The Low Down On Green Living
June 9th, 2008
Sometimes we find pieces so perfect for our Low Impact Living audience, we have to share them. The Los Angeles Times did an excellent piece on steel prefab homes this weekend, and thought you’d find it interesting.
By Michelle Hofmann, special to the Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2008.
ARCHITECTURAL writer and music critic Thomas Small, 49, and wife Joanna Brody, 44, a public relations consultant, had outgrown their two-bedroom town house in Santa Monica.
So in 2004, they bought a “decrepit” Culver City cottage to remodel. Unable to salvage the 1,500-square-foot fixer-upper and hoping to create an affordable, custom-built home, the couple turned to Whitney Sander, principal architect and founder of Venice-based Sander Architects, who uses prefabricated steel to provide a cost-effective building option.
Construction on the new home started in December 2005 and this February, the Small-Brody brood, which includes two large, hairy Briard dogs, Calvin and Hobbes; and two infants, Joey, 1, and Lyra, 6 months, moved into their 3,800-square-foot part-prefabricated steel, part-custom home.
The Culver City residence features a main house with three bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, two offices and a separate one-bedroom rental apartment above the garage.
“From certain angles, it has an industrial look,” said Small, who didn’t want to hide the metal aesthetic with stucco or conventional sidings and used corrugated-metal-siding panels to finish the exteriors. “So some of the traditionalists in the neighborhood didn’t know what it was when it was going up. But the way it turned out, most people really like it. And it has gotten a very warm reception.”
With costs below those of conventional building methods, quick and easy assembly and no termite issues, prefabricated or pre-engineered steel buildings are finding a place in the residential home market.
For Small and Brody, metal also helped them stay true to their green theme. “Most of the metal in this house is recycled and will be recyclable at the end of its use in this house,” Small said.
“And there’s also very little waste with metal. It was made at the factory and then shipped here. There was no sawdust. No cutting,” he said. “And we didn’t have to hire specialized builders. It was built by the contractor who built the rest of the house, and bolted together very easily.”
To read the rest of this article, click here.
To learn more about green prefab, click here.
To find companies offering green prefab options, click here.
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