Over the next few years, architects will be challenged to meet the needs of an increasingly crowded urban environment. Many believe that the future of urban architecture can be found in the modular buildings being built today by firms like Ideabox. While prefabricated homes still have a negative connotation among the general public, the Oregon-based company sees prefab dwellings as the only way to provide sustainable, immediate housing tomorrow’s massive population.
Ideabox has devised efficient, high-tech and sustainable prefabricated homes that can be customized to a buyer’s unique needs. Best of all, these homes can be had for a fraction of the cost of a traditional home.
“There really wasn’t a cool, cutting edge, controlled and cost-effective home situation out there,” says Jim Russell, lead designer and founder of Ideabox. “Things were too expensive and much larger than they need to be. We thought, ‘There’s gotta be a better way.’”
With prefab homes, buyers don’t have to sacrifice anything to get a bona fide “green” building. They’re made with reclaimed wood and recycled metals and feature the latest sustainable home technology, including Energy Star-related products and conservation-oriented heating and air systems.
Not only can prefab architecture offer standalone units for a single family residence, but they can also be clustered, stacked, or rearranged to create environmentally-friendly multi-unit dwellings of tomorrow.
While the thought of tomorrow’s urban landscape conjures images of Blade Runner or even Star Wars, flexibility will be essential to meet the needs of a booming population. Most importantly, structures will also need to be efficient so that resources aren’t excessively strained. Modular homes may offer that perfect balance, or as Ideabox likes to call it, the right amount of everything.