Speak to anyone involved in modern prefab, and one thing that will come up is that you have to work within the framework of existing laws, regulations and approvals. There are building codes, Underwriters Laboratory approvals, and local inspections that have to be dealt with at every stage. Thus when Preston of Jetson Green turned us on to a new modern prefab from New Orleans based Jeriko House, we were interested .
It starts off with a good story: "Soaring construction costs have not brought the home buyer increased efficiency – only increased environmental recklessness and decreased choices. Most modern houses sacrifice quality for speed and individuality for convenience. At Jeriko House, we are proud to stand up against this trend. We think differently. We want to fulfill the demand for thoughtful design in prefab housing. We believe there is a better way. A better way to build. A better way to live. For everyone."
Then they get into details.It has a "precision engineered modular interlocking system is the culmination of years of global research by some of the world’s finest architectural minds" made with "rugged aerospace grade aluminum frame. Precision engineering assures that every Jeriko House fulfills its promise both in terms of function and design. Parts fit together smoothly. Click-in fasteners are the order of the day with no call for nails or screws."
They call it "PreFab 2.0 Construction." Besides being extraordinarily structurally sound and easy to assemble, the cutting-edge process manufactures each section with the electrical and plumbing infrastructures already incorporated. So, when the homes are being constructed on site - whether on a mountaintop or a riverside ravine - the mechanical systems are already in place. (with the small caveat that the website says "owner is responsible for the following: Permits, Site Work, Foundation, Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC rough in, and Landscaping")
It goes on from there into the stratosphere.
"We feel it is our duty at Jeriko House to take a leading role in the efforts to save our planet. Sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness are at the core of our beliefs. With a R&D; team searching the globe for the latest and greatest green innovations and technology" even though their press release touts unsustainable "exotic Asian teak wood finishes, coconut skin walls, Indian rosewood door handles and stone, marble and ceramics from around the globe."
and lets not forget climate-specific design:
" Perhaps the most appealing quality of Jeriko House is its stunning versatility. Jeriko Houses adapt to any environment, from urban to rural; they suit any climate: from temperate to tropical, from alpine to desert." and "our homes can be placed on any terrain including water, mountain sides, uneven surfaces, remote areas."
The company hopes to have 100 orders by the end of the year (tough at $300 a foot not including foundations, mechanicals, electricals, HVAC or installation, although the press release is having a sale at $ 175) [UPDATE: this morning when I wrote the post, the FAQ listed the price per square foot at $ 300. It has been changed and now agrees with the press release at $ 175. ]and will donate "a portion of Jeriko's first $7 million in profits to help build a Community Outreach Center on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. And for every 10th Jeriko House sold, those ten homeowners will form a committee that votes to give a Jeriko House to a family in need somewhere in the U.S."
UPDATE: We have been informed by TOMAHOUSE, an established high-end aluminum prefab system, that they are the supplier for Jeriko. They have offices in Bali and Spain, and manufacture in Germany. It is a lovely system that has not previously been sold in North America. It has been covered in Treehugger before here. Had Jeriko House described itself as a North American importer of Tomahouse technology in its website or press release and stated that the offices and employees belonged to TOMAHOUSE and not to Jeriko we would have written a very different post. In the light of this information I have modifed the content of the post.