We’ve been following LA-based Taalman Koch Architects and their development of a systematized method for building sustainable prefab houses for the past few years. Now, a completed has landed outside of Joshua Tree National Park in what is going to become a new planned community called . If you have been reading along with us, you would know that the house is off-grid and powered solely by photovoltaic and solar thermal technology. Not to mention, the modest home makes minimal disturbance to its site, has a small footprint (1,600 sq ft), and uses native plants in its landscaping. This high-desert version of the itHouse adds to their previous work with more efficient energy systems, and new furniture and accessories.
Much like other prefabs, this house is a made up of parts that are prefabricated off-site in order to minimize waste and maintain a high level of quality control over the finished product.
The house is primarily constructed of glass panels that fit into prefabricated aluminum frames, which create the effect of bringing nature indoors. Each room was specifically designed to have framed views and sun shading. Despite the transparency of the home’s exterior, its location in the high desert and the vast surroundings of rock and juniper trees will still afford the home privacy from the two other homes planned for the Three Junipers community.
The 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house is totally off-grid, powered by both pv and solar thermal. Additionally the house uses passive heating and cooling, natural ventilation, radiant floor heating and energy efficient appliances and equipment. As there are very few walls to paint, it is naturally low VOC.
Comfortable living is integral in the design of the house. With an open floor plan, the itHouse capitalizes on the southern California climate with outdoor courtyards and living areas that maximize space. Additionally, elegant design elements like the Fireorb fireplace, Poliform chefs kitchen, and an outdoor solar-heated plunge pool add an eco luxurious feel. The landscaping uses native plants to create minimize impact on the surroundings and water consumption. The few trees removed for the building were also replanted nearby.
This completed home is meant to serve as a “model” for Taalman Koch’s system of building houses- and is making customizable designs available. The basic home begins at 1,100 sq ft for two bedrooms, one bath, and double courtyard. Houses are expected to start at around $750,000 a piece and can be custom built to specification. Design packages can include glass walls coated with privacy enhancing patterns, Bulthaup kitchen systems, specialty furnishings and decorations. The itHouse components are created off site, flat-packed and shipped to your building site.