Next and new and nice and open and green and simple and … just beautiful! And it doesn’t look like it had any prefab constraints in the design, everything flows nice & clean and to me it blends unassuming but graciously in the neighborhood.
Here’s a list of Products & Resources from Dwell.

Now that we definitely loved the house, the price/sf came lower than our local architect/builder remodel, but maybe not what I’m still hoping from the prefab promise. I’ve heard something like ~$300/sf with not too much room to go lower.

I wish I were a neighbor if not the owner 🙂

Neighbors get their first peek at Dwell Home
by Daniel DeBolt

As the public got its first look inside the Dwell Home — the cutting edge, eco friendly new home on Mountain View Avenue that has stirred more talk in Mountain View than any one home in recent memory — a local leader emphasized the neighborhood’s true priority.

The bottom line, said Mike Groethe, founder of the Shoreline West Neighborhood Association, is that the neighborhood should make the residents of the new home feel welcome.

“I was a bit surprised by the design features,” he said, but “it’s a case of what’s done is done. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Builders of the Dwell Home, a prefabricated two-story house at 515 Mountain View Ave., touted its environmentally friendly features during a four-day open house last week. And though many neighbors have complained loudly about its large and boxy design, the structure was passionately defended last Thursday by prefab house expert Michael Sylvester.

“I have no doubt this is the most energy efficient home in the neighborhood,” Sylvester said, adding that it was probably twice as energy efficient as an average home.

Sylvester was hired as a consultant by Dwell magazine, which has partnered with a prefab builder called Empyrean to build and promote the house and more than a dozen others like it. The Mountain View Dwell Home is the only one in a neighborhood this dense, and only the second one in the Bay Area.

Architecturally, Sylvester focused on the inside of the home, pointing to the natural light, the elegant spaces and a space halfway up the staircase that had a window and a bench for lounging. These subtle nuances are “the touch of a well qualified architect,” he said, adding that most homes are built by builders who aren’t considered professional architects.

The Dwell Home’s interior notwithstanding, some neighbors say it just doesn’t fit into the surrounding neighborhood. It replaced a 1908 house that the neighbors were disappointed to see demolished.

Jonathan Clarke, a resident of the same block of Mountain View Avenue, says he hopes it doesn’t become a trend. He pointed out that the Dwell Home used just about every inch of space on the lot allowed by the city.

“The only real concern I have is there is no daylight plane type of restrictions in Mountain View in terms of impacting adjacent property,” he said. The city’s building codes are “a little bit antiquated,” he said, “you can build a 28-foot wall seven feet from the property line and have an unbroken facade in the front.”

But Clarke acknowledged that not much could be done about the house’s style.

“Unless you are living in Disneyland, you can’t dictate style,” he said. “But the house would look like fine if it was a third smaller.”

In Japan, prefab structures make up a reported 18 percent of buildings, and some are considered to be premium homes. Some predict that in the U.S. prefab homes will jump in popularity, mainly because they are more efficient and cost effective to build.

The “carbon footprint” during construction is less, Sylvester says, because they are built in a factory with fewer trips to and from the construction site by workers.

Sylvester said prefab house ownership requires bravery, as the strange house faces numerous obstacles when prospective owners explain their plans to bank loan officers and, later, city building inspectors.

The “conservative mentality” he said, “really holds us back.”

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