Plant Prefab has partnered with noted Southern California architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa to create a multifamily housing solution that is adaptable to different situations.
The first multi-family system offered by Plant, the Nest LivingHome “kit-of-parts” is designed to be scalable to large or small developers and builders and to different housing needs and lot conditions.
Plant Prefab says the Nest LivingHomes toolkit is grounded in the belief that housing for the homeless should be scattered throughout regions, rather than having housing concentrated in one community. A main goal for the concept was to give homeless people a sense of dignity and shared social spaces on underutilized parcels of land, the company says in a release introducing the system.
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“As the demand and cost for housing continues to rise, Nest was conceived to provide a scalable, cost-effective, high-quality solution to multi-family housing,” explains Angie Brooks, managing principal, Brooks + Scarpa. “Like the nesting habits of birds, the toolkit is based on the different ways people live with the objective of giving everyone an affordable place to live.”
Plant says all of its homes, including Nest units, are constructed in the company’s homebuilding factory in Rialto, Calif., which cuts the construction timeline in half and significantly reduces project costs. The Nest concept is based on the Plant Building System, a component-based construction platform. “We know that people are frustrated by the slow pace of solutions for affordable housing,” Glenn says. “Prefab construction can help increase the pace.”
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Plant, which was spun out of LivingHomes, a sustainable design development company that specialized in prefabricated homes (including the nation's first LEED Platinum-certified home), is also a prefabricated residential design and construction company. The company has partnered with KieranTimberlake Associates (see Loblolly House), Yves Béhar, Ray Kappe, FAIA, and Toby Long, AIA, but for the Nest LivingHome, the company chose Brooks + Scarpa, a modern-leaning Los Angeles-based firm that is known for energy efficient, high performance apartment and commercial buildings.
“Brooks + Scarpa is one of the top design firms in the nation and the work they’ve done in sustainable, affordable housing, in particular, is among the most innovative in the industry,” says Plant Founder and CEO, Steve Glenn. “By offering an adaptable, prefabricated kit-of-parts, Nest LivingHomes offers developers and affordable housing organizations a flexible solution they can use now for smaller, urban infill lots in order to build affordable housing faster and for a lower cost than traditional, site-based approaches.”
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