Small, Green, and Mighty: Hurricane-Proof Prefab
When it comes to building sustainably, it requires more than slapping a solar array on a house. Cubicco—a Dutch prefab company that opened an office and a manufacturing facility in Miami, Florida, in August 2013—takes a holistic approach to responsible residential architecture. "We ought to construct homes that are built around social and environmental needs with a design that’s beautiful, functional, and within reach," Randy Riteco, Cubicco’s founder, says.
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Structural resiliency and longevity were of paramount importance to Riteco. To that end, Cubicco’s prefabs can withstand Category 5 hurricanes, extreme heat and cold, ten-foot snow loads, and earthquakes (when paired with a strong foundation). "Living and working in the Caribbean, I have been through the worst situations Mother Nature can bestow upon us—I’ve seen houses lost in minutes," says Owen Healy, a partner at Cubicco. "That inspired me to engineer a home that resists catastrophes and saves resources through rainwater harvesting and solar technology."
The starting price for a fully built 685-square-foot, two-bedroom Cubicco model in the Miami area is just over $115,000. "Hurricane-approved, sustainable, and contemporary design usually comes with a luxury price tag," says Mario Espiñeira Jr., another partner in the company. "Cubicco has changed that."