building a sustainable and resilient community

Important Business & the iHouse

Posted on | May 22, 2009 | No Comments

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately….I had to attend to the important business of graduating.

In other news, this story about the Clayton Homes iHouse got passed around the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to mention it here briefly.  What I think is really intriguing about the iHouse is that is being produced by Clayton Homes, a company that is used to – and by all accounts, quite good at – mass production of mobile or manufactured homes.  So in this respect, it is a house that could very quickly have an impact on the average American home buyer.  This is in contrast to the limited market tapped by firms who have ventured into modular or pre-fab housing after starting off in custom-designed architecture, such as Marmol Radziner, Living Homes, or Michelle Kaufmann.  I think there is a marketplace for all of these firms’ home designs, perhaps less so in a contracting economy, but I think these manufactured homes have a lot of potential for customers who may never think to solicit the help of a design professional.

Even more intriguing is the thought of taking this availability one step further….what if the iHouse shows up on the sales floor of your local Home Depot or Lowe’s?  Isn’t that the next step of modular, mobile, or manufactured homes; turning them into a product, ready for “consumption”, like every other product?  I suppose the silver lining on this possible scenario is that most of these pre-fab homes are using green design principles and are acheiving LEED (or equivalent) certification.  And if mass production is the way that we can bring green design principles to the public at large, well, then, let’s try that.

Here’s a photo of the iHouse.  Take the virtual tour for more info, but beware the annoying muzak.



Leave a Reply