Blue Sky Homes Yucca Valley Prefab


Update 5/18/09: This Blue Sky Homes prototype is complete!

Just the other day, we mentioned a beautiful green home designed by o2 architecture, but they’ve also been involved with another interesting company, Blue Sky Homes.  Blue Sky Homes was created to be a next generation prefab company — they’ve developed a system to construct homes faster, stronger, greener, cheaper, and easier than standard industry practice.  The Blue Sky Homes Building System involves fabricating the elements of the home in a factory and assembling those pieces on the job site.  And they’re testing this system on a 1,000 square foot prototype home in Yucca Valley right now.


The prototype is being built with steel, but it’s actually a light-gauge, cold-formed steel, which incorporates recycled steel in a less-intense and more affordable process.  With this process, Blue Sky Homes can produce strong homes and quick on-site assembly.  More specifically, footings to envelope = ~ 5 days, and entire home construction = ~ seven weeks.

Blue Sky Homes is planning a full catalog of home designs for future release, and pricing information will be forthcoming as well.  Their designs incorporate a number of green elements and products: bamboo and FSC-certified cabinetry, solar PV, solar hot water panels, grey water system, low-VOC paints, high-performance double-E windows and doors, Energy Star appliances, efficient STEPs (steel thermal efficiency panels), and the allowance of abundant natural light.

The Yucca Valley Prototype House began construction on March 10, 2009, and we’re excitedly monitoring progress on Blue Sky Homes’ website to see the finished home.  If these renderings are any indicator, the home will be an absolute stunner.  You watch.




Photos from construction starting March 10, 2009.

Steel-frame Detail

Sips Blue-sky-homes

Photo credits: Blue Sky Homes; rendering credits: o2 Architecture.

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  • Brennan

    I like the size of the house as it is small enough to do just what you need without excess. This is definitely a house I would like as I am a minimalist with just about everything.

  • Portland Real Estate

    I agree, the house may be a bit small but its really nice looking. We should build these light, strong houses in hurricane prone areas. They are strong, cheap, sustainable, and easy to assemble after a natural disaster has taken out the original home.

  • Brian N.

    Really brilliant design. I was just reading on their construction blog how they prefabricated the “core module” of the house in the factory and craned it into place:

    “This module is the 8-foot-by-14-foot interior section of the house that consists of the bathroom, hallway, laundry closet, hot water tank closet and HVAC unit. We built it in a factory and then crane-set it on the floor joists before the roof went on. It arrived at the house site with some of the plumbing and electrical elements already in place. In future projects this core will likely come to the site with all plumbing, electrical and mechancial elements already installed (including drywall).”

    I am curious to see the pricing on their homes. One would think this could be a cost effective way to build houses. I am a big fan of this….

    • Preston

      Brian, I agree, the design really is excellent. Prefab manufacturing the core is an idea I’ve seen presented by others, but actually doing it could be huge. Plus, if the catalog of designs rely on the same core, you just plug it in and take economies of scale on the manufacturing.

      In addition, with the part-prefab, part-on-site construction model, you get to cut out some of the construction waste (whether through weather, overuse, or theft) and obviate the need to ship air. Plus you take advantage of SIPs efficiency and ease, and the strength/durability of steel.

      With all of this, you throw in smart and reasonable floor plans, and the entire home really has an appeal that’s tough to deny. I’m with you on this. This is going to be huge.

      • liefy

        Very appealing. I’d really like to know the pricing.
        So how does the floor insulation work? I didn’t see ductwork; is there a hot air system or is it radiant heat? What works in Palm Springs area may need to be modified for elsewhere in the country.
        I was curious about the grey water system, isn’t explained much; I wonder if in other climates whether it is worth the complexity of split systems, storage tanks, dealing with maintenance etc.
        Also, with the steel studs and sips, are channels needed for electrical and plumbing? I’d love a 1200 sq ft 3 bdrm version!

      • Brian N.

        That’s right. And if you think about it, even if people want a larger home, that core doesn’t necessarily have to change size. A 3rd bedroom could be added or a larger kitchen/living space without affecting that core.

        That simple floorplan lends itself to so many possibilities. I look forward to seeing more of their homes. Thanks Preston!

  • Anonymous

    Looks very promising! What kind of warranties are offered compared to traditional stick-built? Looking forward to info on pricing. That’s always the drawback – even with the reduced waste pre-fab tends to be quite a bit more expensive than stick-built.

  • raderator

    Nice floorplan. Decent styling. No entryway tho. And that west bedroom is gonna be hot.

  • Dave Stukas

    I visited and photographed the house this last week. There was no one there, but I did scout around the house and grounds. Very impressive. It’s the perfect modern desert weekend house for someone from Los Angeles. Simple to care for, made of long-lasting materials, very sleek and chic and compact and efficient. I”ll make a blog posting on my website at
    People interested in modern desert living in the Palm Springs area and high desert need to know about this. Thank you Blue Sky, O2 and Solterra for creating this home–hopefully–of the future right now.

  • Terry Cook

    How many square feet is the Yucca Valley prototype and how much does it cost if an individual has or is preparing to purchase a lot?
    I am interested in 1,000-1,500 sq. feet with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

  • Prefab Homes

    Love this! This is amazing!Beyond brilliant.

  • Ruth Andre

    I will be very interested in the cost of this home. I live in a 1,000 square foot stick home now and the size is fine. I have found the prefab homes are often over priced and that could be to the snazzy designs that lure people in to buy. We decided to build a conventional home with 15′ ceilings after researching alternative building styles.

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