This is the best $9.95, I’ve spent in a long time. I read Innovative Home when it comes out every quarter, but the Spring 2007 edition is unbelievable. Go get a copy.
Jeriko is Different… Design… Strength… Green… Flexibility… Living. Jeriko House: It Lives in you
Jeriko is Different… Design… Strength… Green… Flexibility… Living. Jeriko House: It Lives in you. Today, New Orleans-based CEO of Jeriko House, Shawn Burst, announced his company’s plans to enter the modular/prefab home building market with 5 different models (each with an infinite number of configurations). Burst teamed up with a German engineer to use a patented, interlocking aluminum framing system–one that is strong enough to meet the strictest U.S. earthquake and hurricane building codes. The plumbing, appliances, lighting, hardware, interior finishes, and exterior cladding are all integrated into an advanced structural system through the collaborative efforts of a team and network of design/construction professionals. Starting at $175 per square foot, a Jeriko House will have such luxuries as Asian teak wood finishes, coconut skin walls, Indian rosewood door handles and stone, and marble + ceramics from around the globe. Homes will also include "biometric systems and homeowner-friendly technology." Bourne-style, I presume.
The first home will be completed in New Orleans and the company anticipates orders of 100 more relatively soon. Actually, they’re taking orders right now for May delivery. Their website says a purchaser is responsible for permits, site work, foundation, plumbing, electrical, HVAC rough in, and landscaping. Shipping is included in the cost of the home, and Jeriko will help you build it.
Straight from the website: "We feel it is our duty at Jeriko House to take a leading role in the efforts to save our planet. Sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness are at the core of our beliefs. With a R&D team searching the globe for the latest and greatest green innovations and technology Jeriko will fulfill its roll as a socially responsible company at the forefront of the Green Revolution." I like what Jeriko’s saying, but we can’t forget that acting locally, rather than globally, has its green benefits as well. Also, take a look at today’s press release. For every 10 houses sold, those 10 owners form a committee that votes to give a Jeriko House to a family in need somewhere in the U.S. I think Jeriko is taking an innovative perspective to all facets of the business and can’t wait to see the first home! Maybe I’ll just drive down and see it when they’re done.
It looks like LivingHomes is lighting up the blogosphere again with more news. I’ve talked about Living Homes here + here, and I really like the company, big-time. So there are a few tidbits of news that you may find interesting: (1) LivingHomes has committed to make all its homes LEED Silver, at a minimum, and will work with owners to pay for certification costs, and (2) LivingHomes has entered into a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) to take some proceeds from LivingHomes sales and put them into a fund for affordable green home communities. So we see LivingHomes expanding its target consumer base to allow for broader adoption due to possibly lower prefab costs–that said, these are green, architect-designed homes that command a price premium.
Interestingly, you’ll also find Ray Kappe’s second design (RK2) on the newly redesigned LivingHomes webpage. Pictured above, RK2 will be LEED Silver (Total Points = 50.5) and will have the following green benefits: yearly energy savings enough to power the home for 2 months; yearly water savings enough to fill 2 swimming pools; 80% of construction waste diverted from landfills; and 67% construction from recyclable materials. It will be about 2,215 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. RK2 looks to be the perfect fit for large lots with expansive views. It will include an interior garden as well.
[Run time = 2:21] If you’re a prefab enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of Hive Modular–they’re pushing the envelope on modern, highly-customized, affordable modular homes. I’ve included a short video with Paul Stankey talking about some of the benefits of modular building. Notice, prices are going to be variable due to extreme variations in land costs, but a Hive Modular will run about $100-200 per square foot, generally speaking. And while the company makes it’s homes energy-efficient and has less construction waste (than site built homes), their focus is on modern design. As the company’s relationships grow, they plan to incorporate more green amenities into their plans. Via Moco.
Prefab. Prefab. Prefab. If you’re interested in the green building movement, you probably get pumped up when the usual rhetoric–green benefits versus money savings versus factory-built convenience versus design premium versus modernize-the-building industry–kicks in. I do. Prefab, which includes the modular and the panelized varieties, is an interesting industry phenomenon. So, I wanted to share Amy Gunderson’s newest NY Times article, which I thought was very well-written and thoughtful. I will say, however, as a warning: this article walks on the edge of conflating prefabs with manufactured homes (actually, it pretty much puts them in the same boat and then parses them out by explaining the differences), but I think it’s handier to deal with prefabs and manufactured homes in separate discussions. For example:
In the article, it is explained that Adrienne Shishko + Joel Sklar retained the popular Resolution: 4 Architecture to put the 3,000 square foot home on their vacation property. Not a bad choice, I might add. The modules are built in a factory and the home arrives at the lot roughly 70% complete, you just need to put the parts together + do the finish out (electrical, plumbing, drywall, painting, appliance installation, etc.). The firm’s average building price comes out to $200-250 square foot, which is lower than a comparable, custom-built home, which averages $300-400 square foot. The home has the potential to get built faster, assuming the permitting goes smoothly, and it qualifies as a residence (unlike mobile homes). Plus, factory built homes incur less construction waste. One additional caveat, shipping modules is not cheap (@$8,000 per module, I’ve seen) + so there is that pollution premium to think about, but … this is an exciting industry for the future of building. Art by Nancy Doniger.
If you’ve ever been to a port terminal, you’ve seen the mass quantities of shipping containers used to transport goods all over the world. With the trade imbalance–US importing more than exporting, the containers that aren’t returned to their origin, waste away here in the US. But there are a few creative architects such as Adam Kalkin, Jennifer Siegal, and Peter DeMaria (his home pictured above and below), who are using these containers as the basic structure for custom built homes. The fact is, materials such as steel and wood cost big-time money and perpetually increase in price due to world demand; according to the video, Anna + Sven Pirkl are getting their 3,500 square foot home built at $125 square foot (a pittance for that area’s custom build price that ballparks at +$250 square foot).
The LA Times also wrote an article about what the family is going to do with the home (think: zip line + climbing wall).