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Marmol Radziner Prefab

Go to the Marmol Radziner Prefab status page

In October 2005 we spoke to Marmol Radziner Prefab about their new Steel Homes product line.

fpf When did Marmol Radziner + Associates start planning a prefab product line?
Ron Radziner, AIA and Leo Marmol, AIA
For nearly a decade the firm has been using prefabricated steel structures in our institutional projects, most notably in the LAX First Flight child care center and The Accelerated School in South Los Angeles. In both cases, prefab modules offered simple, quick and affordable solutions that still matched the modern aesthetic of the buildings.

Then in 2002, we were invited to be part of the Dwell Home competition, and for the first time we applied apply prefab technologies to a residential project. We were so enthusiastic about the potentials of prefab homes, that soon after we began designing a prefab prototype. Building the prototype, which we call the Desert House, helped us learn more about the realities of prefabricating homes, and the three models we currently offer are based on what we discovered with the Desert House.

fpf   MR+A has a reputation for high-end projects and attention to detail. Can you tell us how the values of your firm might be reflected in your new products?
Marmol Radziner Prefab is a natural extension of our firm’s long-standing approach that combines design and construction to produce modern spaces that are designed and built with exacting detail. We are architects first and foremost, and we see construction and fabrication as the work that supports our designs because it allows us to bring the rigor that we used in designing a project and to apply it to the construction process. Because we fabricate and handle all aspects of our work, we are responsible for everything we build and can ensure a high level of detail and quality for the homes. Our custom site-built homes have always focused on indoor/outdoor living, and we have carried that ideal into our prefab homes as well. The material selection, open floor plans, and floor-to-ceiling windows all reinforce this modern ideal.
fpf Design-build architecture firms seem well placed to undertake a prefab business. What advantages does MR+A have in entering this market?
MRP   As a design-build architecture firm, we have years of experience in designing buildings that are very suitable for construction, and at the same time, understanding how construction demands can strengthen our designs. We are skilled at dealing with the challenges that arise in the reality of building single family homes, and our in-house capabilities from our metal and cabinet shops directly translate to the fabrication of our prefab homes. From this past experience that specifically blends design and fabrication, we believe we can provide beautifully designed prefab homes with detail-oriented and efficient manufacturing capabilities.
 fpf   Your homes use steel frame modules. What do you like about steel?
Our steel-framed prefab homes are unique in both their strength and design since traditionally the house-building industry supports the construction of timber-framed homes. Steel-frame construction allows for superior durability both during transportation and over the lifetime of the house. In addition to structural strength, large structural spans give us more flexibility to facilitate seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces through features such as wide expanses of glass and airy floor plans. We also use recycled steel, which is a more sustainable building material than wood framing
fpf   Can you tell us about some of the other materials you have chosen and why?
Many of the materials in our prefab houses are the same as what we use in our custom-built home and reflect a mix of practicality and beauty. The cabinetry is all teak and walnut, which we admire for its rich, natural colors, and the countertops are made from Caesarstone, which has high heat and scratch resistance. We have also taken care to use environmentally-sensitive materials in both the structures and interiors. For example, we offer the option to use solar panels as the energy supply for the houses, and we use EcoTimber flooring, which is FSC certified to ensure the wood is grown and harvested in a way that protects forests for the long term.
fpf What can you tell us about the fabrication facility you are developing in Los Angeles?

Our factory occupies a 60,000 square foot space in Vernon, California, close to downtown Los Angeles. The building is large enough to accommodate three assembly lines of prefab modules, as well as to hold our cabinet, metal, and window shops. Our staff has the training and experience to complete all aspects of the fabrication, ranging from creating sheet metal flashings to welding structural steel, so we are able to centralized operations and oversee every stage of production.

fpf   What geographic markets will you be serving?
MRP   Our prefab models are pre-approved for use in California. Our goal is to secure pre-approvals in the majority of US states. At the moment, we can work with out-of-state potential homeowners in securing permits on a case-by-case basis.
fpf   Is MRP going to undertake all of the site work in addition to the fabrication of the modules, or will you be working with contractors?
We have four installation options to help potential homeowners with securing permits, preparing the foundation, and installing the prefab modules. On one end of the spectrum, the homeowner can take care of everything, including delivery and installation, and on the other end, if the homeowner selects our Deluxe Installation Plan, we can care of essentially all technical and planning aspects involved in getting a prefab home. It is worth noting that Marmol Radziner Prefab homes are not a “kit of parts,” which still require the home to be assembled and constructed on site and often face the same issues of scheduling contractors and sub contractors as standard site-built homes. Our modules are entirely prefabricated in our factory, including preinstalled electrical circuits, plumbing and flooring, so they are delivered to the site move in ready.
fpf   Thank youfor talking to fabprefab.
MRP   Thank you.  

Go to the Marmol Radziner Prefab status page

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