EcoUrban Homes

EcoUrban Homes

Jonathan B.
Jan 29, 2008

EcoUrban Homes is a St. Louis-based startup building factory-assembled, green homes. We were encouraged to see green features in a reasonably well-designed and affordable home, and one that was certified LEED Platinum (that's the highest level). But judging from posts on their blog, it seems like the people behind the company have learned a few things the hard way. First and foremost: "not everyone is ready for modern design."

We have to wonder if those attitudes might have been softened a little bit had key details of the prototype house been different. The stainless steel battens (horizontal strips) you see above were originally unfinished cedar, which made it look to some eyes as though the house wasn't properly finished. Other potential mistakes: a shiny red kitchen that we love -- but traditional wood cabinetry might have been a more mainstream choice.

The second project is going to be more conservative. To us, the design works well: it's by no means modern, but neither is it fussy. The proportions work better than the design above, and the roof brackets, bricks, and divided windows add the kind of detail mainstream buyers go for.

The houses are assembled in modular pieces in a factory, then trucked to the site and put together. Finishes, like drywall and siding, are added on site. This way of building can generate in less waste, higher-quality construction, and less time from start to finish compared with conventionally built homes.

If you want to see more, EcoUrban Homes has a website and a blog.

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