10 Prefabricated Homes That Will Catch Your Eye

10 Prefabricated Homes That Will Catch Your Eye

By Sarah Lance
Prefabricated homes continue to steal the spotlight with their affordability, energy efficiency, and swift construction. When done correctly, fully customizable living spaces can be more affordable and manageable than what you face when building a new home. Each boasting their own special character, prefabricated homes are here to stay.

Need an affordable, energy-efficient home in a hurry? Find the inspiration you need from these 10 modern prefabricated homes.

A Dose of Universal Design in Sonoma

Architect: Connect:Homes,  Location: Sonoma, California 

A 1,600-square-foot in-law unit in Sonoma, California, has two bedrooms and two baths for its 87-year-old resident, whose daughter lives nearby. "The layout is well-suited for older clients," says Jared Levy of Connect:Homes. "It feels generous and open."

Unconventional Prefab on Fishers Island

Architect: Resolution: 4 Architecture,  Location: Fishers Island, New York 

The eight modules were delivered to the island over the course of two days in mid-May 2011. It took another two days to set them in place with a crane. Eleven months later—after the bamboo floors were installed, the exterior clad with cedar siding, the roof deck completed, and the furniture installed—the family spent their first night in their new house

Six Concrete Boxes in Martha's Vineyard 

Architect: Peter Rose + Partners,  Location: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts 

Rose and his team decided to compose the house as a series of six modular structures connected by two intersecting corridors. Each of the six boxes can be lifted by crane; if the site becomes compromised, all that needs to be rebuilt is the foundation and the spaces between the modular units.

Cliffside Prefab in Australia

Architect: ArchiBlox,  Location: Sydney, Australia 

The dwelling is outfitted with a number of green features, including a living roof that minimizes rainwater runoff and an east-west orientation that allows cross-ventilation. By fabricating off-site, ArchiBlox also had careful control over material usage. 'We have much better resources to pick out building supplies for our design,' McCorkell says. 'From the start, we designed this particular structure to maximize materials and minimize waste.'

Hybrid Prefab in the Desert

 Architect: o2 Architecture,  Location: Palm Springs, California 

The Blue Sky prototype home tiptoes gracefully across the desert landscape just north of Joshua Tree National Park. Nestled amid piñon and juniper trees and outcroppings of boulders, the house’s six steel columns permit a seasonal stream to run underneath it. The clever steel frame allows the house to float above the wilderness—a concession to the lightness on the land that its owner, architects, and engineers so clearly wanted.

Chihuahuan Desert Home 

Architect: Ma Modular, Location: Marfa, Texas 

Organized around a central courtyard, the home’s three modules are oriented to maximize views of downtown Marfa; 20-foot-deep piers drilled below each concrete footing root the structure to the site and help stabilize it against West Texas winds, which can reach 120 miles per hour.

Net-Zero Prefab in L.A. 

Architect: Minarc, Location: Los Angeles, California 

Thanks to a streamlined, waste-free construction method and affordable materials, like unembellished cement board cladding and Minarc’s signature Cradle to Cradle–certified mnmMOD panels, the firm’s three 1,200-square-foot homes came in at the requisite $150 per square foot—including foundation, transportation of the modular components, and rooftop solar panels, from Grid Alternatives, that offset 95 percent of the structures’ energy demands.

Desert Canopy House 

Architect: Sander Architects,  Location: Palm Springs, California 

Just as cacti utilize layers to protect their precious cores, so too does this house: For the solid exterior walls, Sander devised a 'sandwich' of eight-inch-thick expanded polystyrene ('what coffee cups are made of,' he says) and high-tech reflective foil-and-foam wrap (he calls this the 'space blanket'). This is topped by eight more inches of structural insulated panels, or SIPs—making the house, with its 17-inch-thick walls, hyper-insulated against the heat.

Southern California Family Prefab

Architect: Minarc, Location: Culver City, California 

We are big on no waste. And when we say ‘no waste,’ we mean in every sense of the word. It’s very wasteful building over the whole lot, for example, because then you never enjoy all of it," says designer Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir.

A Simple Plan in Northern California

Architect: Marmol Radziner,  Location: Solana Beach, California

The Burton Residence is comprised of 10 recycled steel frame modules that range in size. The modules were trucked to the site with all walls, appliances, fixtures, and cabinets already installed, then craned into place to form an L arrangement; bolted together; and finally welded to steel plates on the concrete block foundation.


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