Meet the Glidehouse, a modern prefab

You'd never guess this eco-savvy home was built in a factory in just 19 days

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Kaufmann made it her goal to use environmentally friendly materials and worked with CRG's environmental consultant - the Eagle Institute - to make the construction process as green as possible. They set the criteria for energy conservation and interior air quality.

"Meeting these criteria is the only way we are able to build the Glidehouse in many areas because of the house's extensive glazing; plus we feel it is the responsible way to build," says Timi Starkweather, managing partner at CRG.

The environmentally friendly materials and products that were selected for this Glidehouse design include bamboo flooring, concrete counters made of fly ash and recycled paper, soft foam insulation that fills all wall cavities, slate tiles, an energy-conserving heating system, an on-demand tankless water heater, and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. All wood-to-wood joints were caulked to make the house airtight.


The factory-built modern home is an idea whose time has come again. The concept of prefabrication showed early promise with the Case Study Houses Program in Los Angeles during the 1950s, but progress stalled. Another take on the idea, Eichler tract houses, brought contemporary architecture to a mass market between the late 1940s and the early 1970s, but they were assembled on-site.

As Sunset wrote in 1978, "The factory-built house has been a dream about to come true every year since the end of World War II." Now it's the Glidehouse's turn. We're betting this blockbuster will have a long run.


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