The concept of using off-site fabricated modules for core elements of a home is not necessarily new. In fact, most recently Proto Homes introduced a hybrid-prefab system with the Proto Core, which is a chase for mechanical, plumbing, and electrical. It’s also being used in the form of “wet-cores” for The House of the Immediate Future with Habitat for Humanity (Seattle/South King County) at the Seattle Center.
Today my alma mater Southern Methodist University celebrates a new master’s degree program in sustainability and development. The degree covers sustainability-related topics from policy to design in both developed and developing worlds. SMU will kick off the endeavor mid-day Friday with London sustainability strategist Peter Bishop and the unveiling of a low-cost Pallet House prototype designed by I-Beam Design.
This is Brookwood Terrace, an affordable project by ROEM Corporation and Eden Housing, Inc. that recently opened in California. The $24.9 million multifamily building has 84 homes, units ranging in size from 636 to 1094 square feet, and amenities like a community room, fitness room, business center, and a laundry room. The place is also designed by KTGY Group, Inc. for LEED Gold certification and to exceed Title 24 by 17%.
California-based ZETA Communities recently announced a new project worth noting. It’s an affordable, net-zero energy community with 22 starter homes in Stockton, California called Tierra del Sol. ZETA says the homes are being built in Sacramento in an off-site fabrication process that results in higher quality, faster construction, lower first costs, and lower operating costs.
Several years ago, the City of Santa Monica bought Mountain View Mobile Home Park in order to preserve it for affordable housing. The city upgraded the infrastructure and recently sent out an RFP to replace 20 travel trailers and mobile homes with more energy-efficient, safe, contemporary, manufactured homes. Santa Monica eventually awarded the contract to Golden West Homes in partnership with Marmol Radziner Prefab.
Austin-based documentary filmmaker and instructional designer Jim Bruno was kind enough to tell me about his new short film entitled “Louis Burns & Austin Tiny House.” The subject is Louis Burns and his reflections building a tiny house. Burns built the minimalist, Spartan space in a plug-and-play style — all it needs is a heavy-duty extension cord and garden hose.