What is Habode? It can be a vacation home. It can be a cluster of homes in a retirement community. It can be office space. It can be a three-bedroom family house.
A better question is, What do you want it to be?
Habode homes are environmentally responsible pre-fab buildings that are tailored to your specifications. All of the houses are the same size (80 square meters), but the floor plan, window placement and doors are all up to you. Rod Gibson, the creator, based Habode on happy childhood memories of clear waters and green grass. He wanted to create re-locatable, recreational homes that can be placed in areas where building by conventional methods is difficult.
Rantilla Residence by Michael Rantilla The design concept of this private home literally springs upward from the pristine wooded site. Unbuildable as a spec home property, the unique form of the building is a literal response to the significant site challenges. Wedged between zoning setbacks, a stream buffer and a steep slope, the program massing was squeezed vertically into a three story scheme elevated above the uninterrupted ground plane flowing beneath. Each floor level is expressed as a discrete rectangular volume clad in a different material and spun radially from a 40 foot tall, 18 inch thick solid concrete shear wall. This articulation of the volumes creates a wide variety of habitable outdoor spaces. The lowest level ultimately spills onto a large teak deck beneath the house, which then engages the forest via a stepped concrete pyramid. Fully cantilevered stair treads project from the concrete shear wall and shift from aluminum to maple to ipe, constantly varying the sound and feel of each staircase while allowing light and views to pass through. Vertical circulation always maintains a close connection to the diagrammatic and structural centroid of the building.
This fabulous pre-fab comes from the Salzburg based company, Espace Mobile. Their sleek home is made from spruce wood and aluminum metal sheeting for optimal energy conservation. Factory made and set up for you by crane, this home comes with a three-year warranty. Kind of like a car, but without the wheels.
However, unlike a car, it’s comfortable to live and work in. The interior and exterior are fully customizable, and the only things not included in the price are the piece of land you’re putting it on, the foundation, the connection costs, the transport and the set up.
Residence for a Briard came out of conversations with the owners who found an old bungalow in Culver City and initially considered a renovation. After discussions with architect Whitney Sander they realized that they could take advantage of his Hybrid House to build a ground-up duplex for only slightly more than the proposed reno budget.
The gauntlet they threw down: to build the greenest house that had ever come out of the Sander practice.
The third issue was Hobbes, the Briard for whom the home is named: not only a huge dog but a huge factor that influenced everything from stair design to finishing materials. This is an instance when it was important that a design “go to the dogs.” Hybrid House was one of the things that attracted the clients to the Sander. The firm’s strong design reputation was important too as the client is one of the founders of the Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles. The short list: very modern, very green, very dog friendly. Residence for a Briard is the greenest Hybrid House ever built. Strategies and materials include: greywater systems, passive heating and cooling strategies, cistern to capture rainwater for watering landscaping, recycled blue jean insulation, sunflower seed wall board, bamboo flooring, marmoleum, structural steel frames from recycled steel, and more.
Case Study House for the 21st Century? Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
We stumbled across a very cool green pre-fab building project in development in Italy, which shocking enough will only cost a little over $100k U.S.
Details from MC A
This research project explores the design of a 100m2 home that is low cost, high quality with zero CO2 emissions and a low environmental impact. A building that brings back the pleasure of living and repays the investment cost with the energy produced. The architectural design integrates photovoltaic panels, solar capture during the winter months, circulation of air in the summer months and other passive environmental strategies that render the residence a bioclimatic machine.
The building cost is kept to a minimum by using light and flexible pre-fabricated building systems: structural elements, integrated services, and mobile elements such as sliding-removable-supple wall panels for internal divisions in the apartments. External walls are made from modular panels. The material changes – glazed or opaque- creating an elevation that is dynamic materially and spatially integrating balconies, terraces and loggias. The structural framework allows a variety of apartment sizes adapting to the different spatial needs of the occupants.
A look back at Architects Whitney Sanders Briard House
Now that the rain is gone (for awhile, anyway) we are back on track. The prefabricated shell was completed six weeks ago, and the erection of Green Sandwich Technology panels, and rough framing inside, has filled up the time since.
These images show the green sandwich being installed. It’s an amaziung material: able to create tall buildings at a single bound… it almost arrivces with a cape. These panels are 28 feet tall, and were erected in ten days. The material also allows for on-site changes. For instance, this week we will add and subtract: literally. I will direct our installer to cut a bit here, add a bit there, to sculpt, quite literally, a 28-foot tall sculpture. What I am trying to do, recalling our original model:
Post by Sander Architects Client Thomas Small (The Briard House)
Hello and thanks for visiting! I am Thomas Aujero Small and along with Joanna and Hobbes, am one of the owners of this house. There is so much to say about this house and how we have all arrived at this point in time that I don’t know where to start. But maybe I should start with Whitney, as it really is entirely his fault. We never intended to build a house, at this stage in our lives. We wanted to move out of our town house and move up, modestly, into a different house, that we might improve or renovate. We searched and debated, over a couple of years. We decided on Culver City, as the last affordable place on the west side and looked seriously at a few properties. Our real estate agent, Colin Maduzia was a joy to work with and infinitely patient. We gradually discovered that the Rancho Higuera neighborhood was exactly what we wanted, and that Carson Street was excellent. Beautiful, mature laurel fig trees and wonderful old street lamps line the sidewalks of a long block that ends in a cul-de-sac. You can walk to downtown Culver City in ten minutes, and the Helms Bakery complex as well. The new transit station for the Expo Line of the light rail that will go downtown will also be built very nearby, hopefully within the next few years. So, location, location, location, we found a gorgeous, sustainable location. Walking, and public transit, what a surprise in central Los Angeles!
Post by Sander Architects Client Joanna Brody (The Briard House)
Hello everyone and thanks for visiting. I am Joanna Brody, one half of the Brody-Small client. I own a public relations firm that focuses on social and environmental causes and issues (www.brody-pr.com – shameless plug #1). Commissioning this house has been nothing short of an amazing experience and a total blast. When we tell people we are building a house, responses range from “I’ve always wanted to do that” to “I hope your marriage is strong” to “Are you still speaking to your architects?” Well, we are privileged to be able to do this, our marriage is stronger than ever, and not only do we still speak to our architects, we socialize with them on a regular basis and they have become dear friends! (www.sander-architects.com – shameless and totally deserved plug #2). And we have an amazing contractor to boot, Sean Icaza of Icaza Construction (shameless and totally deserved plug #3).
Now we gave this team some tough, tough criteria: A piece of art (Whitney only does art), green and inexpensive. It’s sort of like the saying – You want it fast, cheap and good? Pick two! Well our amazing team is succeeding on all three fronts. We have been blessed with a talented, creative and push-the-envelope group of architects, designers, builders and subcontractors who are excited to bring this project to life despite – or maybe because of – the ultra-challenging brief.
Owning a home always comes with its share of inconveniences. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At least according to ZenKaya.
The word “zen” means “a trouble free experience” and “kaya” means “home”. Together they represent the philosophy of South Africa-based ZenKaya, whose prefabricated lodges are unique forward move in sustainable building and designed to be trouble free. It’s a lofty undertaking.
Designer Eric Bigot says his interest in prefab was born out in New York and Japan, where construction methods are more rationalized and cost effective. ZenKaya’s offerings combine these methods with cutting edge design to bring you their idea of a trouble free turnkey. They drop it off, avoiding on-site disturbance and minimizing waste, and you move in.
Want to see a house assembled before your eyes? Check out the above video featuring the installation of a NomadHome.
If you want more detailed information, you’re either out of luck or in for a chuckle. If you believe the verbiage on the official NomadHome site (which is clumsily — and often hilariously — translated from what appears to be German), the NomadHome is “a home for the people of today”, designed to provide flexibility in today’s ever-evolving world, especially for those they call the “fleeing fledglings” and “part time settled mobile homers”. Which I guess means this isn’t the home for me. After all, I’m an accomplished fleer and I like my mobile homer settled full time. Video after the jump.
I am Catherine Holliss the designer in charge of the interiors and the materials on the project.
The architect, Whitney Sander and I collaborate on the choice of finishing materials and other details for the building. That means that I present materials and ideas for the flooring, the wall coverings, the kitchen cabinets, the fixtures, the bathrooms, the exterior finishes, colors, and the list goes on. I like to think that this level is where the texture gets added to the ‘canvas’ of the architecture.
The clients, Joanna and Thomas are passionate about green, eco-friendly materials and solutions and so are we – it has been a marvelous collaboration from the very beginning.