Plant Prefab: LivingHomes’ Groundbreaking Spinoff

The nation’s first prefabricated home factory dedicated to sustainability

A gorgeous home on an elevated terrain with a footpath lined on both sides with flowers. The lawns are marked out in curves by artistically arranged rocks.

A rendering of the CK4.2 model by LivingHomes, the first prefabricated home built in the new Plant Prefab factory.

Sustainable construction. Sustainable materials. Sustainable processes. Sustainable operations. 

Wouldn’t it be great if just about everything about your home was sustainable — inside and out?

Plant Prefab, a new prefabricated home factory spinoff by LivingHomes, the award-winning prefabricated home design and development company, that dream could be closer to reality than you might think.

We got living proof of that while attending the 2016 Dwell on Design conference in Los Angeles, where LivingHomes unveiled the first home built by Plant Prefab, the CK4.2 model, which was fully constructed within the Los Angeles Convention Center in just under three days.

About Plant Prefab and LivingHomes

Based in Southern California, Plant Prefab is the nation’s first 
prefabricated home factory whose mission is dedicated to sustainable construction, materials, processes and operations. 

Thus, Plant Prefab, located in Rialto, Calif., will only work with developers, homebuyers and their architects to deliver high-quality homes that are healthy and durable. And with their patented building system, the factory can deliver these low-cost homes in half the time and with less waste than traditional site-based contractors.

“Plant Prefab was created to address an extremely large and growing market opportunity — the urban infill market (that means new development that is sited on vacant or undeveloped land within an existing community) — and it leverages the vast amount of knowledge we’ve acquired in the 10 years since we started LivingHomes,” says Plant Prefab and LivingHomes Founder Steve Glenn.

LivingHomes is a proven leader in the field of prefabricated homes. In fact, the first LivingHome, designed by Ray Kappe, was installed in only eight hours and became the first home ever to receive a LEED Platinum rating, one of the highest energy efficiency certifications available in the industry. Since then, 18 LivingHomes have been certified LEED Platinum and one LEED Gold, in addition to numerous other industry awards and recognitions.

Inside the CK4.2

At Dwell on Design, we got the opportunity to tour the brand-new CK4.2 model, which was put together in less than 36 hours.

Designed by LivingHomes, the prefab home boasts 1,700 square feet with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. It features a spacious master suite, reconfigurable second bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a double-high ceiling over the main living space and an integrated garage.

In line with other LivingHomes models, the CK4.2 includes a LEED Platinum-level rating, with materials, finishes and systems that are all designed to dramatically reduce energy, water and resources used to create healthier indoor air quality.

You may have heard of California’s Title 24, one of the nation’s strictest energy code standards governing the way homes are built. The CK4.2 model surpasses its energy efficiency requirements by 25 percent, Glenn says.

“The CK4.2 is our first lower-cost two-story LivingHome,” he adds. “It’s designed for narrow lots in cities and it gives people a much faster and more cost effective solution versus site-built homes.”

Comprised of four 56-by-12-by-12-foot modules, the CK4.2 at Dwell on Design was decorated by Sarah Rosenhaus Interior Design with furnishings provided by MidcenturyLA and Design Within Reach. It featured a modern kitchen fit with Signature Kitchen Suite appliances, cabinets from Bellmont Cabinets, water-efficient bathroom and kitchen fixtures from Kohler and counters made of recycled materials from Cosentino’s Eco Series. 

The Plant Prefab Process

So, how does the LivingHomes and Plant Prefab building process really work?

Unlike your standard assembly line factory, Plant Prefab organizes each module, or room component, into stations, allowing workers to customize each module according to buyer needs without slowing down the rest of the line.

And throughout the patented building process, which from factory to move-in can take as little as six to 12 weeks, Plant Prefab recycles construction waste and utilizes compression and electric tools to help reduce its ecological footprint. 

“Individual firms and developers who care about more sustainable and energy-efficient design are attracted to us because that’s our focus,” says Glenn. “However, regardless of whether that’s your focus or not, we’ll only build with materials that minimize off-gassing, formaldehyde and are urea free. We don’t use VOC (volatile organic compound) toxic materials. We’re sourcing standard stock that is as much as possible made from recycled content.”

While still a new company (the factory installed its first LivingHome onsite in early September 2016), Plant Prefab aims to work with developers, individual clients and their architects in the near future to build efficient and sustainable homes that match their mission.

Drew Knight is a freelance writer for Builders Digital Experience (BDX). You can find him online at LinkedIn.

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