Plan of Steel

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March 7, 2010
Originally published in Prefab Today
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  Nighttime hikes often end at the the “cowboy” hot tub where Smith soaks his feet: two nested Hastings galvanized livestock feeders. The tub is surrounded by a Veranda faux-wood deck and fed with hot water from the house’s solar hot-water system.
    Nighttime hikes often end at the the “cowboy” hot tub where Smith soaks his feet: two nested Hastings galvanized livestock feeders. The tub is surrounded by a Veranda faux-wood deck and fed with hot water from the house’s solar hot-water system.
  • 
  The Blue Sky prototype house leads a second life as desert getaway for David McAdam and his partner Scott Smith.
    The Blue Sky prototype house leads a second life as desert getaway for David McAdam and his partner Scott Smith.
  • 
  One large room houses the kitchen, dining, and living area; the backsplash and countertops are made by Vetrazzo.
    One large room houses the kitchen, dining, and living area; the backsplash and countertops are made by Vetrazzo.
  • 
  A Plyboo wall divides the interior of the house.
    A Plyboo wall divides the interior of the house.
  • 
  The main living area extends to the deck through sliding glass doors. The orange David Chair and ottoman were designed by Palm Springs-based interior designer Christopher Kennedy and are from his eponymous line of furniture. Kennedy did the interior design for the whole house, playing a large role in choosing the decor and eco-friendly surfaces.
    The main living area extends to the deck through sliding glass doors. The orange David Chair and ottoman were designed by Palm Springs-based interior designer Christopher Kennedy and are from his eponymous line of furniture. Kennedy did the interior design for the whole house, playing a large role in choosing the decor and eco-friendly surfaces.
  • 
  The secret sauce for the Blue Sky Home is its framing system, which resists twisting and bending and won’t rust.
    The secret sauce for the Blue Sky Home is its framing system, which resists twisting and bending and won’t rust.
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  Eight carefully placed bolts in the joints in the steel frame absorb any movement, allowing the home to rest on small footings and meet California’s strict seismic standards.
    Eight carefully placed bolts in the joints in the steel frame absorb any movement, allowing the home to rest on small footings and meet California’s strict seismic standards.
  • 
  The carport stands apart from the home and is topped with Solar World’s Sun Module photovoltaic panels. McAdam and Smith have grown quite used to their small electric bills.
    The carport stands apart from the home and is topped with Solar World’s Sun Module photovoltaic panels. McAdam and Smith have grown quite used to their small electric bills.
  • 
  As a paean to the old steel-mining shacks that inspired the home, McAdam sprayed the the corrugated-steel exterior with apple cider vinegar to create a warm rust effect.
    As a paean to the old steel-mining shacks that inspired the home, McAdam sprayed the the corrugated-steel exterior with apple cider vinegar to create a warm rust effect.
  • 
  For all its hard environmental work, one of the most immediate of the Blue Sky Home’s pleasures is how it sits so snugly in its desert surroundings.
    For all its hard environmental work, one of the most immediate of the Blue Sky Home’s pleasures is how it sits so snugly in its desert surroundings.
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