Blu Homes Acquires Iconic MKD Designs


Today, Blu Homes and Michelle Kaufmann announced that Blu Homes has purchased all the assets of mkDesigns, including the rights to several Michelle Kaufmann Designs (MKD) homes, such as the Glidehouse, Breezehouse, mkLotus, and mkSolaire.*  With the news, Michelle Kaufmann has joined the advisory board of Blu Homes and will consult the company in applying the MKD designs to Blu Homes’ fold out modular technology.  Michelle will also start her new practice, Michelle Kaufmann Studio, where she will focus on custom, net-zero energy homes, sustainable communities, and eco resorts.

As you might imagine, the terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

The team at Blu Homes, according to Michelle, has been working on an unfolding modular technology in order to ship homes with more efficiency.  Homes with 8′, 10′, and 12′ widths arrive on the site and are unfolded to enable spaces that are 16′, 18′, or 22′ wide.  The image above shows an “Origin” home by Blu that has been unfolded.

Although MKD homes may change a little when offered by Blu, the idea is to remain true to the originals.  Many of you may wonder whether these iconic designs can be replicated at a more approachable price, but that’s what Blu is trying to do.  We’ll see where this all goes.

Blu Homes has homes under construction in Colorado, Utah, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  We’ve been talking about them since July 2008, but we haven’t been able to see or blog about anything that they’ve built yet (except for the Origin pictured above).  Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that soon.

*Update 9/29/2009: Just want to clarify that Blu Homes purchased all the tangible assets of mkDesigns, including all designs, design details/specs/materials, brand names, websites, etc.  Anything that was an asset was bought out of bankruptcy by Blu Homes.

Photo credit: Michelle Kaufmann.

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  • Anonymous

    On the surface it seems like a good partnership. My only complaint about Kaufmann’s designs was the cost. If Blu can manage to make some of those designs affordable, it would be quite a feat! I am glad to see Kaufmann’s name back in the news, too…

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully she’s learned that she needs to do all this at a cost-affordable rate if she has any true intention of getting it out to the masses. As with BrianN, the only issue with Kaufmann’s design was indeed the cost. I think ANYONE could make them affordable, she was just being plain old greedy, and the contractors probably didn’t help the cause seeing as I’m sure they expected to make off with fat paychecks building for high profile designers such as herself. If Kaufmann or Blu is reading this, remember this: it’s all about the money, and I don’t mean yours, I mean the money you’re asking for!

  • Portland Real Estate

    Great! Though I like a market with tons of competition, a couple of small companies with similar goals and great ideas can mean much more money and chance that they will hit the big time. I for one hope that all of our homes are net zero pre fab at some point.


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