April 11, 2008

Buildings- Glidehouse, Prefab Housing

Michelle Kaufmann's Glidehouse factory built housing

- Eleonore de Lusignan

Designed for clean, simple living. The Glidehouse is built in a factory, using the most modern and environmentally friendly building methods and materials. It can be built in as little as 10 to 14 months at a cost comparable to or below traditional site-built homes.“Michelle Kaufmann Designs Glidehouse™ is nationally recognized as a contemporary, sustainable residence, setting the standard for pre-fabricated architecture. From design to construction, this home has been designed to harmonize with nature for clean, green, healthy living and to stand the test of time. The Glidehouse home proves that a low maintenance, sustainable residence can be high-quality, well designed, and cost effective. The Glidehouse meets the Energy Star® program standards for energy efficient homes and meets the performance standards of the American Lung Association Health House program.”

Publisized in the series "Big Ideas for a Small Planet" by the Sundance Channel, Michelle Kaufmann Designs, are acclaimed for their holistic approach to architecture design. The average home size in the USA has increased from 980 to 2350 sq. ft. in 50 years. The energy costs and carbon emissions emitted by the construction housing are significant. When constructing a home one should consider the cost no just on day one but for the next five years. Once MK designs saw the great benefits in prefab housing, they decided to do a case study and compared the construction of two houses with the exact same architecture: one site-built the other factory built. The results were impressive; the site-built home took 14 months to construct and cost 20 % more then the factory built home which was built in 4 months.

There are several was of putting modular housing together. Michelle Kaufmann explains their processes begins in the factory, by creating the frame horizontally. Then an overhead grid system assembles the frame in two to three days. Once it is set into place the interior dry wall and insulation is fixed. By progressing from the inside - out, the workers can do the interior finishing during the exterior construction. In addition to this form of construction, MK designs addresses smart design, eco materials, energy efficiency, water conservation and a healthy environment.

Who: Developers Susan Powers and Chuck Perry
What: Two-story, factory-built, energy-efficient, modular town-homes ranging from 1,100 to 1,500 square feet. They will be built in an All American Homes factory in Milliken and put together on the site to reduce construction cost and time.
Where: 21 acres near Regis University, West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard
Architect: Michelle Kaufmann”

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