Prefab approach bridges gap in sustainable Calif. home market

Prefab approach bridges gap in sustainable Calif. home market

Rendering of a Palo Alto home from Plant Prefab. Image courtesy of Plant Prefab

Having a high-performance home built in the San Francisco Bay area takes time. 

Much of that time stems from the pool of available construction firms being constrained and pricey.

Of course, there’s always an alternative.

Consider the prefab approach. 

Plant Prefab, a leading custom home design and prefabrication company, recently installed its latest residential project in Palo Alto, Calif. – in a whopping eight hours.

The company’s building system allows construction of custom homes faster with less cost and construction waste than those built on-site.

“By building off-site in parallel to the site work and in a controlled, all-weather facility, we reduce the construction schedule by 50 percent or more versus a tradition site-based construction process – and we dramatically reduce the noise and disruption to our client’s neighbors,” said Steve Glenn, the company’s founder and CEO.

Plant Prefab collaborated with tobylongdesign on a new 2,371-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath residence. The structure features a compact design, tall ceilings on the first floor’s stairwell and living room that project openness, large windows and sliding glass walls that prioritize natural light and access to outdoor living areas. 

The home is heated by radiant flooring and features thermally broken aluminum windows in combination with a high-value insulation at the walls and roof to create a solid energy-efficient envelope. 

Exterior materials include wood siding over a rainscreen that wraps the building, adding texture between smooth stucco walls.

The home replaces an outdated house on the property.

Recent data indicates that median home prices in Palo Alto hit an all-time high of $2.7 million last year, with tight supply and strong demand being the main drivers.

And those like Glenn predict that demand won’t wane anytime soon as people hoping to live in Palo Alto and surrounding areas desire high-quality homes that are healthy, energy efficient and use sustainable building materials. 

Modules that comprise the prefab homes arrive at their respective sites more than 90 percent complete, with all finished electrical and plumbing, millwork and appliances installed, paint and exterior cladding, and even tiles in the baths and kitchen.  

In the coming months, Plant Prefab plans to construct additional single-family homes for victims of the recent Napa-area wildfires, with special pricing for victims of the fire, including free initial site assessments, 50 percent off feasibility services, $5,000 in free upgrades and 5 percent off design/administrative fees.


Topics: Building Green, Cost of Ownership, Home Design & Plans, Prefabricated Homes / Systems Built Homes / Modular Homes, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Sustainable Communities, Trends / Statistics

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