Thursday, March 22, 2018

California’s Plant Prefab Sets Dormitory in Berkeley

The 16-unit, 6,600-square-foot dormitory took four months to assemble in the Southern California facility of Plant Prefab. It then took two days to install this month once it was brought to the Sixth Street campus of nonprofit organization Urban Adamah.

But prefab structures also have a longstanding reputation, deserved or not, of lacking design flexibility and being lower quality, and that’s where Plant Prefab is working to set itself apart.

The Rialto, California-based company was selected by Urban Adamah in part because it stresses building custom homes using sustainable practices and materials.

Plant Prefab calls itself “the first prefabricated home factory in the nation dedicated to sustainable construction, materials, processes and operations” and homes are custom built from designs provided by customers or its design partners.

One has to wonder what many other modular factories in the US have been doing if not this. It draws comparisons to Blu Homes that touted itself as the first folding homes in modular history when in fact Cardinal Homes did it decades ago and with the almost the same results except Blu Homes is still building although in a very small region of CA. Low sales and eventually removed the Cardinal folding homes from the market.

“We source as much as possible from recycled materials,” including glass, fiber and drywall, said Plant Prefab CEO Steve Glenn.

Low-flow water fixtures and low-toxic paints are also used.

Plant Prefab is a recent startup to meet the needs of its sister company, Living Homes, a design firm.

This month, a 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom designed to LEED Platinum standards was installed by the company in two hours in the Napa fire area.

And a multi-story project will be starting soon in Oakland.

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