They say in real estate the three most important things to consider when buying a house are Location, Location, Location. Well, then you can't beat this vacation house in Moab, Utah, which sits on an open, hundred-acre site punctuated by red rock formations and cliffs. But, while location is, perhaps, the best thing, sometimes there are other words that make you reconsider the investment; and one of those words is 'prefab'. Prefab screams mobile home; it screams cookie cutter boring.
Unless, again, it's this house--the Hidden Valley house--in Moab.
The two-bedroom, two-bath home is made up of five interior prefab modules and seven prefab deck modules, which help to blend the indoor and outdoor living spaces. There are expansive decks to watch the desert as it changes color while the sun moves across it, and floor-to-ceiling windows inside for when the desert gets too hot.
The main approach winds around the solid, metal-clad side of the home, revealing the opening of the front entry deck with a broad view across the pool to a tall boulder formation. The primary axis of the main house runs along a rock ledge, creating dramatic views out over the landscape. With three full sides of windows and sliding glass doors, the views in the great room proceed from south--looking out over the rock ledge--to west--and the red rock boulder formations--and finally to the northern views of snow-capped mountains in the distance. The guest wing with an exercise room opens up to views of the boulder formations on one side and the mountains on the other.
The Hidden Valley house was produced almost entirely in the Marmol Radziner Prefab factory and made from precut steel beams and joists; precut columns were attached to the floor frame and the roof frame was then placed on top of the columns. Structurally insulated panels [SIPS] make up the sub-floor and roof structures, and once the steel frame was set, the interior wall framing, plumbing, and electrical and mechanical components were added. Last, but not least, the windows and doors, interior and exterior finishes, built-in casework, appliances, and fixtures were installed.
The modules were then shipped to the site on flatbed trucks and lifted on to the foundation with a crane, where they were bolted together and welded to the foundation to become a permanent structure.
Hidden Valley uses sustainable materials and systems to minimize the environmental impact of the home, both in its creation and in its function. To reduce energy consumption, the SIPS provide superior insulation, while geothermal systems use the earth to heat and cool the home and solar panels draw energy from the sun. And modular construction, or prefab, maximizes factory production, thereby minimizing construction waste.
Factory production also centralizes the trades used to build the house, which reduces vehicular emissions from travel to construction sites. This is particularly important for the remote location of Hidden Valley, where instead of having the construction staff drive to the home site every day, fifteen trucks delivered the completed home over two days.
It's green, and prefab. It's got a sublime location and it's prefab.
It's prefab, and just plain fab.