We’ve long been fans of architect Michelle Kaufmann‘s iconic Breezehouse prefab home ever since we first wrote about it back in 2005 (yes, we’re getting old). The Breezehouse was one of Kaufmann’s groundbreaking modern green prefab homes that helped generate interest and momentum in the prefab movement in the past decade. Kaufmann eventually sold her company and her home designs to prefab manufacturer Blu Homes in 2009, and they’ve been expanding on Michelle’s original vision in the past few years by re-engineering the California-designed home to function in cold east coast climates, due to demand from homeowners there. Now, we’re thrilled to report that Blu Homes just opened the first ever Breezehouse on the East Coast, in an upstate New York town called Copake.
This weekend we got the chance to tour the brand new home, located in picturesque Copake, which is near the Hudson Valley, and the city of Hudson in upstate New York. This gorgeous new green prefab house is the model home for an innovative new eco-development that consists of 12 sites with stunning views overlooking the Berkshires. With the spirit of California modern, together with the intention to create a space that melds the indoors with the outdoors and some high-tech precision engineering, the Breezhouse creates an elegant and harmonious connection between the occupant and inimitable natural surroundings, and saves a pretty penny on energy with a host of high tech green systems. See our exclusive photos of the stunning design in the gallery.
Local developer Neil Costa partnered with Blu Homes and conservancy groups to sustainably develop the project, which is part of 12 sites, ranging from 6.8 to 24 acres, set amid woods, streams and ponds. Measuring 2,420 square-feet, the three-bedroom, three-bath Breezehouse boasts 14-foot walls and an open floor plan that allows for a spacious, light-filled rooms. Each of the four interior corners of the Breezehouse wings features glass doors that open onto the front and back courtyards to increase natural light and airflow to the kitchen and bedrooms. Pulling in the outside landscape of the Hudson River Valley and making it a part of the interior aesthetic is at the heart of the Breezehouse’s design.
In addition to eco-friendly fixtures and and non-toxic finishes, the home also boasts built-in cabinetry made from beautiful, sustainably forested woods. Maximizing energy efficiency where possible was also of the utmost importance, and the home uses high-performance materials and systems to keep the interior climate comfortable and reduce monthly energy costs – including super comfortable and toasty radiant floor heating! All Blu Homes are LEED Silver certifiable upon leaving the factory and are solar-power-ready. They can even be setup to achieve net zero energy status, Energy Star rating and higher LEED certifications.
The Breezehouse‘s structural recycled steel framing and advanced building science make it possible for the home to withstand extreme weather conditions, including high snow loads and wind gusts of up to 110 mph — the house is pretty much suited for any environment in the US.
Like all pre-manufactured Blu Homes, the Breezehouse was built in the company’s state-of-the-art Vallejo, CA factory in approximately eight weeks, transported by truck across country and then “unfolded” on site. The factory assembly makes for a super-tight, precision-built house, and when I visited the house, I could tell how well made it was by how warm and toasty the home was (even with all that glass) on a 15 degree Fahrenheit day. You can watch an incredible video of pieces of the house being brought onto the site and quickly unfolded and assembled like origami in this video here:
A standard Breezehouse model — which includes the home, materials, finishes, appliances, and delivery — runs for $540,000. Extensions can be added on for between $110,000-$125,000 depending on the size of the pod. The asking price for the pre-furnished and finished Copake Breezehouse property is a cool $1.6 million. With its staggering views and sleek interior design, it’ll probably go fast!
photos copyright Jill Fehrenbacher for Inhabitat