C3PREFAB: V1.0

Chicago's First Prefabricated, Modular, LEED-Platinum Home

This initial C3Prefab project is constructed in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, and is the first prefabricated sustainable residence in Chicago. The C3Prefab is an ecological and economical house designed as a prototypical example of how residential construction can be designed affordably, sustainably, and contextually within an urban environment.

This project is constructed utilizing methods within the prefabricated modular industry. Specific to this project, the word ‘prefab’ means that portions of the home are constructed offsite and shipped to the project location once the foundation and utilities are prepared. C3Prefab adopts the best qualities of the prefab industry to create a project of higher quality than can typically be achieved with site-built construction. Ensuring a higher level of quality control and energy efficiency, reducing construction waste, and reducing the project timeline are some of the many benefits of utilizing prefab construction.

This project was conceived as a series of linear rectangular volumes that shift along an axis. This allows the design and construction to remain simple without being simplistic, creating opportunities for material changes and unique spatial pockets on the exterior while defining interior space. Central to the design is an open stair adjacent to a private exterior courtyard, which floods the interior with natural light and ventilation. All mechanicals are organized to one side of the building to maximize construction efficiency and allow the remainder of the floor plan to remain open and flexible. Two roof decks are accessible from the main stair and provide an area for leisure amongst a vegetated green space. Exterior materials include corrugated metal siding, painted fiber cement board siding, and reclaimed barn wood siding. Interior finishes include reclaimed hickory and cork flooring along with low-VOC paint, water based finishes, and a custom kitchen.

Along with contributions to site water management, water usage reduction, energy conservation, and indoor air quality this project achieves a high level of sustainability within a modest budget. High-efficiency mechanical systems are complemented by renewable energy provided by a solar thermal panel system. This project received LEED Platinum, Chicago Green Homes, EnergyStar, and Indoor AirPlus certifications. This home was third-party tested for a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score of 52, meaning that its energy efficiency is 48% better than a comparable standard built home.

All C3Prefab homes are available for customization to fit the lifestyle and budget of a potential homeowner.


© Square Root Architecture + Design, Ltd.