By Sun Kim
Posting in Architecture
Designed by San Antonio based Lake|Flato, the Porch House is a new hybrid of prefabricated, modular, and custom.
The firm's Porch House concept combines factory-built room modules with custom, site-built outdoor elements (porches, breezeways, carports, and terraces), all called porches. Integrating LEED certification elements (e.g. high efficiency mechanical systems, water saving features, natural ventilation, low embodied energy materials, daylighting, energy efficient lighting) into the prefabricated modular pieces ensures that each Porch House will be LEED certified. The homes can also achieve net zero energy consumption with the addition of optional photovoltaic panels.
Prefabricated, modular systems also encourage energy efficiency in the building process. Installing finishes and mechanical systems in a controlled environment allows for consistency, quality control, reduced material waste, and limited labor and transportation during construction.
The Porch House components include nine individual living or sleeping module types. All modules are a standard width of 17 feet and standard height of 10 feet. The lengths vary according to the room types. Since the widths are standardized, the modules can be easily aligned or stacked for various configurations. The custom porch spaces provide shade, cross ventilation, and connections with the outdoors; all critical factors to the design's sustainable strategy.
Delivered in about six to nine months after design approval, the modular rooms leave the factory 80 to 90 percent complete. Once on site the structures are ready for roofs and utilities and any exterior spaces to be installed. Construction costs range from $150 to $225 per square foot.
According to Lake|Flato, the mixture of custom and prefabricated pieces creates site specific homes that provide 'unique solutions with a predictable outcome' and fulfill the firm's ultimate goals of simplicity, beauty, and sustainability.
Oct 30, 2011
I agree with Lucky about National Standardization, but our 1650 sq.ft 3bdrm 2 ba home w/ 2 car attchd. enclosed garage and a 10x20 cvred patio cost less than 150,000 including 60x110 lot and we're in CA. ps; Our Daughters Mobile Home has more curb appeal than these do!
The standardized approach to building needs to be instituted across the country to streamline the local requirements processes. Companies like this, who are putting themselves out front and taking risks with their own money, are clearly paving the way for better built, (and, yes) more affordable, and more personalized home environments. To characterize this as a shed is simply uninformed. You can build a fully-functioning, advanced, comfortable home in a used $2000 container and it can *still* cost you $200 per foot. If you want to spend $35 per foot, build your own shack. The purposes of all of this - and you can bet this took a lot of freakin effort - is to 1) demonstrate it can be done right, 2) show potential customers who are willing to take these leaps at the beginning what is possible, and 3) to help establish a logical, repeatable approach that everyone can benefit from in the future. There are many companies out there who have the potential to do this, but don't have the resolve to make a difference. Get off your butts and work this out. It's time for a housing revolution, and we already have everything we need. Push national home-building standards across this country and let's get this train moving! Kudos to Lake|Flato for their efforts.