The April 2009 issue of Builder magazine featured our sustainable modular homes, developed in partnership with LivingHomes, which are fabricated off site and can be assembled on site in just four days.
Survival of the Fittest
Small, green, and factory-built, Builder's 2009 show home anticipates housing's future.
By: Jenny Sullivan, Nigel F. Maynard
When Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution, he wasn't thinking about housing, of course. But in this, the year of his 200th birthday, you can't help but imagine that the forces of natural selection are taking their toll on home building.
Few would argue that the industry has reached a point of reckoning. With credit in a virtual lockdown and fossil fuel reserves edging closer to extinction, home builders are adapting to new realities. The pressure is on to provide comfort and luxury in a smaller envelope, to engineer integrated, multifunctional plans and systems, and to build faster, smarter, and more economically. For many, this means rethinking how they've always done things.
Far be it from BUILDER to preach and not practice, so we upended some of our own timeworn habits in preparation for this year's International Builders' Show. Rather than doing stick-built showcase homes on conventional lots—as has been our tradition for nearly a decade—we partnered with modular builder and developer LivingHomes, the groundbreaking architects at KieranTimberlake Associates, and the eco-minded designers at Color Design Art to create an entirely different animal.
The 2,160-square-foot concept house that made its debut on the trade show floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center in January was factory-built to LEED specifications over the course of roughly three months. Shipped as a suite of modules and panels, it arrived on site nearly 95 percent complete and was stitched together in just four days. Simple, flexible, and sustainable, it is a study in how housing may very well evolve in the not so distant future.