Nearly two years ago, I followed reports by Curbed LA, which was tracking the sale of the Office of Mobile Design's ShowHouse. At the time, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom home was listed at $175,000, and I always wondered what happened with it — until the other day when Allison Arieff tweeted a photo of the Jennifer Siegal-designed structure on a beautiful desert lot. The 720 square-foot portable house found a new home.
A few months ago, Alchemy set this weeHouse in Dundee, New York, and it's now complete. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home sits at the end of a private road on Seneca Lake. On the exterior, the prefab has corrugated steel siding, while on the interior, there's bamboo flooring and wall wrap, doors and windows made with FSC-certified wood, and Energy Star appliances.
Across the pond in the London Borough of Hillingdon, this infill development of five ultra-green buildings continues to garner attention. The project, Birchway Eco-Community, was built to Level 5 of the Code of Sustainable Homes (with 6 being the highest possible score) and provides 24 one- and two-bedroom affordable housing units. These buildings were finished on site after being prefabricated and delivered with kitchens and bathrooms already installed.
Ideabox's newest prefab model, the Fortino, is on display at the Portland Home & Garden Show this weekend, so you'll want to check it out if you're in the area. The Salem-based prefab company teamed up with Crate & Barrel to design the interior and several landscape designers to transform a 50'x100' show space into a contemporary landscape setting. Jim Russell, president of Ideabox, says it's a complete "living experience" on an urban lot.
We like to keep a pulse on the evolving world of green prefab, but there’s an Austin-based company that we’ve yet to mention. Ma Modular, a venture of design-build firm KRDB, turned to modular construction to make modern design approachable, affordable, and convenient. The company is also committed to good design and green building and aims to deliver projects with a quick turnaround.
Modular home manufacturers are all getting into smaller and greener homes these days. We've mentioned the i-House from Clayton Homes and the Osprey from Nationwide Homes, but another modular company, Excel Homes, also has a small green home called the The Prairie View. The design is inspired by the Prairie House Style with its open interior plan and horizontal exterior lines. Designed to be completed for under $100,000, this 945 square-foot home has one bedroom, one bathroom, and abundant open space for everything else.