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March 23, 2015
A smartly built modular home helps a couple save on energy bills.
Cloverdale Prefab Home showing exterior from hill

An exterior shot shows the site-built garage along with two adapted prefabricated modules. The one above the garage houses the kitchen, home office, and living room, while the other contains the home’s bedrooms. Exterior materials include sustainably harvested cedar rainscreen; HardiePanel made from recycled materials; and standing seam metal siding, known for its longevity and energy efficiency.

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Cloverdale Prefab Home Office with panoramic views

The couple’s airy home office is situated in the top module. A linear desk on wheels sits in a bright corner with floor-to-ceiling, wood-framed windows that overlook the scenic city of Cloverdale and its surrounding countryside. The windows are made by Eagle Windows, with low-e and tinted glass. Easily operable lower windows help create cross ventilation on warm days, avoiding a habitual reliance on energy-guzzling AC.

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Cloverdale Prefab Home Kitchen

Method Homes installed the sleek U-shaped kitchen, which features maple cabinets, concrete with fly ash countertops, and a sculptural ceiling-mounted hood. The open steel railing is an architectural detail added by Method Homes. Dining options include an eat-in bar, as well as a dining table made from reclaimed wood. Flooring throughout is made of certified green-strand bamboo, harvested sustainably, that contributes to healthful indoor air quality and is comfortable underfoot.

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Cloverdale Prefab Home Living Room with Floor-to-Ceiling windows

An overhead ceiling fan in the living room also helps maximize circulation and save on energy bills. The expansive windows provide plenty of natural sunlight to warm the house in the colder months. A jute rug defines the seating area.

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Cloverdale Prefab Home Upper Level Deck

Off the kitchen is an exterior bridge that leads onto a spacious 450-square-foot deck that can be used for entertaining. The roof deck materials include rain-resistant cedar wood planks, as well as a durable HardiePanel parapet with metal siding from Taylor Metal.

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Cloverdale Prefab Home Front Exterior

The cantilevered office space above the garage is also underlit with exterior lighting between the driveway and the home. Landscaping is minimal, with native plants that require little maintenance. Water drains through a downspout onto pea gravel.

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Cloverdale Prefab Home Back Patio

In the rear, the master bedroom is visible in the cedar volume. The living room cantilevers over the lower patio, providing ample shade.

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Cloverdale Prefab Home showing exterior from hill

An exterior shot shows the site-built garage along with two adapted prefabricated modules. The one above the garage houses the kitchen, home office, and living room, while the other contains the home’s bedrooms. Exterior materials include sustainably harvested cedar rainscreen; HardiePanel made from recycled materials; and standing seam metal siding, known for its longevity and energy efficiency.

Architect 

After seeing Chris Pardo’s prefabricated modular housing online, a young couple approached the award-winning architect to adapt his Elemental Architecture Line to create a green house for them. The pair owned a two-and-a-half-acre lot situated on a hill in Cloverdale, Sonoma County, California. “The homeowners wanted lots of light, as well as a smooth connection between indoor and outdoor areas,” says Pardo, adding, “They also had a genuine appreciation for the scenery and topography.” The resulting, 2,300-square-foot three-bedroom house—constructed by Method Homes—sits compactly on the hillside, with a spacious 450-square-foot roof deck off the main living area. “By maintaining a detailed focus on situating the home correctly on the property, we were able to maximize natural light, take advantage of the views, and create comfortable open spaces, all while having a limited footprint touch the earth,” says Pardo. The homeowners, who write and publish from home for a living, are delighted with their new house.

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