When architect Michelle Kaufmann moved to the Bay Area to join her husband last year, they quickly became frustrated trying to find a home that they could afford and was eco-friendly. After six months of looking at $600,000 fixer-uppers, Michelle took matters into her own hands. She designed a prefabricated, modern style home that had all the “green” features that the couple considered important, and could be constructed to the strict San Francisco building codes including seismic requirements and energy efficiency. With the help of Live Modern, the Glidehouse is now available for sale to others. A number of modular builders are fabricating the Glidehouse throughout many US states and Canada, making it one of the very few modern designs available. The house was available for tours May 15-16 at the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend and brought in more than 20,000 visitors during the two days.
“The current real estate market demonstrated to us that there are very few options available to people like ourselves and our friends for a new type of housing alternative,” said Kaufmann. “We feel we’ve done for pre-fabricated homes what Ikea has done for furniture and Volkswagen has done for cars which translates to intelligent design at affordable prices. The old trailer park myth of pre-fab homes is history, since most homes in today’s marketplace are at least partially pre-fabricated. Our designs are smart and modern, our workmanship is of the highest quality, we are totally energy efficient and sustainable and every home is built to local codes. It’s time that people have an alternative for home ownership. We think it’s the Glidehouse.”
The Glidehouse offers an affordable, low-maintenance, well-designed green housing alternative, in four different sizes – 672 sf for a 1-bedroom, 1,344 sf for a 2-bedroom, 1,560 sf for a 3-bedroom and a 2,016 sf courtyard version. It can be configured to either fit on an open lot with views, with glass walls that open onto the landscape. Or, it can adjust to a more dense, urban lot, which would feature glass walls that open onto two private courtyards, insuring privacy from neighbors.