If you didn’t already know, or couldn’t already tell, we’re seriously interested in the prefab world. Showing off new companies and innovative homes is what we do, so it’s our pleasure to talk about a relatively new company on the scene: Stillwater Dwellings. The Seattle-based company was founded by two architects and one builder/developer about eight months ago, and they’re going to break ground on the first home in Bend, Oregon this month. Stillwater put a lot of work into elucidating the “all-in” construction costs of a home, and they’re targeting prices in the range of $130 – 195 psf — quite competitive really for the prefab market. They also have a refreshing philosophy about how to do things; these are their fundamental beliefs:
The Shelton Group just published results of a January 2009 telephone survey of 500 people, and the basic idea is this: Consumers are more interested in saving money than they are in saving the planet. When asked why they would consider buying energy-efficient products, 71% said they would do it to save money, 55% to save the environment, and 49% to protect the quality of life for future generations. With the economy as it is, the results aren't surprising, but in prior years, consumers actually said they were primarily interested in saving the environment.
This is the Wedge House or Metheny Residence, which was designed by Studio B and built by BuildSense. You wouldn't know it just by looking, but the home gets its prominent wedge roof by resting on top of three, factory-built modules — naturally, one module on one side and two on the other. The 1,829 square foot house was designed with an efficient envelope using 2×6 wall framing and high performance doors and windows. But before even getting to that, the architect made sure to properly orient the place and provide shade with friendly overhangs.
This is the first citizenM hotel near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Designed by Dutch design firm Concrete Architectural Associates, the hotel is made with prefabricated pods (or rooms) built in citizenM's own production facility. The rooms have been prefabricated not only to reduce construction waste and save time, but they're also built this way to provide a consistent room experience to guests. So when guests walk into a room, not only do they get a tightly designed and constructed space, but they get one that's full of geeky tech.
Just last week, DesignBoom brought us news of this cactus-inspired design for the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture building in Doha, Qatar. It's a fascinating example of biomimicry — the skin of one of the hardiest plants of the desert is applied to the design of the facade of a desert building — with hundreds of smart shades that open and close depending on the strength of the sun.