San Antonio-based Lake|Flato, an architectural firm with several AIA COTE Top 10 green projects, this week announced its latest endeavor in the world of prefab with the Porch House. Porch House is an eco-friendly home that combines factory-built modules and custom outdoor elements, such as porches, breezeways, carports, and terraces. The result is a contemporary, site-specific, LEED-certified home that can be delivered in about six- to nine-months after the inception of design.
This is one of the latest sustainable prefab homes from Seattle-based Stillwater Dwellings. The home has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and 2,300 square feet with a signature soaring butterfly roofline, a great room, and 360-degree views of Sauvie Island, Mount St. Helen, Mount Hood, and Mount Rainier. After solar panels are installed, the owners expect to submit paperwork in line with LEED Gold certification.
KitHAUS makes kit structures like this one with a bolt-together aluminum frame and SIPs floors, walls, and ceiling. With 117 square feet, the kitHAUS K3 is being used on a Shea Homes project in San Diego as a leasing office, though it could easily be used elsewhere as an artist studio or home office. A Halcyon model mini-split from Fujitsu cools the space, which costs about $40k with decks and accessories (but not the mini-split).
Project Frog, a start-up that designs and builds prefabricated sustainable buildings, recently announced a $22 million investment round led by GE, signaling the multinational company is bullish on not just environmental responsibility but innovative construction methods, too. As part of the relationship, GE will complete a Project Frog building at GE’s Crotonville Learning Center in Ossining, New York by the end of 2011.
The University of Tennessee recently opened the New Norris House, a 21st-century home that revisits the old Norris community project. As background, during the Great Depression, the Tennessee Valley Authority built a model community as part of a water works project in Tennessee. According to the New Norris House site, the old Norris homes were innovative and included electricity and heating systems for the first time in the region.
If prefab connotes the idea that a home is standardized, perhaps this home sheds some of that. It wasn’t fabricated to benefit from scale so much as to conserve resources by building it in the vicinity of people and services. Ruby Springs Prefab was built in Bozeman — roughly 300 feet from both the interior designer Shack Up Studio and architect/builder Medicine Hat Inc. — and installed in a remote location in Ruby Springs, Montana.