If you can’t tell, we’re pretty hooked on the latest and greatest in green prefab design. One big problem, though, is that there’s a huge amount of noise and not all that much action – plenty of fabulous prefab designs and museum / conference exhibits, but very few actual installations (and even fewer mid-market installs, which is where prefab has to go in order to make a true difference in our housing stock).
Finally, the log jam seems to be breaking. Several firms have begun to produce green prefab homes for real people in small but growing numbers. This past month, Marmol Radziner, a prefab company here in Southern California, made a splash with some pretty showy installation videos on local media outlets. These homes are either a) high end or b) for the firm’s founders, so they’re still a ways away from mass-market. But, the videos do a good job of showing what elements make prefab homes unique (factory construction, rapid installation, modular components) and at least to me suggest that they’re not all that far away from being able to replicate these installations on a larger and thus less expensive scale.
So, take a few minutes out of work and check out this great video from the LA Times on the installation of one of the homes. And continue to hope for the day when all you have to do is walk down the street instead of visit the local museum to see a beautiful green prefab home near you. (our apologies for whatever ad the LA Times is running in front of this clip – when I last viewed it it was a Chevy Pickup ad – ugggggg).