May 12, 2013
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April 25, 2013
Habitat for Humanity's 'House of the Immediate Future'
While attending Seattle’s Bumpershoot music festival over Labor Day Weekend, attendees could also take in an extra show: the completed build of the House of the Immediate Future (still open for touring). Some of the Method Homes team attended the opening weekend, which saw attendance numbers around an estimated 115,000 people. This is a great amount of exposure for a project that has a lot of key messages to get across to the public concerning energy efficiency, housing costs, construction methods, design and sustainable materials and systems.
For Method, which constructed the home’s prefabricated ‘wet cores’ (pictured above), the House of the Immediate Future works as a tool to show how the bounds of modular construction can be adapted for other innovative applications.
Habitat for Humanity’s building model calls for houses to be constructed largely using unskilled labor, but sections of the home are still required to be completed by skilled tradesman. A prefab core that houses those components of the home can streamline this building process. By having the skilled mechanical, electrical and plumbing work completed offsite, there is the potential to fix the cost and schedule of Habitat building projects upfront, meaning a more predictable construction budget and timeline from the beginning. For the House of the Immediate Future, wet core modules were transported by truck, then lifted into place by crane, one on top of the other.
The design not only demonstrates how modular prefab works with Habitat for Humanity’s building model, but also aligns with the project’s focus on sustainability and efficiency. Method’s mission is focused around the core value of healthy, sustainable building. Through prefabrication, there is typically a reduction in waste, construction timelines, tighter building envelopes, minimized exposure to the elements, and limited site impact. These factors work together to reinforce the House of the Immediate Future’s goals.
Although construction is complete on the house, the project’s journey is only half-over. After House of the Immediate Future’s stay at the Seattle Center, it will be disassembled and moved to its new permanent location.
Method is no stranger to transporting homes, however we typically deliver the homes in prefab modules rather than panelized sections, as with the House of the Immediate Future. As in any Habitat house, volunteers will again play a huge part in not only the construction, but also the deconstruction—and reconstruction—of the home.