Amazon Joins Forces With Plant Prefab, a Smart Housing Startup

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Amazon's Alexa Fund invests in Plant Prefab, a start-up specializing in the sustainable construction of prefab homes.

It's no secret that Amazon has been moving into the smart home sector—in fact, just this month they launched over a dozen Alexa-powered smart home devices. So it really isn't much of a surprise that this week, Amazon's Alexa Fund—which has backed start-ups focused on voice technology—has announced its investment in Plant Prefab, a Southern Californian start-up specializing in building prefab homes using sustainable construction processes and materials. It's a new direction for the online retailer, and Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund, expressed his excitement in a statement: "We're thrilled to support [Plant Prefab] as they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers."  

Plant Prefab constructs the modules that become their prefab homes at their 62,000-square-foot facility in Rialto, California, before shipping the parts to the build site. Site work is performed while the home undergoes construction, saving substantial build time and minimizing neighborhood disruptions. The company also teams up with select design partners to create high-quality, custom projects. Scroll ahead to take a look at some of the homes the SoCal prefab builder is currently making. 

A Modern Barnhouse in Oakland 

In less than a full day of work, Plant Prefab put together this home in Oakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood. The two-story prefab was designed as a modern barnhouse by Lance Lowrey of GAEA Architecture Design and features three-bedrooms, two-baths and 1,740 square feet of living space.

In less than a full day of work, Plant Prefab put together this home in Oakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood. The two-story prefab was designed as a modern barnhouse by Lance Lowrey of GAEA Architecture Design and features three-bedrooms, two-baths and 1,740 square feet of living space.

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AD1: The Versatile Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Here, Plant Prefab partnered with LivingHomes, one of the top sustainable home design firms in the nation, on the LivingHome AD1, a versatile Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) designed to fit either in backyards, or as a main structure on an empty lot. The LivingHome AD1 was designed to be flexible and comes in various finish options. 

Here, Plant Prefab partnered with LivingHomes, one of the top sustainable home design firms in the nation, on the LivingHome AD1, a versatile Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) designed to fit either in backyards, or as a main structure on an empty lot. The LivingHome AD1 was designed to be flexible and comes in various finish options. 

LivingHomes, C6-Van Nuys

This compact unit is another collaboration between Plant Prefab and LivingHomes. The pieced-together prefab is compact, making it perfect for a tight lot, yet it still offers plenty of indoor/ outdoor living.  

This compact unit is another collaboration between Plant Prefab and LivingHomes. The pieced-together prefab is compact, making it perfect for a tight lot, yet it still offers plenty of indoor/ outdoor living.  

Plant Prefab Napa Home

Installed in only four hours, the Plant Prefab Napa Home, a LivingHome  style C6P, was designed to LEED Platinum standards and includes 1,300 square feet, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms.

Installed in only four hours, the Plant Prefab Napa Home, a LivingHome  style C6P, was designed to LEED Platinum standards and includes 1,300 square feet, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms.

Palo Alto Prefab

With the median home prices in Palo Alto at a high of $2.7 million—the idea of a prefab makes even more sense. This 2,371-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath prefab was a collaboration between tobylongdesign and Plant Prefab. The compact design maintains a sense of openness on the first floor, with large windows and sliding glass walls to maximize natural light and access to outdoor living areas. 

With the median home prices in Palo Alto at a high of $2.7 million—the idea of a prefab makes even more sense. This 2,371-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath prefab was a collaboration between tobylongdesign and Plant Prefab. The compact design maintains a sense of openness on the first floor, with large windows and sliding glass walls to maximize natural light and access to outdoor living areas. 

Multi-Family Residence in Berkeley

In just two days, Plant Prefab installed a custom, 16-unit dormitory for educational farm and community center Urban Adamah, which marks one of the first prefabricated, multi-family residences in Berkeley, California.

In just two days, Plant Prefab installed a custom, 16-unit dormitory for educational farm and community center Urban Adamah, which marks one of the first prefabricated, multi-family residences in Berkeley, California.

For more information, check out the Plant Prefab website.