Design work including a full-scale mockup is 100% complete.
  • 95% of the materials have been ordered.
  • Structural materials for two chunks have been delivered to the factory.
  • SmartWrap™ façade material is being fabricated at sub-contractors shop.
  • Fabrication in the factory has begun.

And Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston have updated the progress on their BURST*.008 design:

For Home Delivery, the fabrication method has evolved to account for a four to five week on-site construction timeframe, as well as the intricacies of house building in midtown Manhattan.

Check out the blog for weekly updates from each team: http://www.momahomedelivery.org/.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Method Homes, HOM, containers and lots more Home Delivery (Aug 02, 2008)
   2. The Home Delivery blog is hiding some of their best videos (Jul 08, 2008)
   3. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   4. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   5. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
   6. The m-ch (micro compact home) (Jan 10, 2008)
   7. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   8. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: KieranTimberlake museum exhibition

BURST* update

Link to BURST* update

We received an email from Katherine Keltner at the offices of Gauthier Architects. She provided an update and correction regarding the BURST* model appearing in the upcoming Home Delivery show at MoMA:

BURST.003 was completed in 2006 under SYSTEMarchitects: Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston.

BURST.008 is being installed at MoMA and is designed as a collaboration between Douglas Gauthier [now at his own firm] and Jeremy Edmiston.

We'll provide more information on the BURST.008 model when details are released. In the meantime, check out the other coverage we have of the exhibition:

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. Home Delivery update: install videos to drool over (Jun 26, 2008)
   3. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   4. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: museum exhibition BURST*

Prefab Futures at Pratt Institute: April 3

Link to Prefab Futures at Pratt Institute: April 3
pratt.edu

On April 3, New York's Pratt Institute will hold a symposium on Prefab Futures:

The one-day conference will present research and scholarship related to the history of prefabrication, contemporary and emerging techniques and approaches to prefabrication, as well as the social and sustainable potential of prefab and prefab technologies.

Participants include:

Follow the link below for more info. Here's a tidbit they don't mention on the site: the event is free and open to the public.

where: Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
date: April 3, 2008
time: 8am-7pm
price: free! (bring valid ID)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: conference Lazor Office New York Resolution 4: Architecture Rocio Romero

KieranTimberlake partners with LivingHomes

Link to KieranTimberlake partners with LivingHomes
livinghomes.net

Via Curbed LA:

LivingHomes is partnering with Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake Associates on an “expandable” single-family (pictured above) prefab green homes that can grow from 900 square feet to 2,230 square feet. All parts of the home are made in a factory--and owners can essentially order more parts of their home as their family grows... Additionally, the home will be priced at $215 a square foot, but as the country catches on to the expandable home, costs are expected to drop to $155 a home.

The post quotes Steve Glenn of info_smallLivingHomes:

As you marry, have kids, add in-laws to the household, etc., you’re either moving a lot or constantly renovating, which is time-consuming, expensive, stressful, and very wasteful from a resource perspective.... LivingHomes by KieranTimberlake introduce an important new capability to homes – the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively adapt to people’s changing lifestyle living needs.

Treehugger adds:

As a cured architect and developer, I could only dream of what the result might be if one mixed the talents and innovations of architects like Kieran Timberlake with a business visionary like Steve Glenn and set them to produce small, efficient projects that don't need a Silicon Valley multimillionaire's income to own.

That's worth some research, and we'll share the details soon.

Related Posts:
   1. Ray Kappe multifamily by LivingHomes (Jul 09, 2009)
   2. KieranTimberlake LivingHomes (Jun 24, 2009)
   3. KieranTimberlake and LivingHomes: match made in prefab heaven? (Jun 19, 2008)
   4. This week: kitHAUS, mkSolaire, containers and more (Apr 05, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model LivingHomes KieranTimberlake kit

Allison Arieff in LA Times

Link to Allison Arieff in LA Times

This article is too good to excerpt. 14 questions; interesting answers. Go read it!

author: David A. Keeps
publication: Los Angeles Times
length: 1,400 words
date: March 13, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   2. This week: London, Resolution: 4, OMD and more (May 24, 2008)
   3. CA Boom V recap  (Apr 11, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article Dwell

This week: Marmol Radziner set, Modular Homes Inc., and more ABŌD

Link to This week: Marmol Radziner set, Modular Homes Inc., and more ABŌD
www.marmolradzinerprefab.com/blog/2008/03/14/prefab-installation-in-californias-central-coast

The Marmol Radziner Prefab blog wrote about the installation of a new home in California. Check out the post for pictures, including the vibrant blue denim insulation seen above.

greenbuildingsNYC discussed Modular Homes, Inc.:

...an Edison, New Jersey-based custom modular home builder that will break ground in April on what it hopes will be a LEED-certified model home in Robbinsville, New Jersey....

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered the ABŌD affordable prefab we saw last week.

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green inexpensive modular This Week Marmol Radziner Prefab California

Flatpak house in Aspen

Link to Flatpak house in Aspen
www.flickr.com/photos/flatpakhouse/2202532508/in/set-72157601570849354/

A blog named Denver Modern Homes points out this great Flickr photoset of a info_smallFlatpak house in Aspen.

where: Aspen, Colorado
length: 39 images

Related Posts:
   1. Sausalito, CA FlatPak for sale (Jun 26, 2009)
   2. Aspen goes modular  (Dec 04, 2008)
   3. This week: historical, Flatpak, LVL tour, and more (Jun 21, 2008)
   4. Lazor Office's FlatPak House (Apr 19, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Flatpak House

Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30

Link to Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30
www.dwell.com/homes/dwellhomes/siliconvalley/16260026.html

Yesterday, Dwell magazine announced an open house:

Modern prefab has arrived in Mountain View, CA in the form of a progressive single-family home -- the Dwell NextHouse by Empyrean. ... A unique opportunity to tour the 2,400 sq ft prefabricated home will be available.... Dwell invites attendees to become engaged in a dialogue about modern and prefab home design.

Their site has a schedule and information on the speakers:

  • Joel Turkel, Designer of the NextHouse
  • Sally Kuchar, Interior Designer for the Dwell Home: Silicon Valley
  • Michael Sylvester, of fabprefab
  • Jhaelen Eli, consulting designer to Empyrean

Can't make it? Or want a preview? Jetson Green found this entertaining video tour from interior designer Sally Kuchar:

model: info_smallNextHouse
manufacturer: info_smallEmpyrean
where: Mountain View, CA
when: March 27, 9am - 6pm (trade)
when: March 29-30, 10am - 6pm (consumer)

Related Posts:
   1. The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom (May 01, 2008)
   2. Empyrean International launches new website (Apr 07, 2008)
   3. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours Empyrean Dwell NextHouse

Tour (virtually) an LV home in Maine

Link to Tour (virtually) an LV home in Maine
gallery.apartmenttherapy.com/photo/012408romerotour/_slide_

Apartment Therapy Chicago covers an info_smallLV Home in Eliot, Maine:

When James and Rui were ready to build on their lakefront land, they contacted architect Rocio Romero. The Missouri-based designer is well known for her minimalist prefab homes, which arrive flat-packed and can go up in a few months' time. James and Rui worked with Rocio to develop a standard LV Home (Rocio's trademark design) with a custom interior that would make the most of their incredible natural surroundings. The highlight of this home is definitely the views....

Read the post for more details or go directly to the slideshow (16 images).

Related Posts:
   1. Tour a Rocio Romero LVL Home on June 14th in Maine (May 27, 2008)
   2. Rocio Romero's National LV Open House Tour (Mar 04, 2008)
   3. Tours of an LV Series home in the Napa Valley (Jul 12, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours LV Series Rocio Romero

Lucian Hood at CA Boom V

The description for the vendor "Lucian T. Hood, Architect" on the CA Boom site isn't very clear. With no mention of prefab at LucianHoodArchitect.com, I emailed to get some details:

Skelly Oil bought the prefab manuf. co. and hired me to design and draw single family dwellings ... duplex, town houses, apartments, more... I am bringing my Skelly brochure we sent out nationwide and can chat about the product ...

He's not there just for prefab. He'll be at CA Boom to answer all sorts of questions on architecture and construction, a role he has some experience in:

I have done 4 Public Access TV shows and 3 months guest host (every Sat) radio show (call in to the Architect) so I am at the show ... to help, inform, guide, answer at no cost.

Related Posts:
   1. CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16 (Mar 05, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: conference CA Boom company

This week: nomads, home-in-a-box, RuralZED, and more

Link to This week: nomads, home-in-a-box, RuralZED, and more
nomadhome.com

Materialicio.us reported on the nomad home:

Another modular, truckable prefab, this time from Austria, by architect Gerold Peham. Sizes range from 44m2 [473 sf] to 88m2 [947 sf].

Materialicio.us also covered abōd:

Abōd™ was created by BSB Design to provide affordable housing for families in Africa. Easily mass-produced and deliverable by truck, ship or plane, the “home in a box” includes the entire 120sf structure (unassembled) that fits into a box 4’ x 12’ x 2’...

Treehugger shared the RuralZED prefab from the UK:

We were very excited when Sami first showed us ruralZED, the UK's first commercially viable, affordable and ready to purchase zero-carbon home; now there is more information on the RuralZED website.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday featured two different homes this week. They also covered RuralZED:

...they claim [it] is Britain’s most affordable green prefab home and is also able to meet its strictest energy standards. Oh, and did we mention that it is a flatpack?
And looked at the iPAD:
We’ve been waiting and hoping for more from New Zealand architect Andre Hodgskin who first wowed us with BACHKIT™, a gorgeous holiday home of prefab pavilions designed in 2000.

Related Posts:
   1. iPAD: more from New Zealand  (Jan 03, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model UK relief housing This Week Austria

The Duncan House in the New York Times

Link to The Duncan House in the New York Times
travel.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/travel/02cultured.html

We previously reported on Frank Lloyd Wright's prefab Duncan House. The New York Times travel section picks up the story:

We were inside the work of the master. Like any Frank Lloyd Wright house, this one was immediately recognizable.

And briefly, it was ours. The Duncan House is a vacation rental, one of half a dozen Wright houses where paying guests can move in for a weekend or a few days and pretend to be home.

Read the full article for details on the other Wright houses (though the Duncan house is the only prefab).

author: Barbara Ireland
publication: The New York Times
length: 1,200 words
publication date: March 2, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Spend a night in a restored Wright prefab (Aug 30, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours article Pennsylvania

CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16

Link to CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16

Last year's CA Boom IV show brought twelve prefab companies to Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, CA. I attended the show, spoke to some vendors and tried to get my head around others. We won't be able to attend this year's CA Boom V, but if you're in the area and seriously interested in prefab, it's well worth a visit:

CA Boom is NOT the place “to talk about the potential of and the maybe/someday value of prefab”, rather this is the Buyer/Seller event for you to “comparison shop” the leading manufacturers who “have delivered houses.”

If you are ready to make a purchase (for instance you have land) and you need to choose who to purchase from, then get on a plane and get to CA Boom. Serious prefab buyers make their purchases at CA Boom.

I counted eight prefab vendors as of today:

As we stated last year, CA Boom's Prefab Zone has strict requirements for the companies present:

  1. ability to provide real price quotes
  2. ability to receive and accept orders
  3. have at least one built dwelling
  4. have a manufacturing process in place (not just a plan)
  5. have knowledge of how to deliver and install the dwelling

Also worth looking for (date and time TBA):

"THE FOUR WOMEN OF PREFAB" panel discussion featuring prominent prefab architects Michelle Kaufmann, Jennifer Siegal and Rocio Romero, and moderated by Allison Arieff, the former editor-in-chief of DWELL magazine.

name: CA Boom V
what: "prefab exhibition, design + architecture home tours and ... panel discussions"
where: Barker Hanger, Santa Monica Airport, Santa Monica, CA
when: March 14-16, 2008 (March 14 is trade only)
time: 11am - 5pm (6pm Saturday)
price: $20/day, architecture tours extra
more info: press release (pdf)

Related Posts:
   1. CA Boom V recap  (Apr 11, 2008)
   2. Lucian Hood at CA Boom V (Mar 10, 2008)
   3. CA Boom roundup 3: the eccentrics (Apr 03, 2007)
   4. CA Boom roundup 2: "that one" (Apr 02, 2007)
   5. CA Boom roundup 1: confusion and flux (Apr 02, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours process conference CA Boom

Rocio Romero's National LV Open House Tour

Link to Rocio Romero's National LV Open House Tour
rocioromero.com

Via Inhabitat on Feb. 29:

To date, more than 110 LV prefabs have become home to owners throughout 23 states in the US, with 40 more under construction. While prefab fans have been able to tour the Rocio Romero show home in Missouri for several years, this weekend marks the first time that a finished LV is available for viewing in New York. The first National LV Open House Tour kicks off on March 1st (tomorrow!) in the Hudson Valley!

Sorry that we posted too late for the New York open house, but there will be more! The Rocio Romero site fills in the blanks:

This event is one of four that will be held throughout the country. The 2008 National Tour will provide attendees the opportunity to see and feel the LV space.  Ms. Romero, Rocio Romero staff, homeowners, and general contractors will be present to discuss the LV design features, custom design options, the build process, and construction costs. Since 2003, more than 6,000 individuals have visited the Rocio Romero show home in Perryville, Missouri. Our new national tours will allow attendees to view our newest homes and experience the wide array of customization and lifestyles available to LV home owners.

The open house featured four pre-reserved time slots, costing $40/person. We'll do our best to get the dates for the other three events with plenty of advance notice.

company: info_smallRocio Romero
when: dates TBA
where: locations TBA

Related Posts:
   1. Sunset Magazine features LVM by Rocio Romero (Jul 22, 2009)
   2. Tour a Rocio Romero LVL Home on June 14th in Maine (May 27, 2008)
   3. Tour (virtually) an LV home in Maine (Mar 11, 2008)
   4. Tracking the progress of an LVL home (Dec 11, 2007)
   5. Tours of an LV Series home in the Napa Valley (Jul 12, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours process LV Series New York Rocio Romero

Prefab hotel in London

Link to Prefab hotel in London
jetsongreen.com

We've covered prefab hotel rooms in Amsterdam. Now Reuters UK reports:

You see a vacant east London building lot paved over with asphalt and used as a car park. Tim [Pyne] sees the site of a rack-'em, stack-'em prefab temporary designer boutique hotel.

An architect with years of experience designing temporary buildings for exhibitions, [Pyne] says prefab is the answer for a city like London, where quick development means a shortage of space, and shabby areas are suddenly chic.

His design is called the M-Hotel and it consists of a steel frame with trailer-style mobile homes fitted out with designer furnishings, stacked four high...

Jetson Green says:

I love the possibilities and ideas ... it's cool and innovative. The m-hotel is designed as a series of steel-framed slot boxes that slide into the frame (which makes for easy dismantling in the future). 

Also from Tim Pyne: The info_smallm-house.

author: Peter Graff
publication: Reuters UK
length: 330 words
publication date: February 29, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Pop-up hotel technology from Abilmo (Jul 16, 2008)
   2. Prefab apartments to make downtown Seattle affordable? (Jun 25, 2008)
   3. Prefab hotel rooms in Amsterdam (Aug 24, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article hotel UK

This week: pieceHomes, Res: 4, Magic and more

Link to This week: pieceHomes, Res: 4, Magic and more
piecehomes.com

Low Impact Living interviewed the folks at pieceHomes:

affordability is key. A lot of companies are selling their factory-built work at $400-500/square foot—and they are gorgeous, but very expensive. Our goal is to produce some homes at the $200/sq foot level….we’d prefer to sell more smaller, affordable homes to more clients than a big, expensive home to a really wealthy client...

We are working on several homes now….the first one is a custom design. It’s called Rindge. It started off as a conventionally built house. But we realized we could build it in modules with some minor changes to the structural engineering. We realized we could save money and time going that way.

CubeMe covered Camp Smull by info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture.

Materialicio.us discussed the pinc house sport, from Pinc House, a company involved in the Some Assembly Required exhibition we've mentioned previously.

Jetson Green loves the Rapson Greenbelt, mentioned last week.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday featured the info_smallMagic Box.

Treehugger looked at a unique prefab:

When your hard drive is full you can plug in another, because they are all designed to be modular and interchangeable. Why shouldn't houses work that way?

architecture.MNP found a cool Danish design:

Designed by Danish firm ONV Architects, the home is a modular [really?] prefab that is both customizable and [supposedly] affordable.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the overall form...

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Loq•kit, Rapson Greenbelt, and more (Feb 23, 2008)
   2. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model modular pieceHomes Resolution 4: Architecture This Week Magic Box

Bo Klok doors open

Link to Bo Klok doors open
ikea.com

We reported last year on retailer IKEA's prefab homes. More from The Guardian:

Britain's first "Ikealand" opened its metal-panelled pine doors yesterday in an experiment designed to spread the company's off-the-shelf principle from wardrobes and sofas to entire houses.

The first of 93 flatpack homes designed and equipped by the household goods store went on show in Gateshead on Tyneside, where scores of would-be buyers are being vetted to ensure that their savings and income are modest enough to qualify....

Prices on the cul-de-sac off Marigold Avenue, where each unit comes with 22 Skimmia shrubs and an apple tree in the garden, range from £99,500 [$198,000] for a one-bedroom flat to £149,000 [$295,000] for a three-bedroom house...

Treehugger adds:

Seen as a way for them to get onto the property ladder, these houses will sell for $260,000 for a two bedroom townhouse. Assembled in a factory nearby, they get to the site ready to be bolted together and take about 16 weeks from start to completion.

The system is called BoKlok (Ikea speak for smart living) and was developed in conjunction with Ikea.

I did a little research on prices in the area; these look competitive.

author: Martin Wainwright
publication: The Guardian (UK)
length: 400 words
publication date: January 31, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. This week: IKEA goes prefab, mountain retreats, and a prefab high-rise (Apr 21, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: inexpensive article development UK IKEA IKEA house

PreFab Now and a new resource for Prefabcosm

Link to PreFab Now and a new resource for Prefabcosm
amazon.com

I've been going through a bunch of old notes and found a link to PreFab Now. MocoLoco explains:

If any of Trulove's books are an indicator, PreFab Now should include the state of the art in contemporary prefabricated home design. The promo copy hints at this; "Architects are using new construction technologies and materials to create complex designs that make every prefabricated home look custom- designed.". The book also "addresses the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a prefab home over a custom-built one [and] covers cost, sustainability, and durability."

To help keep track of books we cover on Prefabcosm, we've added a new page: info_smallPrefab books.

title: Prefab Now
author: James Trulove
release date: Mar 2007
list price: $39.95
details: 192 pages, hardcover
publisher: Collins Design

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: book Prefabcosm

Boston area home goes prefab and green

Link to Boston area home goes prefab and green
boston.com

From last month's Boston Globe:

...a three-bedroom, 2-bath home built in pieces in a factory and assembled onsite in less than a day - opens to the public today...

It is the latest output from PowerHouse Enterprises, a Lawrence company out to extend the conventions of "eco-friendly" to include economical as well as ecological aspects....

The full article has the details.

author: Michael Prager
length: 1,250 words
publication date: January 20, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. CNET and the PowerPod (Oct 16, 2007)
   2. PowerHouse: emphasizing solar (Aug 14, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article local

Beyond prefab: The Rolling Bench

Link to Beyond prefab: The Rolling Bench

Every now and then, we come across an item that isn't prefab but that we think is worth sharing. Here's one from Yanko Design:

Don’t you love the days following a rainstorm? The streets seem to gleam, the air is cleaner, and people are generally in a better mood to finally see the sun again. The only thing that sucks are all those wet benches and chairs. Fortunately clever designers (the Korean design gang) came up with a simple solution. The slats on these benches can rotate to the dry side by cranking the handle.

There are a few more details about designer Sung Woo Park over at Coroflot.

what: The Rolling Bench
designers: Sungwoo Park, Yoonha Paick, Jongdeuk Son, Banseok Yoon, Eunbi Cho & Minjung Sim
details: not yet for sale

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: product Beyond Prefab

This week: Loq•kit, Rapson Greenbelt, and more

Link to This week: Loq•kit, Rapson Greenbelt, and more
wieler.com

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday discussed the Rapson Greenbelt:

Modernist architect Ralph Rapson has managed to reinterpret a 60-year old design with the green panache of a 21st century prefab...

The Greenbelt got its name from the distinct interior glass atrium that appeared in the original 1,800 sq ft design. The 21st century Greenbelt is available in seven configurations ranging from 576 to 2,660 square feet. Our favorite is Greenbelt 1, the design that most closely reflects the intention of the original.

CubeMe covered the modular Loq•kit, which was first mentioned on Inhabitat back in December.

Materialicio.us provided even more photos of the Maison Tropicale in London.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: pieceHomes, Res: 4, Magic and more (Mar 02, 2008)
   2. This week: containers, concepts, and kitHAUS (Dec 01, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week Maison Tropicale

Building a prefab in New York City

Link to Building a prefab in New York City
Resolution: 4 Architecture via nytimes.com

The New York Times reports:

The social event of the season in Locust Point, a quiet enclave of tidy family homes along the East Bronx waterfront, took place just over a week ago when a crane lifted two 18-ton halves of a prefabricated house off flatbed trailers and stacked them like Legos on an empty lot....

Resolution 4: Architecture of Manhattan...designed the Bronx house...

Joseph Tanney, a partner in the firm, was approached in 2005 by Regina Marengo, president of an engineering consultancy company, about putting a modern prefab on the Bronx waterfront property where she and her husband, William, had lived in a bungalow for two decades.

Read more about the info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture prefab in the full article.

author: Jennifer Bleyer
length: 425 words
publication date: February 10, 2008

(Hat tip: Prefab Dweller)

Related Posts:
   1. The New York Times: Bronx prefab update (Dec 05, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process article New York Resolution 4: Architecture

Tour the Marmol Radziner Desert House before it's sold

Link to Tour the Marmol Radziner Desert House before it's sold
md-d.com

From Apartment Therapy:

If you're heading out to the desert for Modernism Week and are curious about prefabs, you've got a chance to see a drop dead gorgeous one.... The Desert Prefab house has been called possibly the most beautiful prefabricated building this side of the Pacific, and it's for sale!

More detail on the house from the LA Times:

It is the house that won new respect for factory-built prefab housing: Leo Marmol's sleek, solar-powered, steel-and-glass Desert House in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. It has been Marmol's weekend house since he built it in 2005, but it is now listed for sale for $1.85 million....

The L-shaped house is the prototype for Marmol Radziner Prefab, an architecture and design firm based in Los Angeles. Framed with recycled steel, it features teak cabinets, concrete floors tinted the color of desert sand and glass walls. It consists of 10 modules in all -- four house modules and six deck modules, to encourage outdoor living. The three-bedroom house features a guest wing with studio space, partially shaded decks, a swimming pool and sweeping mountain views.

And a sales pitch from the real estate listing:

First Offering: The Desert House, 2005. Art, architecture and environmental awareness have been forged together in Marmol-Radziner's custom prototype for their burgeoning prefab division.... From the two-parcel, nearly 7.5 acre site on which the main house, guest house, studio and nearly 2,400 square feet of outdoor decks reside, broad panoramic vistas across the pool capture the all encompassing desert floor sweeping out to towering Mount San Jacinto and San Gorgonio.

Here's the rundown on the tours:

what: tours of info_smallMarmol Radziner's Desert Prefab
where: 14875 McCarger Rd., Desert Hot Springs, CA
date: Saturday, March 1, 2008
time: 1pm-4pm

...on the sale:

what: info_smallMarmol Radziner's Desert Prefab
where: Desert Hot Springs, CA
price: $1.85m ($881/sf)
br: 3
size: 2,100 sf
features: Recycled steel framing, highly energy-efficient glass, and solar-assisted power

...on the LA Times article:

author: Peter Viles
length: 450 words
publication date: January 23, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   2. Marmol Radziner Prefab writes a blog (Feb 20, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours for sale Marmol Radziner modern California

Marmol Radziner Prefab writes a blog

Link to Marmol Radziner Prefab writes a blog
marmolradzinerprefab.com

info_smallMarmol Radziner have a launched a blog:

We hope to post regularly on a range of topics, including the various projects that we currently have in design and production, events around the country, or just interesting articles and ideas that influence what we do.

In the coming months, we’ll be blogging a lot about the Venice House (a.k.a. California House 6). This house is currently in our factory and will be delivered to a small, urban lot this spring. We designed [the] house to respond to the narrow, infill site by having the home look inwards towards small, private courtyard spaces. This allowed us to maintain an open, bright feeling that connects indoor and outdoor spaces despite the small lot.

A recent post discussed putting a concrete floor in a prefab house:

We loved how the concrete floors in the Desert House looked, but we shied away from using them in our first few projects that we produced in our own factory. The Desert House’s concrete were so beautiful, but also so heavy, which made the installation quite challenging...

We'll keep track of any big updates over at the new blog, but be sure to check it out for yourselves.

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
   2. Marmol Radziner monograph released (Aug 06, 2008)
   3. Tour the Marmol Radziner Desert House before it's sold (Feb 21, 2008)
   4. Marmol Radziner videos (Aug 17, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process concrete Marmol Radziner website

From New Orleans: the Jeriko House

Link to From New Orleans: the Jeriko House
jerikohouse.com

We mentioned the info_smallJeriko House last year. Here are some construction details:

Jeriko House is based on a sophisticated high-tech 'kit-of-parts' building system providing high strength and incredible ease of assembly.... The heart of this system is its unique high-performance aluminum framing derived from the 'T-slot' framing commonly used in industrial automation applications. Made from aerospace-grade aluminum formed into precision shaped 'profiles' offering the approximate strength of steel with a great savings in weight, the Jeriko House frame structure is resilient, weatherproof, rustproof, and pest-proof....

Using special modular connectors, the Jeriko House frame is assembled in a classic post & beam structure. Houses as small as 240 square feet and larger than 6,000 square feet can be built. These unit shapes can be combined in a variety of ways....

In addition to custom options, the Web site shows four sample floorplans:

As of July 2007, three projects were underway:

...now under construction in Louisiana: a 4320-sq-ft Lakefront home; a 5500-sq-ft luxury home in Mandeville; and a 250-sq-ft garden retreat in Metairie...

designer: info_smallJeriko House
size: 2,032 - 4,320 sf
br: 2-3
style: modern
how: kit of parts

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Jeriko House, Drop House, and more (Oct 13, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model kit Jeriko House

This week: Maison, Japan and Brio54

Link to This week: Maison, Japan and Brio54
treehugger.com

Treehugger shared some history of the info_smallMaison Tropicale:

It was discovered by Eric Touchaleaume who has been called the "Indiana Jones of furniture collecting". He has spent the last decade scouring remote parts of the world for valuable artifacts such as this house. Having bought 600 of Prouvé's chairs, he became obsessed with finding the house. Hearing that someone had seen one in Brazzaville, he travelled there and found two of them damaged by bullet holes and corrosion. It took six months to get the buildings out of the Congo because of the civil war and tribal conflicts.

Jetson Green covered a modern prefab in Japan:

A group we've mentioned previously, useful + agreeable, is doing this by working with Atelier Tekuto to export his home designs outside of Japan.

Using next generation prefab methods and modern materials, the pictured home design will be sold through the internet. The website lists designs as being available for purchase for $100,000...

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at a series of prefabs from development firm Brio54. We will look at those more closely soon.

Related Posts:
   1. Maison Tropicale to be displayed in London (Jan 25, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: This Week museum exhibition Japan

The Royal Q from Royal Homes and Kohn Shnier Architects

Link to The Royal Q from Royal Homes and Kohn Shnier Architects
royalhomes.com

info_smallRoyal Homes is a major manufacturer of modular homes in Canada. Back in 2005, the company commissioned info_smallKohn Shnier Architects to design the info_smallRoyal Q modular:

...six hundred and twenty square feet of efficient, modern design with two bedrooms, tons of storage, all of the necessities and a few of the niceties of life...

We will deliver and install in most of Ontario and Michigan, as long as there is a road big enough for our trucks and crane....

Royal Homes completed construction on the larger info_smallRoyal Q Muskoka (pictured above) in July of last year. From Treehugger:

The building is essentially a sixteen foot deep wall; ... the maximum width that can go down the road, and Martin Kohn took advantage of this to create the thin, long structure....

The terrain is rock, and quite steep. It was disturbed as little as possible, and tree removal was minimized. Because of the difference in grade, Kohn placed the living areas upstairs and the bedrooms below; this way one can change after swimming and then go upstairs to the living areas. One enters by crossing a long bridge from the parking area to the house.

model: info_smallRoyal Q 1
manufacturer: info_smallRoyal Homes
size: 620 sf
br: 2
style: modern
how: complete modules

2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model modular modern wood Canada Royal Q

Prefab goes retail: buy a kitHAUS at Design Within Reach

Link to Prefab goes retail: buy a kitHAUS at Design Within Reach
dwr.com

This is interesting. A retailer called Design Within Reach (NASDAQ:DWRI) is now offering prefab:

Designed by Tom Sandonato and Martin Wehmann, this 9'x13' structure redefines conventional prefab with its proprietary clamping system that makes installation quick, economic and practically waste-free. What also caught our attention about Kithaus is how it can tuck into any area, even remote locations, without needing ultra-heavy equipment. All of the lightweight, anodized aluminum pieces are pre-cut and drilled in Southern California and shipped to you for on-site assembly. Installation is fast, taking only a few days, and Kithaus is built with eco-friendly components.

Treehugger thinks it's a good idea:

This is fulfilling the promise of prefab: Architecture as industrial design, available to anyone off the shelf at any time. Architecture as product instead of service, possibly the future and salvation of the profession.

To support the sales of the info_smallkitHAUS models, a number of in-store events will be held:

LocationDateTime
Beverly Hills, CAWednesday, February 136-8pm
Scottsdale, AZThursday, February 216-8pm
Las Vegas Town Square, NVWednesday, February 277-9pm
Chicago North Avenue, IL Thursday, March 206-9pm
Dallas, TXThursday, March 276-9pm
Minneapolis, MNThursday, April 36-9pm
Portland, ORThursday, April 246-8pm
San Francisco – Fillmore, CAThursday, May 16-8pm
Atlanta, GASaturday, May 107:30-9:30pm
Palo Alto, CA Thursday, June 266-8pm

A little history of Design Within Reach:

Design Within Reach is the source for fully licensed classics. Our business started when our founder tried to furnish his apartment with the mid-century classics he'd come to appreciate while living in London.
And some corporate background:
Design Within Reach, Inc. is recognized nationwide as a preeminent provider of distinctive modern design furnishings and accessories. The Company markets and sells products in numerous categories to both residential and commercial customers through the DWR catalog, website and studios.

Related Posts:
   1. LA Times on mini prefabs (Jun 18, 2009)
   2. Thursday evening in Philadelphia: Leo Marmol on "Prefab myths and facts" (Apr 02, 2008)
   3. Prefab goes to the mall: kitHAUS in San Diego (Aug 06, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: kitHAUS for sale

The m-house

Link to The m-house

The info_smallm-house is another small prefab home from the UK (we mentioned the home back in September):

...over 1000 sqft of beautifully designed and detailed contemporary house or office. It is entirely manufactured under controlled factory conditions, which guarantees both quality of build and delivery time. m-house arrives in two pieces, each 3m (10' approx) wide, which are then joined together on site, which takes about a day. It comes completely fitted-out and ready for you to move into immediately, and delivery is 12 weeks after order.

Features include:

  • under floor heating throughout (electric or gas)

  • solid fuel stove for cosy nights in front of the fire

  • fitted kitchen with loads of worksurface and storage

  • fridge, freezer, hob, oven and dishwasher (all Neff in Europe)

  • utility/ drying room with a washing machine with a decent spin speed

  • tiled bathroom with nice sanitaryware and a mains pressure shower

  • big double-ended steel bath with a view out of the window

  • kingsize bed decks with storage below and big shelves for books

  • fitted wardrobes with mirrors inside the doors

  • nice wool bedroom carpets

For some great images of the m-house, check out Ken Sparkes' flickr photostream. And watch this video of the designer from the BBC.

model: info_smallm-house
designer: Tim Pyne
price: ~$290,000 (~$290/sf)
size: 1,000 sf
br: 2
style: modern
how: 2 modules

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model small video modular UK modern m-house

Historic prefab: Marcel Breuer's Plas-2-Point house

Link to Historic prefab: Marcel Breuer's Plas-2-Point house
http://referencelibrary.blogspot.com/2007/08/marcel-breuer-prefab.html

Periodically we like to look back at early prefabs. Architect and furniture designer Marcel Lajos Breuer (1902 - 1981) was a contemporary of Jean Prouvé (1901 - 1984). In 1942, Breuer designed the info_smallPlas-2-Point as "easily transportable, low-cost housing for returning GIs".

More details from a University of Oregon research paper:

This building was in fact never built, but is well documented as a pioneer in prefabricated housing types because of its ability to be mass produced with all the benefits this entailed in terms of cost improved quality, and above all, given post-war demand, rapid production....

The "plas-2-point" design was not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it was eminently practical. It owed this practicality to the fact that it was demountable, meaning one unit could be picked up and moved to another foundation with minimal effort, and conceived as an assembly line product that could easily be mass produced and shipped all over the country.

Two features make this house unique in its design and construction. First, it rests on two short piers (see foundation plan), thus avoiding the need for expensive foundation and cellar costs that are common to nearly all housing types.

Second, and probably most interesting, is that it is entirely supported by two vertical posts at the ends of the structure. These posts hold a central plywood girder that, in turn, supports cantilevered plywood trusses which form the roof and floor. The side walls are made of rigid plywood panels that are in tension, holding down the roof like a tent.

This construction system allows for all the forces to be resolved internally and transfered down to the ground at two specific points, thus becoming cost efficient in the reduction of materials needed in construction.

Those interested in the home's structure should read the full paper.

designer: Marcel Breuer
how: complete modules

author: Tony Salas and Steve Bolinger
length: 1,150 words
date: Spring 1995

Related Posts:
   1. Maison Tropicale to be displayed in London (Jan 25, 2008)
   2. Maison Tropicale sold for $4.97m (Jun 06, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model historical

Zenkaya: sleek prefab from South Africa

Link to Zenkaya: sleek prefab from South Africa
zenkaya.com

info_smallZenkaya is a prefab from South Africa:

The Zenkaya is delivered completed, ready to live in, to your site right on the back of a flat bed truck.

Zenkaya is for the discerning people who value things differently. Those who appreciate their time and don’t want to spend that unforeseen time and energy to control and manage the construction and design process, especially when it is a far away place.
....
Zenkaya design was based on core sustainable principles. To start with, well proportioned rooms, efficient use of spaces and standard size materials were identified and drawn....

The wall panels feature Chromadek (coated metal) on the outside and either polystyrene or OSB (oriented strand board) on the inside.

In form, the Zenkaya models remind me of the concrete info_smallperrinepod.

Last year, Apartment Therapy New York called the homes "stunning."

materialicio.us said:

I love the fabulous ZENKAYA as much as anyone else.

[SPACEOUTLOUD] shared photos of the homes on display at a show in Cape Town.


designer: info_smallZenkaya
style: modern
how: complete modules

Zenkaya models range from 86 sf to 790 sf:

size: 220-660 sf
br: 1-2

size: 91 sf
br: 0-1

model: info_smallBushKAYA
size: 220-790 sf
br: 1-2

model: info_smallMiniKAYA
size: 86 sf
br: 0-1

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model modular modern South Africa Zenkaya

This week: aluminum from Japan, Sweden, and more

Link to This week: aluminum from Japan, Sweden, and more

Treehugger covered an aluminum prefab idea from Japan:

...an aluminum structural system that also works as a radiator for heat, and a conduit for electrical and plumbing.

Treehugger also linked to Greg LaVardera's post on prefab in Sweden.

Metro Hippie wrote about info_smallLazor Office's info_smallFlatpak House.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at a container home in San Francisco:

...there isn’t a shortage of uses for containers as shelter, especially for those who like that super industrial architecture aesthetic. Leger Wanaselja Architecture finished their Container House at the close of last year, bringing a more traditional look to the container composed residence.

Related Posts:
   1. How prefab homes are built in Sweden (Feb 04, 2008)
   2. Lazor Office's FlatPak House (Apr 19, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: containers This Week Sweden

The ASAP• house: modern, modular

Link to The ASAP• house: modern, modular
ASAP•house blog

The New York Times covered the info_smallASAP• house last week:

The architect, Laszlo Kiss, has designed a four-bedroom prototype in Sag Harbor that he says uses the constant temperature of the earth and the power of the sun for heat and electricity. The house, which he is calling About Saving a Planet, or ASAP, was built in a Pennsylvania factory, delivered in three sections by truck to a quarter-acre lot in Sag Harbor and assembled there in late December.

A bit more info from the ASAP• house site:

The ASAP• house consists of three prefabricated modules which are set on a high strength concrete, also prefabricated, foundation manufactured by Superior Wall.  The house modules arrive at the site 80% finished and requiring only final assembly and minor interior and exterior work.

Each of the three modules have their own functions. The center module contains circulation, closets and bathrooms. The garden side module contains one large room that is subdivided into three areas, the Kitchen, Dinning/Living Room and a Study, by free standing storage units. The third module contains the four Bedrooms and an Entry Hall. The ASAP• house is completed by two large porches that create outdoor living spaces and provide shade.

The ASAP• house has a full basement that is insulated and can be finished at a later date.

Back in November, Inhabitat wrote about the home. Jetson Green was excited:

It'll be fun to follow the blog progress and see the finished product.  At that point, we'll officially have one more prefab contender, and more particularly, one that can service the Northeast! 

The home's blog features some good progress reports, including the delivery and set of the modules.

company: info_smallASAP• house
style: modern
size: 2,500sf
bedrooms: 4
bathrooms: 2.5
how: modules
foundation: Superior Walls
features: solar and geo-thermal heating/cooling standard, full basement, front and rear porches

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL)

Minarc's M3house and eBOX series 05

Link to Minarc's M3house and eBOX series 05
m3house.com

Santa Monica-based Minarc has a (minimal) new website for their M3house.

We first encountered Minarc last April. Treehugger covered them again in July:

We admired the Minarc house by Tryggvi Thorsteinsson and Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir when it was in Dwell; now we learn that they are offering it in a prefab version. The designers...have wanted to design a high-tech modern home that only used materials "in their most organic form and that used recycled materials wherever possible."...They are offering three modular versions built from 2x6 walls, lots of insulation and radiant flooring.

land+living shared several images of a non-prefab prototype from a tour last year. The Minarc brochure (pdf) released at the time explained their info_smalleBOX series 05. It looks like the M3house will be quite different.

We look forward to more details on the new home. The image above is the only thing on the new site; what a tease!

designer: info_smallMinarc
style: modern
how: complete modules

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Japanese prefab, SIPs, and the greenness of big homes (Apr 14, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model modular website Minarc M3house eBOX series 05

Last year on Prefabcosm: videos

In addition to news articles and websites, we blogged about several videos of prefab and modular homes last year. A full list of videos we covered, in the order we covered them:

Name/Description Subject Length Date
Hive Modular landscape architect info_smallHive Modular 4:34 9/20/06
Hive Modular HGTV show info_smallHive Modular 6:51 2/08/07
Nashville Modern Prefab info_smallHive Modular 1:09 2/26/07
miniHome tour info_smallminiHome 5:07 3/24/07
Pacific Palisades Prefab info_smallOMD 4:11 4/15/07
Resolution: 4 Architecture factory info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture 3:40 5/28/07
Dwell Home open house info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture 2:19 5/28/07
Fly-through of a 3d rendering info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture 0:45 5/28/07
SG Blocks container install SG Blocks 0:31 7/31/07
CNET at the XtremeHomes factory info_smallXtremeHomes
info_smallMKD
3:14 8/30/07
CNET covers the PowerPod PowerPod 5:44 9/18/07
CNET visits the mkLotus info_smallMKD
info_smallmkLotus
3:13 10/2/07
SG Blocks Art Fennel interview SG Blocks 7:44 11/13/07
Res: 4 interview at OpenHouse NYC info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture 4:04 12/1/07
Marmol Radziner videos (7 videos) info_smallMarmol Radziner varies varies
Bob Vila covers modular (44 videos) miscellaneous varies varies
LivingHome installation info_smallLivingHomes ? ?
Modular homes on Cool Stuff Being Made miscellaneous >15:00 ?
Installation of Nevada House 1 info_smallMarmol Radziner 4:51 ?

Related Posts:
   1. Last year on Prefabcosm: historical (Feb 01, 2008)
   2. Last year on Prefabcosm: events (Jan 31, 2008)
   3. Last year on Prefabcosm: news (Jan 30, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: video Prefabcosm

Last year on Prefabcosm: websites

We covered many informative websites on prefab and modular homes last year. A few of our favorite posts:

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Rocio Romero Hive Modular LV Series Resolution 4: Architecture small Prefabcosm website Flatpak House modular

How prefab homes are built in Sweden

Link to How prefab homes are built in Sweden
blog.lamidesign.com/2007/12/letters-from-sweden-land-of-modern-land.html

info_smallGreg LaVardera brings us Letters from Sweden - land of modern, land of prefab:

In my previous entry I introduced Scott, my correspondent from Sweden. An American builder relocated to a suburb of Stockholm, he landed in an alternate reality where modern housing was everywhere, commonplace, even dare I say unremarkable. None of the stigmas or resistance we have come to associate with building a modern house were present. Every builder offered solid modern design in the range of homes they sold, and were more than happy to sell you one. On top of this prefabrication techniques were the norm. Sizable portions of the houses Scott saw being built were put together in the factory...

What did Scott find?

"...the majority of new construction is built like this. I would call the house panelized - but it is "way way panelized" and is a total package. The houses come on trucks from rural places in Sweden. The windows are in, the insulation, wiring, wallboard where possible - every thing - the pipes, the wiring systems, the doors, stairs ... everything has been engineered and rationalized to reduce labor, find energy and material economy and work with the method of construction where stuff is pre-assembled as much as possible inside a building and then "erected" or installed on the site under very compressed schedules...."

Read the full post for Greg's comparison to prefab on this side of the pond.

Related Posts:
   1. The Mountain Lodge in Sweden from PS Arkitektur (Jan 28, 2009)
   2. This week: aluminum from Japan, Sweden, and more (Feb 09, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process modular website modern

This week: Maison Tropicale

Link to This week: Maison Tropicale
dezeen.com

Dezeen shared photos of the info_smallMaison Tropicale going up in London.

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday is still on hiatus.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday took the week off.

There was plenty of other prefab news and happenings this week which we will cover in individual posts soon!

Related Posts:
   1. Maison Tropicale to be displayed in London (Jan 25, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: historical This Week

Last year on Prefabcosm: historical

Link to Last year on Prefabcosm: historical

It's fun to compare contemporary prefabs to the classic models. We covered a few historical prefabs last year:

Related Posts:
   1. Last year on Prefabcosm: videos (Feb 06, 2008)
   2. Last year on Prefabcosm: events (Jan 31, 2008)
   3. Last year on Prefabcosm: news (Jan 30, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: historical Sears Homes

Last year on Prefabcosm: events

Link to Last year on Prefabcosm: events
nytimes.com/2007/05/16/nyregion/16house.html

We covered several prefab and modular home conferences last year:

And tours of prefab homes:

And museum exhibitions about prefab, our favorite being the opportunity to walk through Jean Prouve's Maison Tropicale.

Related Posts:
   1. Last year on Prefabcosm: videos (Feb 06, 2008)
   2. Last year on Prefabcosm: historical (Feb 01, 2008)
   3. Last year on Prefabcosm: news (Jan 30, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: tours conference museum exhibition

Last year on Prefabcosm: news

Link to Last year on Prefabcosm: news
telegraph.co.uk

A few of our favorite blogs posted round-up posts at the end of last year. Materialicio.us listed their top 25 stories of 2007, including a number of great prefabs. Jetson Green covered his most popular articles.

We were inspired to review our posts, clean-up the tags and share some highlights -- even if a bit late. First up, our favorite prefab news articles from last year.

From major US newspapers:

Local papers:

And more:

Related Posts:
   1. Last year on Prefabcosm: videos (Feb 06, 2008)
   2. Last year on Prefabcosm: historical (Feb 01, 2008)
   3. Last year on Prefabcosm: events (Jan 31, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: article Prefabcosm

Historic prefab: pre-assembled wall panels

Link to Historic prefab: pre-assembled wall panels
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moderns-r-us/2096961684/in/set-72157603396700830/

Core 77 reports:

Before pre-fab became so fabulously fab, the Small Homes Council at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois published Homes From Pre-Assembled Wall Panels in 1954.

A bit more about the Small Homes Council, now known as the Building Research Council:

For over 50 years, BRC (formerly known as the Small Homes Council) has conducted housing research and provided public service to residents, homeowners, builders, contractors, engineers, architects, and others in the housing industry. Today BRC continues to draw on the expertise of its own staff and a campus-wide network of experts to improve the state of our built environment.

Current research projects include studies on building performance, moisture control, toxicity issues in residential building materials, windstorm resistance, diversity issues in the architectural profession, and housing environments design and evaluation.

We could not locate the book on AbeBooks.

Still employing similar techniques:
• info_smallLV Series
• info_smallModern Shed

Related Posts:
   1. Historic prefab: Venturo and the Futuro House (Jan 22, 2008)
   2. Historic Prefab: How to identify a Sears Kit Home (Dec 17, 2007)
   3. Historic Prefab: Iron prefab for sale (Nov 02, 2007)
   4. Historic Prefab: Sears Homes (Jul 26, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: historical process SIPs article

This week: Magic Boxes, criticism and boathouses

Link to This week: Magic Boxes, criticism and boathouses
magicboxusa.com

Blogs couldn't get enough of info_smallThe Magic Box, first seen on Moco Loco. Treehugger said:

Don't know what it costs, don't know what it's made of ... I will just say it is very pretty.

Jetson Green jumped in:

So I ask, after looking at the photos, does this Magic Box represent what's to come in the future? The Magic Box is cubic and versatile and small. It can go anywhere and be used as anything.

Not sure where The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday went, but they've been off since Jan. 3.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday discussed a strange "prefab":

Winter shelter in the Arctic can take form in an upside down hunting boat – a traditional Inuit practice. Covey Island Boatworks, award winning builders of hand-crafted yachts, power and sailboats, has brought that idea into dry dock developing a prototype wood and epoxy prefab that applies boatbuilding principles directly to an extreme Arctic home.

Jetson Green showed off the flexibility of shipping containers:

It's hard not to gawk at the images of this building.

(Posted on Monday, but dated Saturday to match the rest of our This Week series.)

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model containers This Week museum exhibition

Maison Tropicale to be displayed in London

Link to Maison Tropicale to be displayed in London
nytimes.com

Jean Prouvé's info_smallMaison Tropicale, which we talked about last year, will be on display in London:

From the steamy jungle of Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to the January drizzle of London's South Bank comes a tropical villa for the people. This weekend sees the construction of an unlikely addition to the capital's skyline: a prototype Modernist house designed in the Fifties by French architect Jean Prouvé.

The historic colonial building, a kind of flatpack pioneer, has been brought to Britain for the first time by the Design Museum in partnership with Tate Modern. Today the gallery is halfway through reassembling La Maison Tropicale.... The Tate hopes the new house will be visited by as many as two million people.

author: Vanessa Thorpe
publication: The Observer [UK]
length: 380 words
date: January 20, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Maison, Japan and Brio54 (Feb 16, 2008)
   2. Historic prefab: Marcel Breuer's Plas-2-Point house (Feb 12, 2008)
   3. This week: Maison Tropicale (Feb 02, 2008)
   4. Maison Tropicale sold for $4.97m (Jun 06, 2007)
   5. More pictures of the Maison Tropicale (May 22, 2007)
   6. $6 million prefab up for sale (May 18, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: historical modern museum exhibition

MetroShed introduces smaller MetroCabin

Link to MetroShed introduces smaller MetroCabin
metroshed.com

From a recent info_smallMetroShed press release:

MetroShed ... has launched a brand new livable 12 foot deep by 16 foot wide MetroCabin for sale in the U.S.

...adding square footage to ... existing property has become a realistic alternative to many more people looking to expand space for an art studio, home office, exercise room, yoga room or guest suite.

The 12x16 MetroCabin features curved steel roof beams (with available straight roof package), Duro-Last Roofing, Batt Insulated Pre-Fab SIP walls, Birch Interior Panels, Meta Floor System and Premium heavy duty slide and glide doors.

The new info_small12' x 16' MetroCabin joins the original info_small16' x 20' MetroCabin in the MetroShed product lineup.

Jetson Green wants one:

Matter of fact, I've said it before, but I'd love to have one of these in the back to blog and exercise in.

size: ~190 sf
price: $17,460 ($92/sf)

Related Posts:
   1. More small prefab: Metroshed (Jun 19, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model small MetroShed MetroCabin

More on Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf

Link to More on Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf
olkruf.com

I wrote about info_smallOskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf's info_smallSystem3 last week. It will be included in The Museum of Modern Art's Home Delivery exhibition.

The two designers have been working in the prefab arena since 1996. Past models include:
• info_smallSystem 01 and info_smallSystem 02 based on "elements"
• info_smallSu-Si, info_smallFred, info_smallHouses A&B based on "units"

The System3 home merges the idea of "units" with that of "elements":

Due to the separation into serving units and "naked elements", the building process is optimized.

  1. The serving unit is a completely prefabricated box including all installations. All different trades, such as electrician, plumber, etc. do their work at the service unit factory and do not have to do any on-site work....

  2. The solid elements such as wall, floor, and ceiling are made of solid slabs of wood. The producer uses CNC-technology to cut out all openings.

  3. ...the window producer prefabricates all windows.

  4. ...the skin producer prefabricates the building's skin that includes thermal insulation, waterproofing and vapor barrier.

To me, it seems logical: keep the production of the technical pieces, the "serving units", in the factory where quality control can be tighter; let on-site work be limited to assembly and nothing more. This approach would save both time and money, limiting the trades and expertise needed at the home site; it reminds me of info_smallKieranTimberlake's info_smallLoblolly House, which we covered last June:

The assembly process begins with off-site fabricated floor and ceiling panels, termed 'smart cartridges.' They distribute radiant heating, hot and cold water, waste water, ventilation, and electricity through the house. Fully integrated bathroom and mechanical room modules are lifted into position. Exterior wall panels containing structure, insulation, windows, interior finishes and the exterior wood rain screen complete the cladding.
(KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House will also appear in the MoMA show.)

Such a mixed-method approach compares to the two major types of prefabrication that we cover on Prefabcosm: SIPs (used by companies like info_smallCleverHomes and info_smallJensys Buildings) and complete modules (like those from info_smallOMD and info_smallweeHouse). Using just SIPs leaves the majority of the skilled work for the site, e.g. installation of utilities. Complete modules are both expensive and difficult to get to the home site. Merging the two methods allows for greater flexibility, less cost, higher quality, and shortened construction time.

With 10+ years working on prefab, Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf are worth watching. While they have yet to translate their experiments into a mass-market product, their work lends much understanding to how the home-construction industry might best take advantage of prefabrication.

Related Posts:
   1. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   2. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: process KieranTimberlake Loblolly House museum exhibition System3 Oskar Leo Kaufmann Albert Rüf System 01 System 02 Su-Si Fred

Historic prefab: Venturo and the Futuro House

Link to Historic prefab: Venturo and the Futuro House
futuro-house.net/

info_smallVenturo, a fiberglass prefab from the 1970's has been talked about quite a bit around the blogosphere the past couple weeks. Treehugger says:

There is really nothing new about many of the modern prefabs that everyone is going gaga over; back in the 70's Finnish architect Matti Suuronen designed the Venturo, a bit less extreme than his wonderful Futuro House. It appears to have been used primarily as gas stations for BP.

More from Finnish blog Tuovinen:

The "Venturo" is a modular, easily transportable building system, having excellent insulation, low weight and designed for minimum assembly on site.

It is built of high quality materials in order to ensure maximum weathering properties for use in arctic as well as tropical climates and is almost maintenance free.

Being of low weight and factory preassembled, the Venturo means very low erections and foundation costs, where heavy equipment can be avoided.

Nineteen Venturos were built:

First prototype of this model was designed January 9, 1971 and first production unit was built June 1, 1971. According to Museum of Finnish Architecture, BP was built in 1971. BP-Högmo is the second Venturo built according to MFA....

The Venturo was released by Finnish company info_smallOy Polykem Ab following the success of Suuronen's earlier info_smallFuturo House. From a paper titled Futuro's Way by Marko Home and Mike Taanila:

Capitalising on the Futuro´s international exposure, Polykem Ltd. soon launched a whole series of plastic buildings designed by Suuronen. The Casa Finlandia series included the CF-100/200 service station (1969), the CF-10 kiosk (1970) and the CF-45 residential/commercial building, better known as the Venturo (1971). All the buildings in the Casa Finlandia series were designed to be durable and convenient to mass-produce, transport and assemble. The numerical suffix in each building´s name indicates its floor area in square metres. Polykem strove to sharpen the international profile of the Casa Finlandia series by publishing stylish 4-colour brochures complete with vivid product descriptions and catchy slogans.

More on the Futuro House from enthusiast Marc Berting:

Matti Suuronen designed this UFO shaped dwelling in 1968, initially for use as a ski-cabin or holiday home....

The Futuro house was completely furnished and could accommodate 8 people. It was constructed entirely out of reinforced plastic, a new, light and inexpensive material back then. The plan was to mass-produce it, so it would be cheap enough to house all people around the earth. Because it was so light-weight, it was easily transportable by helicopter. Mobile living was the new possibility for the future. People could now take their moveable home with them, to wherever they went, and live like modern nomads.

Unfortunately the 1973 oil crisis spoiled all these plans. Prices of plastic raised production costs too high to be profitable. Only 96 Futuro houses were ever built. Besides the 48 made in Finland, also at least 48 were manufactured abroad on license.

Related Posts:
   1. Historic prefab: pre-assembled wall panels (Jan 28, 2008)
   2. Historic Prefab: How to identify a Sears Kit Home (Dec 17, 2007)
   3. Historic Prefab: Iron prefab for sale (Nov 02, 2007)
   4. Historic Prefab: Sears Homes (Jul 26, 2007)
1 comment, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model small historical process modern Matti Suuronen Venturo Futuro House

Modular Today Web site

We recently added Modular Today to our sidebar. The site is useful for anyone looking to build a modular home, with information ranging from an expected timeline to a financing guide.

0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: research modular website

This week: straw bales, green mobile homes, and more

Link to This week: straw bales, green mobile homes, and more
www.strohhaus.net/

The Good Human's Prefab Wednesday took the week off.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday looked at a Swiss prefab that uses straw bales:

We’re quite taken by Strohhaus in Eschenz, Switzerland. Designed by Zurich-based architect Felix Jerusalem, this home masterfully combines prefab with sustainable materials, primarily prefabricated strawboard panels that provide affordable, environmentally sound insulation.

Jetson Green covered GreenMobile, an "ultra-affordable, modular green [manufactured] home":

GreenMobile was awarded $5.8 M from FEMA to further develop the prototype and roughly 80 units are in the pipeline right after that prototype comes through.

GreenMobile is expected to cost about $50k

100khouse likes the 'Option' House, covered on Prefab Friday a couple weeks back.

Related Posts:
   1. This week: year in review, Sea Train and more (Dec 29, 2007)
2 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model green This Week trailers

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

System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf

Link to System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf
from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf

info_smallSystem3, from Austrian designers info_smallOskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf, will also be showcased in MoMA's Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwellings show:

The system is based on the separation of a building into "serving space" and "naked space".

The "serving space" is a completely prefabricated serving unit that provides all staircases, kitchens, baths, installations, electricity, heating, and cooling systems for the entire building. The "naked space" (space that is only defined by the placed furniture, such as living or sleeping rooms) is formed by "naked elements": solid slabs of wood...windows, skin. All "naked" elements are also prefabricated and are delivered directly from factory to building site, where everything can be assembled in a few days.

Each unit fits in a shipping container, giving it the characteristic "long and narrow" format. Several units can be placed side by side: system3_combo2
Or stacked:
system3_combo

Overall, an intriguing approach that I can't wait to see realized at MoMA. Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf have been experimenting with prefab since 1996. We'll look at their past work in more depth soon!

model: info_smallSystem3
style: modern
how: complete modules

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   3. Home Delivery update: install videos to drool over (Jun 26, 2008)
   4. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   5. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
   6. More on Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 23, 2008)
   7. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
   8. The m-ch (micro compact home) (Jan 10, 2008)
   9. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   10. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model containers modular wood Austria museum exhibition System3 Oskar Leo Kaufmann Albert Rüf

Live Xtremely Green: the XtremeHomes blog

Link to Live Xtremely Green: the XtremeHomes blog
xtremehomes.blogspot.com

I wandered over to the info_smallXtremeHomes site the other day and found that they are now writing a blog:

A brief collection of thoughts on the growth of the green building industry. What's real, what's not and what people are expecting.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

company: info_smallXtremeHomes

Related Posts:
   1. XtremeHomes: modular building the green way (Aug 10, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: green process manufacturer website XtremeHomes

Prefab at CES: Logical Homes and Peter DeMaria

Link to Prefab at CES: Logical Homes and Peter DeMaria
dwell.com

From the Dwell blog:

The Consumer Electronics Show may have the flashiest booths of any trade gathering in the world. .... So imagine my relief when I saw a modest prefab home built at the far end of one of the main halls. .... It was built inside the convention center for Olevia, a company that makes energy efficient televisions.

The Aegean is a container home from info_smallLogical Homes, the Packaged Architecture™ brand of Los Angeles architect Peter DeMaria.

MocoLoco provided more details:

...the exhibit at CES represents the first built prototype.
and quotes an email from Michael Sylvester of Fabprefab fame:
The house has modern lines and a long cantilevered roof - you can hardly see that this home is based on the adaptive re-use of two forty foot cargo containers.

Inhabitat liked the prototype:

...the stunning shipping container prefab definitely caught our eye.

The line of homes is based on the architect's Redondo Beach House:

The traditional design, permit and construction process, compounded by skyrocketing construction costs, has necessitated a re-birth of the design/build approach to creating Architecture.... This project is a Recycled Steel Shipping Container based building that also employs a combination of conventional stick frame construction and prefabricated assemblies. These materials result in an end product that is affordable and nearly indestructable. The modified containers are mold proof, fire proof, termite proof, structurally superior to wood framing and along with various other “components” come together to create a system/kit of parts that is predicated on cost savings, construction timesavings, and energy/environmentally conscious priorities....

CNN covered the Redondo Beach Home in 2006:

(Hat tip: Treehugger commented.)

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Swedish prefab, BURST*008 and Redondo Beach containers (Oct 04, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model containers conference Dwell

Take a (long!) tour of the WIRED LivingHome

Link to Take a (long!) tour of the WIRED LivingHome
wired.com

Systm, a web video series from Revision3, files a long, detailed video report from the WIRED LivingHome:

This $4 million home in LA isn't exactly what we think of when wanting to integrate more green, eco-friendly aspects to our lives, but it does offer up some great options. LEED certified and designed by architect Ray Kappe, this home offers a great, simple way of constructing a house without compromising the uniqueness of a custom built home.

company: info_smallLivingHomes
length: 21:26
site: Revision3
release date: December 31, 2007

Check out the multimedia page on the WIRED LivingHome site for additional photos and videos.

Related Posts:
   1. In the news: WIRED LivingHome (Sep 02, 2009)
   2. New LivingHomes video and photos (Aug 03, 2009)
   3. WIRED LivingHome open for tours! (Nov 06, 2007)
   4. WIRED webcam (Sep 10, 2007)
   5. LivingHomes gets WIRED ... for $4 million (Jul 02, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: LivingHomes LEED green tours video Ray Kappe

WIRED on small prefab

Link to WIRED on small prefab
wired.com

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.

Models included:
•  info_smallweeHouse
•  info_smallModern Cabana
•  info_smallMarmol Radziner Prefab
•  info_smallmicro compact home

Treehugger summarized:

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
publication: WIRED
length: 12 slides

Related Posts:
   1. LA Times on mini prefabs (Jun 18, 2009)
   2. The m-ch (micro compact home) (Jan 10, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: weeHouse Marmol Radziner Modern Cabana m-ch

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
designmobile.com

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) , Tags: OMD containers process Los Angeles Swellhouse This Week

Prefabcosm update: available, prototype, discontinued

Link to Prefabcosm update: available, prototype, discontinued

We've added status designators to each model and variation page. The info_smallBURST* page is shown above, with status "prototype." Each model is designated as either:

available: can be purchased now (example: info_smallmicro compact home)

prototype: includes concepts, demonstration homes, and models that will be available in the future (example: info_smallAperture House)

discontinued: ... but worth tracking to see how the industry changes over time (example: info_smallv2shell)

Related Posts:
   1. New checkbox search for our database of prefab and modular homes (Mar 07, 2008)
   2. Prefabcosm update: one-click navigation of prefab and modular homes (Dec 27, 2007)
   3. Our feed URLs are changing! (Oct 29, 2007)
   4. Prefabcosm site changes! (Oct 29, 2007)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: Prefabcosm

BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects

Link to BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects
all images: systemarchitects.net

Update: The model appearing in the MoMA show will be the BURST*008.

info_smallSYSTEMarchitects' info_smallBURST*003 house is the third prefab model featured in the MoMA prefab exhibition.

Artdaily provides some details:

Designed to be assembled on site from laser-cut pieces, the Burst *003 house is a computer-designed remake of the typical prefabricated box. Working from a computer formula that automates the specific pieces needed to create the house desired, the project is based on a system that can be adapted to a changing set of criteria. The 2003 prototype of the Burst *003 project was built on Australia's Northeast coast, and won the Royal Australian Institute of Architects 2006 Wilkinson award.

Architecture Australia explains further:

Laying out the plywood pieces was achieved using the software program used in garment manufacture with very little wastage. While high technology is used throughout the design and manufacturing process, low technology is intentionally employed for assembly and for maintenance. Assembly requires fewer skills but intense cooperation and concentration. The building was put together by architecture students in something akin to a barn raising. The architects are fond of this image, yet recognize that the design’s reliance on numbers of enthusiastic and sympathetic cheap labourers will make it less desirable for some.

This fabrication method reminds me of the yourHouse. The process is explained through images and text on the SYSTEMarchitects site:

Plywood cut by a computer-controlled laser. Delivered to site in sheets with the ribs numbered, scored, and holes cut.

burst3

Laser cutting 1 of 400 sheets.

burst1

Sorting 1,100 pieces of laser-cut plywood.

burst4

Underside of floor structure.

burst9

Laser-cutting efficiency -- the total waste from the plywood sheets.

I can't help but be excited for the potential of the BURST* system and look forward to seeing the home at MoMA.

style: modern
how: kit of parts

Related Posts:
   1. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   2. This week: Marmol install, Chile, and BURST (Jun 28, 2008)
   3. Home Delivery update: install videos to drool over (Jun 26, 2008)
   4. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
   5. BURST* update (Mar 25, 2008)
   6. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   7. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model system process

The m-ch (micro compact home)

Link to The m-ch (micro compact home)
all images: microcompacthome.com

The info_smallm-ch (micro compact home) will also be included in the upcoming MoMA prefab exhibition.

The New York Times says:

Mr. Horden’s Micro Compact House — Mr. Bergdoll [of MoMA] described it as “a giant livable Sony radio cube” — is topped with photovoltaic panels and has wind turbines in its walls, allowing the house to generate its own electricity. An aluminum-clad perfect cube, with about 76 square feet of living space, the tiny dwelling is intended for use as athletic or student housing, or as a miniature vacation house. Mr. Bergdoll met with Mr. Horden in one of his cubes, a space so compact that the architect managed to make espresso on the kitchen counter without leaving his seat at the dining table.

The house is commercially available — it recently went on the market in Europe — and can be delivered by helicopter or crane.

microcompact2

From the micro compact home site:

The micro compact home [m-ch] is a lightweight compact dwelling for one or two people. Its compact dimensions of 2.6m [8.5 ft] cube adapt it to a variety of sites and circumstances, and its functioning spaces of sleeping, working / dining, cooking and hygiene make it suitable for everyday use.

Informed by aviation and automotive design and manufactured at the micro compact home production centre in Austria, the m-ch can be delivered throughout Europe with project individual graphics and interior finishes.

The team of researchers and designers based in London and at the Technical University in Munich developed the m-ch as an answer to an increasing demand for short stay living for students, business people, sports and leisure use and for weekenders. The m-ch, now in use and available throughout Europe, combines techniques for high quality compact 'living' spaces deployed in aircraft, yachts, cars, and micro apartments. Its design has been informed by the classic scale and order of a Japanese tea-house, combined with advanced concepts and technologies. Living in an m-ch means focusing on the essential - less is more. The use of progressive materials complements the sleek design. Quality of design, touch and use are the key objectives for the micro compact home team....for 'short stay smart living'.

microcompact1

The specifics:

The m-ch has a timber frame structure with anodised aluminium external cladding, insulated with polyurethane and fitted with aluminium frame double glazed windows and front door with security double lock; graphics can be applied for sponsors, exhibition and business use.

  • two compact double beds...
  • storage space for bedding and cleaning equipment
  • a sliding table ... for dining for up to five people
  • flat screen television in the living/dining space
  • a shower and toilet cubicle
  • a kitchen area, which is fitted with electrical points and features a double hob, sink and extending tap, microwave, fridge and freezer units, three compartment waste unit, storage shelves, cutlery drawers with gentle return sprung slides and double level work surfaces
  • thermostat controlled ducted warm air heating, air conditioning, water heating
  • fire alarm and smoke detectors

m-ch units are available to purchase for delivery to geographical Europe at a guide price of EUR 25,000 to EUR 34,000 (subject to contract).

More images of the interior:
microcompact3 microcompact4 microcompact6 microcompact7

We've mentioned the home before in our This Week series. Back in June, we also linked to a video of the m-ch.

style: modern
size: 74 sf
price: EUR 25,000 - 34,000 (~$37,000-$50,000; $500-$675/sf)
bedrooms: 1
bathrooms: 1
how: complete modules

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   3. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
   4. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   5. WIRED on small prefab (Jan 14, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model small green m-ch

Lawrence Sass and yourHouse

Link to Lawrence Sass and yourHouse
web.mit.edu/yourhouse/

Yesterday we reported on the Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling exhibition at MoMA. In the coming days, we will preview each of the companies and homes featured in the exhibition.

First, let's take a look at yourHouse, from Lawrence Sass at MIT:

This design of yourHOUSE is a reinterpretation of historical New Orleans style “Shotgun” Housing utilizing recycled plywood as the main structural material. The house will be fabricated and assembled entirely of friction-fit components, completely eliminating the need for mechanical fasteners such as nails and screws.  This fabrication technique is made possible through the extensive use of computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines....

The goal of the yourHOUSE project is to exemplify a design process which utilizes cutting-edge technologies rooted in long term research efforts with the intent to illustrate a system that allows prefabricated housing to be low-cost and yet high-quality.

The processes include:

Digitalization
yourHouse4

Digitalization is a 2-stage process which preceeds a materialziation process. First, 2-dimensional data was taken from the documentation and used to create elevation drawings. From this data, 3-dimensional data was extrapolated and digitally modeled so that the house facades could be transformed into solid physical models through a final materialization process.

Materialization
yourHouse1

Materialization begins by breaking down the digital model into a logic of component parts and assemblies. In the figure above is one such breakdown of a front porch column assembly

yourHouse2

The final stage in the materialization process involves what is termed, 3D printing. This stage allows the researcher to examine the digital model as a solid physical body. In the figure above are 1:30 scale 3D prints of the four originally documented New Orleans 'Shotgun' house facades

The yourHouse concept also embraces customization:
yourHouse5

One of the core strategies driving project yourHOUSE is the use of mass-customized as well as mass-standardized components. This strategy happens at multiple scales ranging from details to major structural features. As seen in the figure above, the main body of the house employs a standardized structural shell while the front porch of the house can be customized to suit the inhabitant's desires.

It will be exciting to see this concept realized for the MoMA show.

model: yourHouse by Lawrence Sass
style: traditional
how: kit of parts

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   3. This week: Home Delivery, immigrant housing, prefab in NYC, and more (Jul 05, 2008)
   4. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   5. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
   6. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   7. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
0 comments, 0 trackbacks (URL) , Tags: model research museum exhibition

MoMA does prefab

Link to MoMA does prefab
nytimes.com

The New York Times reports:

...the Museum of Modern Art has commissioned five architects to erect their own prefab dwellings in a vacant lot on West 53rd Street, adjacent to the museum. Whittled down from a pool of about 400, the five architects are participating in “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling,” an exhibition opening in July.

The five, to be announced today by the museum, are KieranTimberlake Associates of Philadelphia; Lawrence Sass of Cambridge, Mass.; Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston of Manhattan; Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf of Austria; and Richard Horden of Horden Cherry Lee in London.

The MoMa site fills in some blanks:

This exhibition will offer the most thorough examination of both the historical and contemporary significance of factory-produced architectures to date. With increasing concern about issues such as sustainability and the swelling global population, prefabrication has again taken center stage as a prime solution to a host of pressing needs. The prefabricated structure has long served as a central precept in the history of modern architecture, and it continues to spur innovative manufacturing and imaginative design....

The exhibition will examine this phenomenon through historical documents, full-scale reassemblies, and films that trace the roots of prefabrication in the work of architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Jean Prouvé, and Richard Rogers, corporations such as Lustron, and the imaginative systems of other influential figures, including Thomas Edison and R. Buckminster Fuller.

This contextual component of the exhibition will provide the foundation for a handful of full-scale commissions to be built in MoMA's vacant west lot....The fabrication and delivery of these projects will be documented in a special online exhibition, which will underline prefabrication's importance as a matter of process over product. Furthermore, the delivery and assembly of these projects will function as a real-time urban event that will be visible to the general public from the city streets

A Prefab Project says:

Perhaps notable for the absence of any of the commercially successful prefab architects working in the US, still kind of a big deal...

Haute Nature also commented.

When: July 20 - October 20, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Witold Rybczynski goes to MoMA (Aug 19, 2008)
   2. Home Delivery in the MSM (Jul 30, 2008)
   3. Home Delivery in the blogs (Jul 23, 2008)
   4. Home Delivery exhibition catalog available for purchase (Jul 22, 2008)
   5. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   6. KieranTimberlake's Cellophane House (Jul 14, 2008)
   7. This week: all about MoMA Home Delivery (Jul 12, 2008)
   8. Worth a look: New York Times Home Delivery slideshow (Jul 09, 2008)
   9. This week: Home Delivery, immigrant housing, prefab in NYC, and more (Jul 05, 2008)
   10. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   11. Home Delivery blog goes live! (Mar 25, 2008)
   12. More on Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 23, 2008)
   13. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   14. This week: OMD in LA, container Travelodge, lots of MoMA and more (Jan 12, 2008)
   15. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
   16. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)