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Prefab by the Numbers

Prefab

A new article in Portland Monthly delves a little deeper into the prefab world and discovers some new territory.  For newcomers to prefab, pricing can be quite elusive and this article clarifies a little of that (in particular, page three provides some helpful comparative information).  Some people don’t realize that certain costs may not be factored in the often-cited price per square foot (i.e., transportation, foundation, crane, site contractor, site preparation, permitting and approvals, etc.).  That’s different from a buyer’s understanding of purchasing a home from a builder or developer …

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Embody Ups the Green Chair Ante

Embody Chair by Herman Miller

I’ve been a happy and devoted Haworth Zody user for over a year and my chair is time-tested, blogger-approved — it’s a beautiful hoss.  But my other chair, the office one, is quite hobbled and needs replacing.  So when I was walking the exhibit floor at Greenbuild, the Herman Miller Embody chair caught my eye in a big way.  Depending on the color you go for, it’s a loud chair, if not flamboyant, but that’s all part of its intrinsic ambition — and probably why Embody will be the next, must-have chair for stylish office types. 

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Johnson Creek weeHouse Prefab Home

Johnson Creek weeHouse Prefab

Wow, check out this stunning, prefab home located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.  Just like the Marfa Weehouse, a home we talked about a long time ago, this home was designed by Alchemy Architects.  The Johnson Creek weeHouse is a 2,200 sf retreat home consisting of the main living area for daily activities and a small tower for less intenstive activities, like sleeping.  The two parts are connected by a patio bridge and the entire home is surrounded by the heavily wooded site.   

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Reclaimed Space Prefab Minimizes Impact of Construction

Reclaimed Spaces

Why not build a prefab almost entirely out of reclaimed materials?  That’s what Reclaimed Space founder Tracen Gardner wants to do.  Mr. Gardner was in between contracting jobs and began constructing a portable building using primarily reclaimed materials.  In the process, he liked what he was doing so much that he decided to create Reclaimed Space to continue building modular, passively-designed cabins.  To start off with, the company will build spaces from 240 square feet and at prices in the range of $115 to $160 psf (min. $25k). 

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Photo Tour: FROG Zero Classroom

Project FROG FROG Zero Classroom

 

The classroom of the future was on display throughout Greenbuild 2008 and it’s safe to say that attendees were impressed.  Project FROG built the classroom using their FROG Zero system of modular construction — a zero-energy building system.  What’s interesting, though, is that the contractor, Fisher Development, assembled and finished it in six days.  And it’s beautiful inside and out.  The company has received venture funding and can sell their classrooms for 25% cheaper than the competition.  Soon enough, we’ll all be able to watch the proliferation of healthy, architecturally-designed learning environments.

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Natural Design for a Creative Exchange

Ce2

This building in Cambridge, England is not only called “Creative Exchange,” but it functions as one, too.  Designed by 5th Studio, the structure has a purposely small footprint and smart design that allows natural light to flood into interior spaces.  The interior spaces are open and function more flexibly than a typical office so occupants can collaborate and share ideas.  Similarly, the top floor has a working garden that also facilitates congregation and interaction among the occupants.  Other than the few private workspace areas, everything is quite open and communal at Creative Exchange. 

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