Take prefabricated panels, add a dose of ingenuity, and a desire for an extremely green home and you get this half-prefab, half-custom Culver City home, designed by Sander Architects. Not only does the house play host to eco-friendly details that makes it sustainable inside and out– but its acoustically-tuned-to-concert-perfection interior provides owner Thomas Small the ability to play chamber music with perfect resonance. The 4,200-square-foot home uses a prefabricated structure that was assembled on-site and then outfitted with necessary trim, plumbing, and interior fixings for a grand total of $528,000, about a third of an architect-designed home in the Los Angeles area.

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With a small budget but a big taste for something green, Thomas Small, his wife Joanna Brody, their two children and a pair of French Braird dogs, now live in a contemporary hybrid prefab-custom home. The prefabricated structure kept initial material costs low at $22,000, and was delivered and erected on-site in under three weeks for an additional $18,000.

The house is entirely heated and cooled by natural resources, using cross-ventilation during the warm months, and passive solar energy for the few cool evenings in southern California.  The home also utilizes a slew of other eco-friendly materials and methods:

  • Natural light enters the house at all times during the day thanks to purposefully placed windows glazed with multi-cell acrylic panels that reduces heat loss/gain.
  • Blue jean insulation helps regulate the interior temperature.
  • Sunflower husks were used for wall panels and bookshelves.
  • Bamboo floors integrates with the original concrete slab flooring, and hot water is delivered through an electric on-demand water heater which also supplies radiant heating in the floor when needed.
  • Energy efficient appliances are used throughout, along with eco-resin panels, and low VOC finishes.
  • Xeriscape low-water landscaping adds a touch of green to the exterior, and is entirely irrigated by recycled water.

+ Sander Architects

via NY Times