Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Clayton 'i-house'

AP – In this Oct. 28, 2008 image released by Clayton Homes Inc., the new 'i-house' is shown. The solar-powered, …

Clayton 'i-house' is giant leap from trailer park

By DUNCAN MANSFIELD, Associated Press Writer Duncan Mansfield, Associated Press Writer – Wed May 6, 2:47 pm ET

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – From its bamboo floors to its rooftop deck, Clayton Homes' new industrial-chic "i-house" is about as far removed from a mobile home as an iPod from a record player.

Architects at the country's largest manufactured home company embraced the basic rectangular form of what began as housing on wheels and gave it a postmodern turn with a distinctive v-shaped roofline, energy efficiency and luxury appointments.

... The "i-house's" metal v-shaped roof — inspired by a gas-station awning — combines design with function. The roof provides a rain water catchment system for recycling, supports flush-mounted solar panels and vaults interior ceilings at each end to 10 1/2 feet for an added feeling of openness.

..... The Energy Star-rated design features heavy insulation, six-inch thick exterior walls, cement board and corrugated metal siding, energy efficient appliances, a tankless water heater, dual-flush toilets and lots of "low-e" glazed windows.

The company said the prototype at roughly 52,000 pounds may be the heaviest home it's ever built.

The final product will come in different exterior colors and will allow buyers to design online, adding another bedroom to the core house, a second bedroom to the flex room or rearranging the footprint to resemble an "L" instead of an "I."

"We thought of this a little like a kit of parts, where you have all these parts that can go together in different ways," said Andy Hutsell, one of the architects.

Susan Connolly, a 60-year-old accountant who works from her conventional Knoxville home, hopes to be one of the first buyers. She's seen the prototype and has been talking to the company. ... (more)

Clayton Homes "i-house" tour:

with interesting comments in "News" at :
51. RE: Clayton's I-House: Prefab Green Homes Get Affordable

When I was a kid, we lived in a Quonset hut. Cheap living but not energy efficient. I would consider dropping the services from the ceiling powered by 12 volt boat motors. The interior could be a blank box that could be customized by moving modules around. Think of a toilet module, a sink module and a shower module, each hooked to the ceiling service. Waste and water travel in one inch pipes via boat pumps. The layout could change depending on family status. A single person might have a different layout than an older couple or a younger couple with a child. A home office worker might develop a space with office modules. When I was designing some small spaces and involved in kitchen design, I was intrigued by the European concept of taking your kitchen with you when you moved. Each cabinet was stand alone. Couple that concept with boat layouts of 12 volts and small diameter pipes. ...