Architect Michelle Kaufmann unveils zero energy prefab home at San Francisco City Hall

No more renderings necessary, Michelle Kaufmann’s gorgeous new eco-prefab home has just debuted and been installed on the grass in front of San Francisco City Hall. The lovely zero-energy prefab is open to the public as part of the West Coast Green show at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the house as it was getting set up in the past few days, and we can tell you firsthand that the renderings don’t do it justice. The home is compact and stunning, with gorgeous xeriscape landscaping, and the most high-tech green materials and sustainable systems available,including a greywater recycling system, green roof, solar panels, and even a spot to plug in your electric vehicle for charging!


Michelle Kaufman with Mklotus, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacher

We spoke to Michelle on Tuesday, and you can find our detailed interview of her about the MKLotus here.


Here’s our video interview with Michelle Kaufmann from that day

We also got a ton of fabulous photos of all the green details, both inside and out – and can tell you that this is one truly stunning, beautifully designed, prefab powerhouse.

MK Lotus In Front of San Francisco City Hall, MkLotus Xeriscaping, MKLotus Solar Installation, MKLotus Greenroof, Green roof and skylights up close, Greywater Filter, MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacher

Michelle Kauffman is known for her modern, sustainable prefab designs, and the mkLotus goes above and beyond all previous MK designs. The modular construction allows for customization and flexibility, while sliding doors allow residents to open up their house to the elements.

MKLotus Solar Installation, MKLotus Greenroof, Green roof and skylights up close, Greywater Filter, MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacher, Jim SchmidtJim Schmidt, the builder from Xtreme Homes watches as the solar panels are installed

From sustainable materials like flyash concrete, FSC-certified wood, no-VOC paint and EcoResin to the green roof, LED lighting system, EnergyStar appliances, photovoltaic energy system, and rainwater/greywater catchment, the house is as green as it gets. The ‘zero-energy’ house actually produces so much energy from the solar panels on the roof that you can charge your electric vehicle with a plug in the side of the house.

Electric car charging, MK Lotus House, rainwater catchement, rainwater collection pond, West Coast Green, Michelle Kaufmann, prefab green home, green prefab house, net zero energy house, prefab home on lawn of San Francisco City Hall

Above and beyond all the green, however, the house is just a testament to thoughtful, smart design. Every material, system and design choice in the house seems to be thought out, and have purpose. The high ceilings, skylights, gently angled walls, floor to ceiling glass and copious daylight all work to make the 700 sf house feel a lot bigger and more spacious than it actually is.

MKlotus Digital Controls, MkLotus Kitchen, MKLotus Resin Sliding Door, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacherdigital system control center

One realy cool thing about the house is that has a fully digital control center, which allows the occupant to control light and heat, as well as monitering energy use, water use and programming the TV.

MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacherthe grey water filtration system in front of the house – look closely and you can see architect Michelle Kaufman in the window

Greywater Filter, MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacherthe grey water filtration system up close

MKLotus Greenroof, Green roof and skylights up close, Greywater Filter, MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill FehrenbacherThe green roof (provided by Rana Creek), and skylights

MkLotus Xeriscaping, MKLotus Solar Installation, MKLotus Greenroof, Green roof and skylights up close, Greywater Filter, MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacherthe landscape around the Mklotus house is a ‘Xeriscape’ design which uses all local, indigenous plants in the San Francisco Bay Area, and doesn’t require water

MkLotus Front View, MkLotus Xeriscaping, MKLotus Solar Installation, MKLotus Greenroof, Green roof and skylights up close, Greywater Filter, MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacher

MKLOTUS, MkLotus Xeriscaping, MKLotus Solar Installation, MKLotus Greenroof, Green roof and skylights up close, Greywater Filter, MkLotus Water Filtration, MkLotus Bedroom, Michelle Kaufman's MKLotus Green Prefab House, Eco Prefab, Zero Energy Prefab, Michelle Kaufman Designs, MKDesigns, Zero-Energy Prefab, Sustainable Prefab, West Coast Green, City Hall, Jill Fehrenbacher


For more photos of this house, check out our Flickr Feed >

+ Michelle Kauffman
+ West Coast Green