Modular Home Being Built In a MultiMillion Dollar Neighborhood – La Jolla

It’s not every day you see up to 60-foot-long, factory-built pieces of a home trucked, lifted and stacked over a course of two days.

Nine pieces that make up a multimillion-dollar “green” project named Casabrava took shape on a prepped site in La Jolla on Thursday and Friday after a trip from a factory in Utah. Over the next two weeks, workers will “stitch” together the pieces to prepare for finishes.

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The project’s vision: Homes made on factory lines can look and feel as sophisticated as traditional homes built on site, said Heather Johnston, an architect and future occupant of Casabrava. Prefabricated construction is also more efficient and more environmentally friendly, Johnston said.

“This is not a manufactured home, which are used for trailers and mobile homes,” said Johnston, who will live in the house with her husband, David Dickins.

“We’re building a prefab home. … They’re basically house parts. And the parts have to be stronger than a normal house because they have to be transported and lifted by a crane.”

Johnston took a year off to work on the project. She said prefab construction, which has been around for decades but has yet to gain wide acceptance, is more time-efficient. It will take roughly nine months to finish Casabrava, from factory build time to finishes on site. A custom home takes about 18 months to be completed, she said.

“This can really affect the bottom line,” she said.

Savings also come from prefab homes being precision-cut, so there’s less waste. Plus, everything is built indoors, so there are fewer delays.

Building Casabrava will end up costing $220 a square foot, based on Johnston’s figures. The home takes up 4,100 square feet, including a three-car garage. The per-square-footage cost is significantly lower than the per-square-footage cost of an home resold in La Jolla. In July, the median price was $518 a square foot, DataQuick numbers show.

The hard costs of the project, including construction and land but not things like permitting, will total roughly $2.6 million.

Over time, Johnston expects to save money on energy by just the way the home is positioned on the site.

The design is meant to increase ventilation and nix the need for an air conditioner. Other green features include rain-catchment systems to water plants and recycled materials

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