New Kid on the Block
Simpatico relies on the use of some site-built components, unusual in the prefab game. In the Krubiner house, the walls in the garage and the living room are made from insulated concrete from Omni Block. Providing both aesthetic and practical benefits, block walls work well for exterior or interior walls that don’t require plumbing and heating. They’re also cost-effective, as they can be built on a slab, rather than a foundation, and don’t require exterior siding or interior drywall.
Raise the Roof
To incorporate what Swatt calls “a dimension of space you don’t often associate with modular construction,” Simpatico’s factory-built pieces come in two ceiling heights: nine or ten feet. Just above the ceiling, the customization continues—Simpatico modules can be designed to house green roofs, which boost insulation, absorb rainwater, and reduce runoff. In fact, the prototype makes use of all the rooftop spaces: Each one contains either a green roof, the 6.2-kilowatt solar-panel array, a roof deck, or terraces. “Every inch of the roof is doing double-duty,” Krubiner says.