Last year a shock went through the prefab world when Michelle Kaufmann had to close the doors on her famous prefab home design company. Then almost a year ago, up-and-comer, Blu Homes, bought the rights to mK's designs and gained her expertise for a short time in order to update the designs and re-release them under Blu's name. We're excited to announce that the first of the updated homes, the Glidehouse, has just been released -- it's bigger, better and utilizes Blu Home's steel framing and folding system for more efficient transport and on-site assembly.
In terms of aesthetics, the new Glidehouse is essentially the same – it has a similar floorplan and layout, with a beautiful floor-to-ceiling glass facade, cedar sunshades, solar-passive design and the same clean lines and contemporary flair. The factors that have changed in the Glidehouse 2.0 are the prefab’s basic dimensions and manufacturing process. One complaint about the first incarnation of the Glidehouse was its narrow floorplan, so Blu updated the dimensions and made the rooms wider. With the Blu system, the rooms in the home can be more customized and allow for 2-4 bedrooms, 2-3 full baths and an additional office or bonus space.
Blu also adapted the factory-built house to conform to their folding technology. This means that the whole prefab can be manufactured in a factory and then folded up for transportation to the home’s site. Upon arrival, a specialized team unfolds the home and reassembles it in just a matter of days. They haven’t built a new Glidehouse yet, so these pictures are from the original version, but considering the popularity of the design before, we expect to see some finished projects soon.
The Glidehouse takes advantage of a ton of green building strategies and is designed to meet ENERGY STAR standards for energy efficiency and performance as well as the American Lung Association Health House program — it could even hit LEED certification as well if the client wanted. The homes come ready for photovoltaics or a solar thermal system and include spray foam insulation, energy-efficient windows, non-toxic paints and finishes and water-efficient fixtures. As always, customization is possible, although the basic model starts out at $360,000 and the optional pod starts at $75,000 — sadly, the price hasn’t gone down.
Photo credits: ©John Swain