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Net-zero Arc Prefab House

Prefab June 25, 2016

Net-zero Arc Prefab House

Prefab ouses that take imaginative approaches to design are irresistibly interesting! The amazingly roomy net-zero Arc House reveals how curves can create an illusionary feel – a small space seems much larger. Innovatively and creatively designed by a group effort involving Green Builder Media, Shelter Dynamics, Kitcheneering, and Align3D, this prefab house is a good blend of the frugality and minimalism of micro house living with revolutionary structure science.

This fabulous Arc House ranges from 400 to 500 square feet. It is a good size for starting families and is designed for those who consider the importance of flexibility and affordability. It abides by California’s factory prefabricated codes. This house has all the facilities of standard-sized homes. It’s self-contained and compact; the house incorporates some sustainable essentials into a single set.

This micro home is off-the-grid; it is a solar-powered abode with advanced protection and energy storage capacity. It has a great purposeful kitchen and a sleeping quarter with a walk-in closet. Thus, Arc Home features both function and aesthetics that home buyers are yearning for. Also its amazing shape is absolutely catchy and provides a spectacular artistic view.

The founder of Shelter Dynamics, Jim Gregory said that Arc House is a lovely house design which helped them in demonstrating proficient means to build homes that are sustainable and meets the standard of a regular home within an affordable budget. To see more of Shelter Dynamics’ work, find them in the Building Homes and Living directory.

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Inexpensive Concrete Modular Homes

Modular June 23, 2016

Indeed, whether prefab houses or traditional, home ownership provides a sense of freedom, privacy and sanctuary. The fulfillment of a place, that of having your own home, is invaluable. It is a place to nurture your children and a space to spend time doing the most personal and intimate things in life.

But in this generation — where high home quality is partnered with costly goods –taking on inexpensive concrete modular homes is a must so that average homeowners can purchase a home within their budget.

Here is an example of a couple who were able to build their low-cost concrete modular home. Tarek and Cynthia had a thought that their old house on Martha’s Vineyard had to be replaced completely. So they looked for a good architect who could work on a collaboration and one who lived on the island.

One day, a friend of Cynthia’s paid for a visit in Boston one weekend and they discussed home construction while they were looking at a certain house near the shoreline. While they were going around the house areas, they saw a box of tiles with architect Peter Rose’s name printed on it. So Tarek thought of contacting his office, and what a coincidence, Rose would be flying to Boston on the same day. Hence, they agreed to meet there and they disregarded the island-resident criterion that they listed before.

So their good connection began and since the 1980s, architect Rose has established a portfolio of work on Martha’s Vineyard that includes both contemporary and regional-style structures. Rose noted, “What is common among these buildings is a great deal of attention to the siting of them, especially in terms of topography.” He added, “Partway into the process, we became aware of the slow, steady erosion of the bluff.” Rose also said that the inclined lakefront spot is characterized by narrow degrees.

Rose and his group formed the house as a chain of 6 prefabricated structures joined by 2 criss-crossing hallways. Every box can be elevated by crane.

Considering the beautiful scenery all around the house, Rose designed the house with subtle, fuzzy borders between the exterior and interior. Rose remarked, “There are two sets of rules on the Vineyard: If you do a vernacular house, you can build higher; if you build a modern house, it has to be lower.” Hence, Rose and his group decided for the latter. They thought of constructing a one-storey structure with a chain of flat, planted roofs, capped with beautiful natural sea grasses.

Rose explained, “The use of concrete was like placing a boulder onto the site.” In spite of the useful strength of the building material, Cynthia was initially doubtful but her husband convinced her that concrete is fit with Vineyard setting—the seashore, the rocks, and the mist. Actually, the subtle tones and faintly coarse surfaces of the exterior boards, controlled by expanses of glass and Spanish cedar window casings, form a beautiful home for the couples.

Another feature of the house is its rainwater collection. There are also geothermal wells that provide shiny floor warming which is useful in reducing HVAC equipment cost.

Overall, this lovely inexpensive concrete modular home is practical for home owners to consider as it’s durable, beautiful and it’s within an average budget. To see more of Peter Rose + Partners’ work, find them in the Building Homes and Living directory.


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Interesting Prefab House Modules!

Prefab June 18, 2016

We’ve seen traditional-style prefab houses, and we’ve seen modern prefab home designs, but now we have another little category to look at: retro style. I don’t think I’ve seen a prefab like this one before, or prefabs built like this either. The style is a box, but rounded corners gives it that interesting look. Then for building style, they take a stack (like a deck of cards) of rounded square “ribs” and then just put framing between these ribs to form a tube. Interesting prefab idea all around.

This new type of prefab house was designed and built to address the problems of temporary housing, and it takes into consideration the landscape around while also being useful — if the prefab buyer wants — as a bar, small shop, guest house, or cabin rental.

The idea with the ribbing is that this prefab design is meant to be a module that can be “repeated,” ie extended almost indefinately. It is a concept the modular home designers refer to as “functional metamorphosis.” It’s meant further to be used in rural or urban situations, and merge well with other industrial and residential industries, such as sewerage, electricity, foundations, water, etc.

It also takes into account energy saving — it’s eco-friendly — and it does this through its materials, construction processes, and the use of photovoltaic panels — solar power.

As a structure, it can sit on areas not usually possible for traditional housing. It just sits on simple blocking and the house “tube” sits upon long “rails” atop the blocking.

Because the design is basically “squares,” this prefab modular house can be stacked, set in rows, or set on end with other prefab units.

As designed, the prefab comes with solar panels, lighting, utility outlets, phone, computer, and security systems.

It has a water supply for the kitchen and bathroom — a tank and pump located in the “technical area” below the prefab’s living space (see pictures). As pictured above, the unit is 27m2, and uses a 500 liter water tank (which is enough for three days).

This design is the work of architects Michele Cannata & Fátima Fernández. To see more of their work, find them in the Building Homes and Living directory.

Prefab House Modules

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Sunhouse Prefab Homes

Prefab June 14, 2016

I wanted to take a further look at this prefab house company we touched on last time — they’re called “Sunhouse” and they design prefab homes in a variety of sizes, and their main design point is that they want their prefabs to be “hidden” from outside (so you aren’t distracted by the house when you want to experience nature) but once inside the home, there are ample views of the nature around.

The prefab house designers offer sizes from around 26 meters square (floor space) for small one room with covered patio units to around 50 square meters floor space for the average-sized prefab, and up to around 180 for their larger units.

They also make a few two-story prefab modular homes as well, although they seem more focused on one-story plans.

What do you guys think of the dark — almost black — exterior of these prefabs? I’ve seen this around a bit, but I’m not sure what to make of it. I’ve never lived in a dark house like this. I guess as far as the company’s design philosophy of “hiding” their prefabs, or making them nearly invisible, the dark color helps, but I also know that a lot of people like to see a natural finish on their homes — either colorless stained wood or color-stained wood. They have at least one with a light maple-like finish, though, and I think I’ll share that one as well in the near future.

So how these guys work — and they’ve been building prefabs houses for a while, and have a lot under their belts — is they take a look at the land the prefab buyer wants to put something on, and they plan out the house in accordance with the customer’s wishes but also with their experience in what they’ve done for people already.

Prefab buyers have the option of buying a ready-made plan from the company’s catalog of prefab and modular house plans, they move on to working with an interior designer / decorator, but there’s also the option of building a prefab house that’s more unique if required.

This company is in Finland, although they do build prefabs for anywhere in the world. Anyway, id doesn’t matter much, because their designs and their idea of what a house can be from outside and inside are maybe worth thinking about when planning out any prefab plan.

Here’s a couple of their prefab designs that caught my eye (below and picture above). To see more of their work, find them in the Building Homes and Living directory.

prefab houses sunhouse (2)

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Barn Style Prefab House

Prefab June 8, 2016

Barn Style Prefab House

A barn-style prefab houses give you a simple, more sustainable and cost-efficient housing choices for you and your family. As such, it allows you to have a lower budget for the house construction, giving you more options you can add and include to your house.

A barn style prefab house is simple and traditional in aesthetic. This kind of style for houses is a great option for locations having highland landscape or for those areas that are hard to develop, particularly if you’re building a modular or prefab and just shipping it in to put on simple blocking. This design can also be placed in between existing buildings.

One of the great design concepts for a barn-house style that you can choose is R. House. The award-winning architects of Rural Design with James MacQueen Builders created this amazing barn style house. The R. House is made to provide an affordable and simple solution for new contemporary housing in Highlands and Islands of Scotland, but you can see how you could use their prefab ideas and barn layout in a house anywhere else as well.

R. House is a simple house that is created to meet the extreme weather conditions of Highland. This house has also the highest standards when it comes to energy efficiency. As such, this house will provide a high quality home for its owners for many years.

The R. House also offers different options for the heating system. The options for heating system of this house range from simple panel heaters up to highly efficient renewable technologies.

The construction of R. House will not give you any worries and headaches since the construction of this house is fast and efficient. This house has fixed prices.

The R. House is perfect for individuals and family who are looking for a simple yet durable, sustainable, and functional home. This house can be tailored to fit the needs and style of a family or individual who wants a simple yet stylish kind of home. To see more of R.House work, find them in the Building Homes and Living directory.

Barn style prefab house (2)

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Prefab House Idea

Prefab June 8, 2016

Prefab House Idea

One of the best options nowadays for homes is shipping container houses or prefab houses. This kind of houses provides a better way of living and a new way of maximizing one’s living space or the building site area. It is perfect for people who are looking for unique options for their home or for additional space in their backyard.

One of the best companies providing a great solution thru prefab shipping container houses is Honomobo. Honomobo is building prefab houses for individuals who are looking to have a new house set up in their backyard within 10 weeks.

The prefab houses by Honomobo are built at their factory — constructed offsite. As such, you don’t need to worry about the actual construction of your new home and a lot of associated issues, such as how building materials will all be transported to the site separately and how the waste will be managed — two benefits of prefab and modular houses.

These shipping container houses are environmental friendly. These houses are also energy efficient and can use solar power as the source of electricity.

Honomobo’s prefab houses range its size from 352 square feet to 640 square feet. Thus, these houses are perfect for individuals looking for smaller but still functional houses. These prefab houses are also designed and prebuilt to permit regulations for their area.

The prices of Honomobo’s houses range from $99,000 for a studio type, and around $147,000 for a two-bedroom unit. They’re based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Shipping container and other prefab / modular houses are easy to ship though — over land or by sea, so they can probably deliver wherever you are. Also, there are a lot of prefab house designers in every state and province now, so if you need to look more before deciding on a design, they might be just one of the builders you check out.

The Honomobo’s shipping container house is a great choice for a new home, especially if you are looking for a non-traditional home that exhibits a unique style and a great functionality. To see more of their work, find them in the Building Homes and Living directory.

prefab home idea (2)

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Comfortable Prefab Houses … and Provisional Structures

Prefab May 31, 2016

Everyone wants not just a space to live but a dwelling that makes one comfortable, and that’s why so many people are looking into inexpensive alternatives such as prefab and modular houses. Most personal things are carried out in a home but when unexpected occurrences happen like big earthquakes, displaced people need a temporary shelter to stay in.

Shigeru Ban Architects are behind Onagawa temporary container housings. The shipping containers were supported by a community hub and a studio within the vicinity of Onagawa town in Miyagi region of Japan. They provided prefab housing to solace many families during their moments of loss. At the outset, the firm installed 1,800 containers of their 2×2 meter disaster barrier structure within fifty evacuation accommodations. At that time, they experienced difficulties arranging provisional housing for evacuees since there were not enough flat lands to situate the prefab structures on.

Facing the difficulty of lacking flat lands, they thought of building a 3-level operational structure to stack 20-foot shipping containers in a checkerboard style. This structure is good for dwellers to have some spaces to breathe and move around in. It is also sufficient for en suite shelves and cabinets for storage, which is often a  feature lacking in transitory abodes provided by the government.

As several parts of the region have similar site features, these structures will be built in many catastrophe conditions and will be regarded as a long term solution in providing suitable dwellings. It is indeed an ideal housing resolution as Shigeru Ban Architects offers outstanding cataclysmic operations. There are 3 forms of the prefab modular units. For 1 to 2 individuals, there is a 19.8 square unit, for 3 to 4 dwellers, it’s 29.7 m2 and for a unit of more than 4 occupants, it is 39.6 square meters.

To accommodate some other basic needs of displaced families, a community center was created. The walls of the center are designed with white shipping containers and are coated with a plywood gable slate. The triangular clerestory windows illuminate its interior. There is also foodstuff market and it is created with a circle of containers and a ductile roof which serves as a good shield from unsteady weather conditions.

Indeed, these temporary shipping containers are comfortable lodging homes that are good for recovering families. It provides solace, relief and help for a nice living space, proper dining areas and a community center to connect to other community members. To see more of R.House work, find them in our Prefab and Modular Home Designers and Builders Directory (click here).

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Great Choice for Prefab Homes

Prefab May 27, 2016

Great Choice for Prefab Homes

If you are looking for affordability that suites your style and preferences, then you may consider a prefab house for the new lovely home you’re planning. You may want to look at shipping container houses for affordable and stylish homes.

MEKA is one of the best manufacturers of shipping container homes. We’ve featured several of their designs on this Building Homes and Living blog. The company was founded in 2009 by a group of architects who intended to create great spaces for homes and offices that could be shipped to customers globally.

All the units of MEKA have the same parameters with ISO shipping containers. As such, they can be transported and delivered to customers in almost all locations around the globe via ship, rail or truck.

Each building unit meets the required local building codes. As such, these can be installed permanently in your chosen site.

One of the best creations, in this writer’s opinion anyway, fro MEKA is one they call “Residential Vor 640.” This prefab house has one bedroom, having a surface of 60 m2. It has one bathroom with 16’ x 40’ footprint. This house is 1 story with the height 9’-6”.

The Vor 640 prefab house uses very high quality materials. Its exterior shiplap siding is made up of western red cedar. Its exterior siding is composed of corrugated galvalum.

As for the doors and window frames of Residential Vor 640, it is made up of double-glazed white vinyl with an option of dark brown vinyl. Its kitchen and bath tile is made up of dark grey porcelain. The kitchen bath and cabinets are made up of grey or white enamel finish.

If you have a specific preference, you may want to talk to one of your trusted manufacturer of prefab homes. Explain what you want and let them provide you suggestions based on what they can offer. To see more of MEKA’s work, find them in our directory of prefab and modular home builders and designers.

prefab home

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Prefab House in Cold Temperatures

Prefab May 27, 2016

We feature a lot of prefabs that cut electricity costs down (to zero even sometimes) on here, but what if you want to have your own house in a location that has cold temperatures? Are you wondering if it is possible to build your new home in a faster and more convenient way that will give you perfect comfort even in coldest regions? Are you wondering if it is even possible to build a new place in less than a month? If your answer to the questions aforementioned is yes, then it’s time to consider a prefab house for your new home.

From what I’ve seen of their structures, a company called LEAPfactory seems like it might provide you with the kind of prefab home that you always wanted for locations with cold temperatures. This company can provide you a custom-designed structure that is perfect for extreme weather conditions. Its walls will keep you and your loved ones warm since it is made of composite sandwich panels that make the interior of your home well insulated. While the exterior walls have a weather-proof skin of aluminum shingles.

One of the projects of LEAPfactory is its S3. S3 is a prefabricated building kit that is designed for severe climates. This model can be easily assembled at your chosen location in a week, giving you a shorter time to build your home.

S3 kit materials are high-performing and durable. The materials are also reversible, replaceable, and recyclable. As such, it will not give you a headache in terms of repair and maintenance because of the high quality materials.

In case you want to change your prefab home, you can have the system extended or modified depending on your need. This will make things easier for you to make renovations or changes in your house as needed.

If you want your house to be created in less than a month, then a prefab house is perfect for you. S3 model can be created in a week thus, giving you more time to spend inside your home rather watching the constructions goes on months.

Your home should be a place that that will make you feel safe and comfortable at all times. It should give you peace of mind, allowing you to do things you want to do.

To see more of LEAPfactory’s work, find them in our prefab home designers and builders directory (click here).

prefab interior

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5 Benefits of Building a Prefab Home

Prefab May 27, 2016

5 Benefits of Building a Prefab Home

Are you looking for options on how to build your very own house? Do you want something more efficient and fast in terms of building and construction? If your answer is “Yes”, then you may consider building a prefab home instead of the usual stick-built house.

A stick-built house is a house that is built in a traditional way wherein workers will construct your house for months, fitting the design with the plumbing electricity, while the prefab house comes with pre-built parts that you can choose from. A prefab home can be the best choice for you if you want to make decision fast and want your house to be built faster than the traditional ways. Some of the benefits for choosing a prefab home are discussed below.

1. Choices of design and prebuilt parts. Since prefab houses are built in factories, you just need to choose the existing designs and prebuilt parts available from the service provider. You don’t need to spend longer hours thinking what the design should be since options will be provided by the homebuilder company.

2. Fast construction. Since the parts of your home are prebuilt, this means that the construction of your house will be finished at a faster rate. This means that you can have your new home faster with lesser probability of encountering delays with the construction.

3. Cost efficient. Building a prefab home is considerably less expensive than building your home in the traditional way. One of the main reasons why it is less expensive is because of the lower labor costs since workers can finish your house in a shorter period of time. Also, the heating and cooling options designed in prefab homes are also more affordable compared to the stick-built homes.

4. Less waste. Building a new house or building can result to a lot of waste coming from the excess materials of the house or building. Since some parts of your home are prebuilt, this means that there will be lesser waste on the construction site of your house.

5. High quality. Prefab homes are considered high quality – safer and better compared to traditional way of construction. This is because each process in manufacturing of prefab homes is inspected to make sure that all the materials being used passed the code.

Overall, choosing prefab homes for constructing your new home is the best option if you are looking for fast and more cost-effective way in building your new home. You just have to know which manufacturer can give you the best quality of products and services for your new home.

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