aving a home built can be a challenge. Miscommunications or misunderstanding between the architect, the builder, the subcontractors, the supplier, the client, can lead to inefficiencies that ultimately need to be accounted for and paid for.
Charlie Lazor, principal of Minneapolis-based architecture firm Lazor Office observes: “Custom architecture at the residential level becomes an expensive proposition that a lot of people cannot afford. You put the fees on top of the cost to build a custom modern home and it is out of reach for most people.” In response to this, Lazor has developed FlatPak, a customizable system of prefabricated components that can be configured into unique homes. The concept is to “bring better space to more people.” Through pre-fabrication, FlatPak homes cost about 15-20 percent less than custom site-built one-off designs due to efficiency in terms of labor and materials. To arrive at this point Lazor had to design all the possible permutations of the components, and then he had to define the standard material palette, which includes ipé (Tabebuia spp.) for exterior decking and cladding. “Commonly in pre-fab one finds that the architect and the fabricator are two different groups, but what we are able to do is have more flexibility in terms of detail and craft,” says Lazor. Most of the components are built in the shop. “We have a team
9/2/11 3:16 PM
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