Would You Build a Bentley in Your Backyard?
That’s how Alexander Kolbe of HUF HAUS forthrightly justifies the factory-built houses the luxury building company has made since 1910. And it makes perfect sense.
While here in America, the Prefab movement seems to be forever teetering on the brink of extinction, in Europe, it thrives. More homes are built in factories there. HUF HAUS is one such prefab company from Germany that builds modular post and beam homes.
They have built 10,000 of their modular houses. Of course it is much easier on the environment to build houses in factories. There’s less waste, it takes less energy, etc.
But the HUF HAUS post and beam houses are not only easy to erect and spacious, and high tech, but they are also highly energy efficient once built too, because all the structural wood panels are fitted with a highly efficient heat insulation layer.
Their post and beam construction is part of the extreme energy efficiency, because it reduces the thermal bridges that can transfer cold into a home.
As well as mass producing the construction side of home building, they also partner with several appliance and interior design companies so that the interiors are just as beautifully thought out as the “bones” of the home.
Everything from baths, sinks, faucets, refrigerators, cooktops and cabinetry is coordinated at the factory to be part of a black, gray or white post and beam home. It all works together.
Solar electricity can be provided from building-integrated solar roof tiles.
Despite the modular building style, there are many options. Roofs can be a simple gable, or split. Roofing can be tile or solar.
A variety of color schemes is available for interior finishes. Once chosen the selected color story is coordinated throughout the entire home, in and out.
Radiant heating is in every floor, run off a separate hot water system from the hot water for washing, so that it can be shut down in summer when it is not needed.
The principle of the air source heat pump is just as simple as it is ingenious. The heat pump uses the natural warmth in the surrounding air. This warmth is extracted from the air, raised to a higher temperature through compression and then fed into the heating system.
Regardless of interior choices, PassiveHaus-like levels of air-tightness keeps the warmth in in all these modular homes. But the air tight rooms are healthy, because they are ventilated by warming fresh incoming air using a highly efficient cross flow heat exchanger that extracts heat from the outgoing stale air.