Modular Prefab: What a Homeowner Should Know

July 2, 2018

There’s a terrific video my buddy Corbett did for the Illinois Association of Energy Raters called “If Cars Were Built Like Houses.” It challenges homebuyers to think about what level of performance they will get out of the huge investment they’re about to make. What if houses were built like cars—in a factory, with quality control and third-party testing? That’s how we approach modular prefab—a way to get a better, more predictable product. The first thing to know is that a modular prefab house can be a “trailer home” or it can be a high-design high-performance, low-toxicity (no “new car smell”) home. (more…)

From the Field: Acorn Glade Passive House Tour

January 9, 2018

Our colleagues at GreenHome Institute created this video, highlighting our Acorn Glade Passive House during the 2017 GreenBuilt Home Tour. Check it out!

 

From the Field: West Town Greenstar Retrofit Tour

January 9, 2018

Our colleagues at GreenHome Institute created this video, highlighting our West Town Greenstar Retrofit, during the 2017 GreenBuilt Home Tour. Check it out!

 

 

Modular Prefab Mid-Construction Tour

November 20, 2017

The modular prefab “Modern Farmhouse” was designed by TBDA, with module construction provided by Hi-Tech Housing in Bristol, Indiana. The six modules were shipped to the site and erected in one day, with finishes and fixtures being installed on-site by Himelick Contracting. ​Tom Bassett-Dilley ​and Eco Achievers ​led this mid-construction tour, where they described modular prefab process and how the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program ensures energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and durability.

From The Field: Our First Modular Prefab

September 11, 2017

On a perfect late summer day we invited a bunch of friends to watch our first modular prefab house being set.

First off, some terminology: prefab is anything factory-built, so it could be trusses, walls, floors; but modular is when “chunks” of the building (or the whole thing if a tiny house) are built in the factory. We were interested in the efficiency and quality control of prefab, and with modular, we could get windows installed, rough electrical wiring, rough plumbing, air sealing (by using the Zip System for sheathing), cavity insulation, and drywall all done in the factory.  In our case, we worked with Hi-Tech Housing of Bristol, IN since they are specifically a custom modular manufacturer, No stock plans here–you just take them whatever you’re interested in building, and they help figure out how to break it into chunks that can be transported on trucks. Once the modules are ready, a “set crew” and crane operator are hired to put it together in the field. (more…)

A Modular Home Raising

August 21, 2017

TBDA is pleased to add another project to the distinguished list of Oak Park, IL architectural “firsts.” Our prefab, modular, Zero Energy Ready Home (DOE) has been built in an Indiana factory by Hi-Tech Housing, and was set in place on  August 23, 2017  in Oak Park. It took 3 trucks and one large crane to place the six modules together, and after six hours, there stood a fully enclosed and roofed house ready for finishes. (more…)

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