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PREFAB FRIDAY: MDesigns MCube

Posted By Jill Fehrenbacher On September 7, 2007 @ 5:04 am In Architecture,Prefab Housing,Solar Power | 36 Comments

MDesigns MCube, modular prefab housing, daylit prefab housing, natural fiberglass daylighting panels, daylit prefab house, MDesigns prefab systems, prefabricated homes, Inhabitat Prefab friday, green building, prefab green [1]

After receiving tons of great submissions for our Green Home Showcase [2] call for entries, we’re happy to bring you the first of our top 5 green design projects which we’ll be highlighting during our upcoming talk at West Coast Green [3] on September 20th.

MDesign’s [4] patented Mcube modular prefab system [4] is a gorgeous, flexible, solar-powered, and stunningly affordable housing option that exemplifies the benefits of prefabricated building. The system is based on a translucent 10′-cube module which can be stacked in multiple floors and units for residential and commercial purposes. Made from concrete, steel, and luminous fiberglass daylighting wall panels, the system can be fully erected in 90 days at a cost starting at $100 per square foot! (Yes $100 a foot!). Considering how expensive most sleek SoCal prefab systems seem to be – this is a price tag that really got our attention.


We chose this design for our Green Home Showcase [2] for its modular stackable approach, beautiful modern aesthetic, superb eco credentials (photovoltaics, radiant heating, passive solar design, etc) and fabulously creative use of translucent daylighting walls to light the whole house with diffused sunlight throughout the day – eliminating any need for electric light.

MDesigns MCube, modular prefab housing, daylit prefab housing, natural fiberglass daylighting panels, daylit prefab house, MDesigns prefab systems, prefabricated homes, Inhabitat Prefab friday, green building, prefab green

Mark Baez of MDesigns has recently completed construction of the MCube [4] prototype in Venice, California, equipped with quite the array of both passive and active solar technologies (how appropriate for sunny Southern California). From solar radiant-heated floors and solar heated water to photovoltaic roof panels and the translucent light-emitting window-wall system, Baez has all his solar bases covered, making MCube not only a functional and beautiful space, but a sunny green abode.

The most impressive thing about the MCube is certainly the ingenuity behind the functional and luminous moveable window/wall panels. Clearly inspired by the Japanese shoji screen concept, the MCube’s 4 walls are composed of translucent light emitting “windows” that let a constant stream of diffused natural light into the space from all angles. Made out of lightweight insulated fiberglass panels, the light-emitting walls let all the natural light one would want without any of the heat radiation of typical glass windows. Because the panels are translucent like Japanese shoji screens, rather than transparent like glass, they also protect privacy and block views into the interior. Better yet, each daylighting panel is moveable/operable like a shutter, allowing the occupants to open up any part of their little cube in order to let in the breeze. There aren’t any real glass “windows” per se in the house, but since each and every wall is essentially a window, there is no reason for separate windows in a house like this. To top it all off, the movable/removable wall panels allow for transformable space, so you can enjoy an ever-changing domestic space for years to come.

Stay tuned for our other four great Green Homes… coming up in the next 2 weeks…

+ MDesigns [4]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/prefab-friday-mdesigns-mcube-green-home-1/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/09/07/prefab-friday-mdesigns-mcube-green-home-1/

[2] Green Home Showcase: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/09/01/calling-all-eco-houses-around-the-world/

[3] West Coast Green: http://www.westcoastgreen.com/

[4] MDesign’s: http://www.mdesigns.net/

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