The green modern prefab industry will never be able to deliver a product as cheaply as the conventional stick builders in the 'burbs, but Living Homes is certainly getting competitive with the custom builders at $145 per square foot. Given that their new CK house are going for LEED platinum, that's actually amazing. Steve Glenn says in a press release:
The CKs are a breakthrough product line for LivingHomes. For the first time, homeowners are able to get a two story home that offers great, modern design and an extremely comprehensive environmental program at a price that is less than the cost to build a traditional home on site in large cities.
Images are of the CK4, a two-storey urban design. The units are built by Cavco, a big western modular and mobile home manufacturer. To build LEED platinum, they have to lose the vinyl and seriously upgrade to cork floors and natural wood millwork and siding.
Living Homes promises a lot of nothing:
- Zero Energy: Energy efficient lighting and appliances, smart heating/AC control system to reduce power usage.
- Zero Carbon/Waste: Recycled materials & Cradle to Cradle inspired materials. Carbon off-set included in purchase price to counter energy used to create the home.
- Zero Water: Low flow water fixtures. Grey water ready system.
- Zero Emissions: No VOC paint. Formaldehyde-free millwork.
- Zero Ignorance: Real time feedback on energy usage .
Mashing together Living Homes designs and specs with a big manufacturer like Cavco isn't an easy thing to do; these are volume businesses that build really quickly and are not used to the kinds of materials and detailing that you get in a Living Homes type of design. A decade ago, they would just laugh at you if you showed up with a green modern design.
But times have clearly changed; if the Cavco type manufacturers are willing to work with the Steve Glenn type visionaries, then we are going to see some great things in green modern prefab.
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