We're giving away a copy of this book to one commenter below, so make sure to comment with a valid email before midnight on Friday, May 15, 2009.*
Prefab Green by Michelle Kaufmann is one-hundred and seventy-six pages of mixed images and information certain to please anyone interested in this burgeoning industry. Gibbs Smith, the architectural publishing powerhouse, released the book in January of this year, and if you're looking for insider expertise on prefab construction, I suggesting picking up a copy.
To be clear, Prefab Green is not just a brochure of Michelle Kaufman Designs' prefab offerings. The book includes separate chapters on the mkSolaire, mkLotus, Sunset Breezehouse, Glidehouse, and the company's custom homes, but Michelle also takes time to tell us how she got where she is and where she plans to go in the future. The story is worth reading.
There's an interesting preface by Dan Gregory, Editor-in-Chief of Houseplans, who explains his first encounter with Michelle Kaufmann in 2003. Gregory, at the time Home Editor of Sunset, explains how the Glidehouse was received by throngs of people at Sunset's spring lifestyle festival called Celebration Weekend. Roughly 25,000 people toured the Glidehouse, and prefab just exploded.
As a future first-time home buyer myself, I really connected with Michelle's story of looking for her first home. She explains how frustrating the home purchase process was and how she couldn't find anything that worked. Michelle and husband Kevin wanted something well-designed, uncluttered, energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and within their budget. But after six months of open houses and searching, they both realized this home did not exist. I'm sure many of you can relate.
Soon thereafter, Michelle and Kevin decided to build their own home and purchased a lot in Marin County, California. Their first home was built with SIPs, which is something this site has mentioned on multiple occasions. You may be interested in this discussion, because Michelle explains why she thinks modular construction is better (and greener).
I don't want to give the whole story away, but Prefab Green is chock full of expertise discussing the various methods of prefab construction (kit, modular, panelized, etc.) and strategies for building a green home. It's well worth reading, and when you're done, Prefab Green should double as a reference manual and coffee table eye candy.
*If you're interested in the book, drop a comment by midnight MST on Friday, May 15, 2009. Say where you're from if you don't know what to say. By leaving a comment, you agree to the terms and conditions relating to book giveaways on Jetson Green. Shipping only within U.S.