Connect Homes Innovates in Silicon Valley

Connect:Homes is a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of prefab homes founded by Jared Levy and Gordon Stott (formerly with Marmol Radziner) on a mission to reduce the delivery costs associated with modular construction and make sustainable homes more affordable. To make that happen, Levy and Stott spent the last three years designing, prototyping, and patenting a system to cost-effectively deliver prefab homes, and they put their awesome prototype on display at Dwell on Design 2012.

In summary, a large part of the solution is to size the modules to be transported by the intermodal shipping container network. All Connect:Homes, therefore, can be delivered virtually anywhere in the world by truck, rail, or ship.

But to be clear, these aren’t container homes, these are homes shipped on a framework designed for intermodal shipping containers.

Transportation can cost nearly $100,000 cross-country or $400,000 overseas for the typical prefab home, according to Connect:Homes, so designers and builders have been forced to use regional factories that may or may not offer a high-performance build or a desirable selection of finishes or materials.

Not satisfied with the high costs or other limitations, Levy said, “We asked ourselves if you can ship a shipping container full of 64,000 lbs of goods around the world for $5,000, why should it cost you so much to ship a house?Connect:Homes ships 90% completed modules and cuts delivery costs by up to 90% to deliver a more affordable home.

Shipping innovation isn’t the only advance that Connect:Homes aims to bring to factory-built housing. To avoid the cost of renting a 240-ton crane, which Levy said could be up to $15,000 per day, the company will use giant castors to roll modules into place. This is something that only applies to the ground-level modules, but like a skateboard, the home just rolls onto a finished foundation.

The company will test this installation method when sending the Connect:2.1 prototype to the Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Avenue, Los Altos, California, for the Dwell Silicon Valley Home Tour starting on November 3, 2012. Visit this page for more detail.

In terms of pricing, Connect:Homes start at $140 per square foot out of the factory and range to $165 per square foot delivered and installed, according to a company statement.

Connect:Homes come with house-wide LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, 100% recycled content glass countertops, in-wall dual-flush Duravit toilets, an insulation package to match any climate (standard of R21 walls, R30 floors, and R45 roof), and other materials that can contribute toward credits for LEED certification.

[+] More about Connect:Homes modular prefab from California.

Credits: Connect:Homes (#1-2); Bethany Nauert, West Elm (#3-4).

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Cozy Connect:2 Prefab Wows California

I mentioned the launch of Connect:Homes recently and how the founders of this company hope to reinvent modular prefab with a unique approach.  They took a big first step towards doing that with a prototype home on display at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles last weekend.  The crowds, from everything I’ve heard, deeply enjoyed this warm, contemporary abode and the interior touch of style by Kishani Perera.

This is the Connect:2.1 plan with one bedroom, one bathroom, and a galley kitchen that greets a covered outdoor deck space.  Treat this as a detached studio, backyard guesthouse, or vacation retreat, and you’ll be hard pressed to go wrong, I’d say.

Perera outfitted the place with all sorts of product from West Elm.  There’s also a design package that includes Energy Star appliances, water-efficient fixtures, non-toxic materials, recycled-content surfaces and tiles, LED and CFL lighting, low-VOC sealants, and no-VOC paints.

For the new purchaser, Connect:2.1 has a base price of $105,000, though upgrades, delivery, installation, and site work will push the price up a little more.  If you missed the green home at Dwell on Design 2012, it’ll be relocated to Venice for open houses and other events in the next couple months.

[+] More about modern sustainable prefab by Connect:Homes.

Credits: Bethany Nauert, West Elm.

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Connect Homes to Reinvent Modular Prefab

Today, two prefab veterans launch their website for a new company called Connect:Homes with a mission to “deliver modern homes that are affordable, green, and available wherever your are.”  The co-founders Jared Levy and Gordon Stott, both formerly with Marmol Radziner Prefab, started the Los Angeles-based enterprise to reinvent modular prefab and deliver homes that are predictably priced, inherently green, and shipped most anywhere at a lower cost.

One thing that’s different about Connect:Homes is they will save money on transportation by making steel frames that fit the standard intermodal framework.  That way their green prefabs can be put on a truck, boat, or train — whatever is best — without the extra cost of pilot cars, special routes, etc.

But don’t let the term “intermodal” fool you.  These guys aren’t interested in making shipping container homes.  They also won’t sell a kit of parts or pass homeowners through the sales gauntlet to customize a home design.

Connect:Homes will guide homeowners through the whole process and do button-up work at the end.  They have modern house plans ranging in size from 640 to 3,200 square feet with pricing from $145 per square foot.

If you want to see something by Connect:Homes, they will have the Connect:2 prototype pop-up house at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles from June 22-24, 2012.  The 640 square-foot home (above) has one bedroom and one bathroom and can be used as a second home, vacation home, or backyard studio.

[+] More about modern sustainable prefab by Connect:Homes.

Credits: Connect:Homes.

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