Forbes thinks Blu Homes' tech-based approach could succeed in making prefab houses available for a wide range of design savvy homeowners. Using a version of industrial engineering software that was created to design cars, jets, and spaceships, Blu Homes is trying what many architects haven’t managed to do successfully—create high-design, mass-produced houses for market-rate home buyers. For basic models, prices range from $95,000 to $495,000, which includes delivery, installation, and on-site finish work—not including the foundation. The company’s seven models encompass architect Michelle Kaufmann’sGlidehouse and Breezehouse along with five original designs from its own team of architects.
Founded by entrepreneur Bill Haney and and venture capitalist Maura McCarthy, the Blu Home partners tout their business as a tech company that builds homes. They fashion their approach to prefab design and construction on Apple’s successful formula of producing gorgeous objects in large quantities using innovative software. The missing link, according to Blu Homes, is that prefab structures traditionally have to be narrow for cost-effective transport and installation, but consumers want wide spaces for today’s open, casual lifestyle. The company’s solution to this issue is a hinge. The framing on all of its designs consists of recycled structural steel that can be strategically folded, allowing a 21-foot-wide house to be shipped on a standard 8.5-foot-wide truck.
More than technology and the hinge solution, McCarthy and Haney credit the ability to control changes, costs, and the installation method within the factory as keys for a successful prefab home venture. To learn more about Blu Homes and its process, read the full article from Forbes. We’ve also written more profiles on Michelle Kaufmann and her prefab efforts as well as Blu Homes acquisition of her designs.
BUILDER Magazine, our sister publication, covered Blu Homes' new west coast factory in a recent article, which can be read here.