PREFAB FRIDAY: New LivingHome by David Hertz

by , 01/26/07

David Hertz, LivingHomes, Green Prefab, Prefab Friday, Eco-friendly prefab home, green prefab home, prefab architecture, New LivingHone, New David Hertz LivingHome

David Hertz, the always-crafty architect and principal of Syndesis, has impressed us before with his homes constructed from everything from dismantled airplanes to refrigeration panels. And now, thanks to a partnership with Steve Glenn, he’s the designer of LivingHomes’ newest prefab design, aptly named the LivingHome by David Hertz. Between CEO Steve Glenn’s commitment to the highest green standards and David Hertz’s forward-thinking design concepts, it’s no surprise that the newest LivingHomes design is at the vanguard of environmentally-friendly, livable, modern architecture. Built using a panelized aluminum system, the home measures a spacious 2,650 square feet with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a green roof, and a slew of other green materials.

David Hertz, LivingHomes, Green Prefab, Prefab Friday, Eco-friendly prefab home, green prefab home, prefab architecture, New LivingHone, New David Hertz LivingHome

As for cost, LivingHomes estimates that David Hertz’s design will go for about $215 per square foot- not bad for the current prefab market. And, following in the footsteps of Ray Kappe’s recently-awarded LEED Platinum design, David Hertz’s home will incorporate a comprehensive LEED certification program into the construction of each unit.

+ LivingHomes

+ David Hertz, Syndesis

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  1. Erik van Lennep October 1, 2007 at 3:09 am

    Anyone else wondering about the use of aluminum with its huge embodied energy content? I hope that recycled aluminum would be required…at the very least. I am agreeing with much of the commentary made over the past months on this re: unsuitability for most climates. I do however feel that a sustainable design should seek to meet the local climate and geography first, so I am not so concerened that a southern California house might become a live-in freezer in New England. But I also agree that there are TONS of other gaping holes in the concept, not the least is the siting outside a national park. And “green roof” ?? Are we talking about the postage stamp of green atop what appears to be the garage? Such a token gesture hardly deserves mention.

  2. Lisa July 10, 2007 at 4:31 am

    For all of you interested in greening your home through remodeling, I HIGHLY recommend Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House. It is a terrific overview for anyone who would like to upgrade their existing home in dramatic ways to achieve lower impact on land and higher quality of life for the occupants. Principles are just as easily applied to new construction. A must read for anyone chasing the Green Dream. Includes sections on passive solar heating, thermal mass, natural cooling, daylighting, water reuse, indoor air quality, building materials, etc. and has a wealth of additional resources referenced. Happy reading.

    You can find more info at

  3. ModularManiac February 2, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Great post and comments. I look forward to your future work.

  4. Diana January 31, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I agree with other comments: 2650 square feet is not sustainable design. I live in New England. That’s a lovely house, but I’d be scared to live in it during the winter. And it’s all glass! Where’s the privacy? A lot of people can’t afford to build new, and have to buy existing homes. I’d prefer to see more designs geared toward affordable green renovation and space efficiency, than see designs for new building that really is more aesthetically pleasing than practical for many families not living where the climate is temperate 24/7/365.

  5. Sea Wolf January 29, 2007 at 11:42 am

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what a 2600-square-foot, 4-bathroom aluminum house built in incomparably benign climate of Southern California has to do with creating a sustainable culture. A SLEW of green materials!?! For one house? Sort of like someone eating 12 boxes of diet cereal for one breakfast. Well, it is DIET, right?

  6. Kim January 29, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Too bad these prefabs seem to be designed around the perfect weather of California. What about the hot humid Florida climate with hurricane winds or the blasting sun of Arizona or the snow loads of far north and west…I hope this cost was also based on California real estate because $215/sf in Florida is far from cheap, that’s almost double what builders charge for site built homes here (not including the land as I’m sure the pre-fab also does not include land costs). Container houses at least start out cheap until you start adding high-end fixtures, at least Adam Kalkin’s Quick house is very reasonable and can vary based on climate without making major structural changes.

  7. The Revolution Corporation January 28, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Yet another LEED certified glass trailer set atop a shipping container…

    $215 per square foot does not sustain my wallet… How about yours? Prefab housing is a great idea, and may possibly become known as the third Industrial Revolution. But it seems that every participant in this revolution should be made to read up on the first two rounds. Remember what Henry Ford said? “There is but one rule for the industrialist, and that is: Make the highest quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.”

    2,650 square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom home: OK… Us Americans really need to rethink our need for one bathroom for every man, woman, and child (and dog… and cat). Same with the room sized refrigerator, the swimming pool sized bath tub, and enough square feet to comfortably be far enough away from those closest to us.

    LEED certified or not, I don’t think a four bedroom, four bath glass house should be showcased as progressive. It seems that LEED needs to reevaluate their methods of evaluation, and be a bit more restrictive with whom they permit to use the accolade.

    And why is LivingHomes putting glass boxes “…five miles north of one of the entrances to Joshua Tree State Park” ??? Hello?

    My fellow designers, may I suggest that you put Thoreau’s “Walden” on your spring reading list?

  8. William January 28, 2007 at 4:03 am

    There always seems to be a dichotomy with fancy designs like this. They look wonderful as artistic renderings but could anyone actually live a normal family life in a structure like this. Could you ever resell it? It claims to be eco friendly but all I see is glass (triple glazed no doubt). Where are the mass walls to absorb winter sunshine, for example? It looks like more like a green house – where are the shutters and ventilation structures to deal with the differences between summer and winter weather? I can imagine this design more as an office than a comfortable home.
    If this review sounds critical and sceptical – it is – but let me be encouraging too. I think it is great that talented architiects are applying themselves to state of the art designs. Now we (the public) who buy these these homes of the future need to be shown designs that evoke a “wow!” and the same time time an instant desire that says “I can see myself living in that with my kids and my cat”

  9. tom atkins January 28, 2007 at 2:16 am

    watch extreme homes.a man did this house alot cheapr but stronger.a colection ofshipping containers. living roofs and walls are easy when tou have the strength +nonboidegradeability of containers

  10. George January 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Very impressive design, statement, and green characteristics. Now if only someone could accomplish the same at a lower price per square foot, we could see widespread development of such housing, rather than one-offs in high cost markets….

  11. Charles Plummer January 27, 2007 at 11:12 am

    To David Hertz
    I would like information about the construction of a house using refrigerator panels. I have freezer panels that could be put to that prupose for the roof of a garage. I have also built a timber frame house using structi=ural insulated panels (Winter Company SIPs).

    Please reply with information on your refrigerator panels house.

    Thank you.

  12. Richie January 27, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Interesting design concept. With aluminum panel walls, how does one hang things like paintings, kitchen cabinets, shelving & storage units, etc. ? Are the interior walls wood and sheetrock ? What about ‘galvanic electrolysis’… or the adverse reaction of dissimilar metals to each other ? How does the foam aluminum refrigerator panel idea ‘mate’ with what appears to be the steel frame skeleton of this house ? What about metal attracting lightning at higher altitudes ? Are strategically placed lightning rods enough ?

    As a cost effective design for the luxury market… this seems like a worthy entry.

    Matching these designs with one of those ‘Sky-Built’, small shipping container based, solar-wind power, energy generating systems… might be a good combo. (see: )

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