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Seattle Gets 2 New Ultra Modern Prefabs

January 1, 2011

December was a great month for prefab construction in Seattle. Two new prefab installations in the central district highlighted design, affordability, and adaptability.

On December 13, local prefab builder Method Homes installed an ultra modern custom home designed by PB Elemental. Designed with a small footprint in mind to take advantage of a narrow lot, this home is 10ft in width, and in length, two stacked modules enjoy a full southern face overlooking Judkins park. The home is approximately 1,130 square feet with 1 bed, 1 bonus room, and 2 baths. It will be coming to the market in late January in the $300,000 range.

Designed by PB Elemental, built by Method Homes

On December 7, Greenfab installed one of the first LEED Platinum targeted prefabs designed by Hybrid Architects. Part of Greenfab’s vision is to provide the highest green standards at the lowest possible cost. It estimates that the total development and site costs ran $173-$189 a square foot for the 1,790sf, 3 bed 2.75 bath home. Of that only $12-$18 was spent on green features for approximately $30,000 invested in green upgrades.

Designed by Hybrid Architects, Developed by Greenfab

In addition to 50% energy savings and a solar array that provides 23% of the homes annual electricity, other green features in Greenfab’s prefab include a 1,400 gallon rainwater tank that provides water to the house, and a 300 gallon greywater system that helps recycle waste water for landscaping. The developer also set up garden boxes and an urban chicken coop for sustainable residential living.

Hybrid Architects was able to achieve a high LEED standard for energy efficiency by custom designing the energy and lighting output. They combined a GE Hybrid heat pump water heater, a Fujitsu mini-split heat pump mechanical system, R-26 insulated exterior walls, an energy recovery ventilator, programmable thermostats, and a convectair backup electric heat system. This home is also Energy-Star verified and 5-star Built-Green.

200sf rooftop deck, designed by PB Elemental, built by Method Homes

Method Homes is also building green prefabs at their factory in Mt Vernon, WA. They source local sustainable products and use local labor rather than machines, resulting in reductions of waste to less than 10% of the construction materials. Method uses FSC lumber practices on their interiors including custom FSC cabinets and woven strand bamboo flooring. The energy and water systems are highly efficient with radiant on-demand heat and water, in addition to Energy-Star certified windows, lights, and appliances. A ductless mini split mechanical system and low-voc paints and finishes are a baseline for improved indoor air quality in all Method prefabs.

Compared to typical site construction, both the impact to the site and the potential neighborhood disturbance from construction were greatly decreased through the prefab installation process. Installing both modular units took less than one day. Click here to watch the video.

This prefab design helps with urban infill because it takes advatage of a narrow in-city lot

This home has an extensive rainwater catchment design to feed built-in planters for growing veggies

The newly installed Method home will take another month to complete the interior finishes, and will be available for an open house to the public in late January when it goes up for sale on the market. Stay tuned for the date coming soon!

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