Updated: Feb 2
We’ve all heard the adage, It’s what’s inside that counts. But that’s not necessarily the case with sustainable, prefab home design and construction. What’s outside influences what’s inside, and prefab employs a holistic architectural approach so a home works in harmony with its natural surroundings. When it comes to prefab, construction IS part of design. This method creates a uniquely modern home that’s luxuriously livable with an interior environment that’s healthier, more sustainable, and better for the planet.
Each Stillwater Dwellings home is made up of panels constructed in an indoor, climate-controlled environment then transported for assembly onsite. Unlike traditional construction methods, lumber and framing for prefab homes are not outside for weeks or months constantly exposed to the elements. Factory built panels reduce risk of mold, rot, drywall cracks, nail pops, and floor or stair creaks. (New to prefab? Start here.)
Our home designs include hybrid insulation, a technique that is extremely air resistant and helps reduce air leakage through thermal bridging. Thermal bridges are areas through which heat enters or exits a home, like junctions between the wall and floor, door and window reveals, and holes from the installation of pipes and cables.
Our hybrid approach creates a tighter building envelope that reduces overall air leakage risks of condensation, mold, or rot. The result is an interior environment that’s cleaner with consistent temperatures and comfort in all weather conditions.
Architectural designs to manage solar gain
Our incorporation of the striking butterfly roof design is a nod to modern architecture pioneer Le Corbusier as well as a key passive house element. Its angled ascent helps keep heat from the sun out during the warm months and, depending on a home’s orientation, takes advantage of the sun’s energy for heat in colder seasons. Our in-house, LEED-accredited architectural team will work with you to determine the home’s best orientation on your land in order to maximize passive heat and cooling opportunities.
Stillwater Dwellings’ panelized construction allows for greater levels of precision. Our use of MiTek technology cuts panels to within 1/16 of an inch so that seams and joints are tight throughout. A home with a tight envelope helps maintain consistent temperature, reduces unwanted infiltration of outside air, and prevents the loss of indoor refrigerated air.
Passive and active ventilation
In an airtight and well-insulated home, you’ll need consistent and controlled air flow to prevent indoor pollution from pets, kitchen odors, and bathroom humidity. Our homes are designed and assembled with optimal passive and active ventilation to increase air flow and bring fresh air in while keeping dirt, dust, and pollutants out.
A heat recovery installation system (HRV) included with every home extracts the heat from the older, stale air on its way out of the home and transfers it to the fresh and cooler air being drawn from outside. The two air flows pass through the heat recovery system independently without cross-contamination. The use of power and active vents, HRV, and passive design features work together to maintain air that’s cleaner, healthier, and at your preferred temperature for comfort all year long.
We take great care to specify materials and products that are non-toxic and high performing. Low VOC paints, sealants, and caulking improve indoor air quality with no strong chemical odors. Double-paned, Low-E windows are an integral part of the home’s envelope to increase overall insulation and mitigate solar gain.
Our systems-approach to architecture, design, and construction results in a resilient, structurally sound home that’s healthier for you and the environment for many years to come.
Want to know more? Register for one of our upcoming webinars to learn about the Stillwater Dwellings home collection and to participate in a more in-depth discussion about prefab methods and benefits — all from the comfort of your couch.