Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One small step for Man, one giant leap for Prefab?

Here's a couple posts from Curbed Chicago and Green Bean Chicago on a new factory prefabricated home (or Prefab) being installed in West Town. West Town neighborhoods of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village and East Village are known for their fair share of modern new construction homes. The modern prefab home movement is an interesting and sometimes controversial option when building. Questions of cost, politics, quality and design always arise!

What I learn about prefab, I learn from Dwell Magazine. Unfortunately, I live in Chicago and don't have any of my own photos of a modern prefab homes installed in the city. Anyone know of any other modern prefab homes in Chicago other than this one at the 1400 block of West Ohio?

Click on the link for more posts on modern architecture in Chicago


Anonymous said...

Hi from Alchemy and the weeHouse (office in Minneapolis). We have a significant number of requests from Chicago for the prefab weeHouse, and are thrilled to see this prefab happening. Our understanding is that Chicago building codes require all electrical and plumbing to be done by local union trades people. This means that a variance needs to be filed to place prefab units in Chicago when the modular building is done elsewhere (outside of city limits which is where factories tend to be located). With the weeHouse, at least, electrical and plumbing is typically done 'in-factory' although button-up work is almost always done by the locally licensed trade.

I'm not sure how this group is working with the city on that, and we're happy they are, but that's just an FYI on why we've run into some delays/concerns about placing prefab in Chicago. If I need to stand corrected, please correct me!

-Betsy, Alchemy Architects, home of the weeHouse®

Eric Rojas said...

Thanks Betsy,

Realtors and home builders (not to mention convention planners etc, etc) are well aware of certain building codes and union rules that thwart innovation.

While the city was a stickler about the onsite electrical and plumbing codes, there was inspector bribe scandals, crappy split-block construction and busted amatuer developers going on.

Maybe the focus and codes will turn to bottom line quality over protected trades.