Building Technology

Factory-built custom home in Santa Monica, Calif.

This custom 5,400- square-foot single-family spec home in Santa Monica, Calif., designed by the late Ray Kappe, uses the patented Plant Building System. Plant Prefab modules ship with flooring, tile, millwork, fixtures, and appliances in place, saving months of costly on-site finish work (Photo: Courtesy Plant Prefab).


Steve Glenn and Plant Prefab work their way into the future — at their own pace with a hybrid system using factory-built modules and panels to construct custom homes.


Large triple-pane windows on the south side of this net-zero certified Passive House in Halifax allow for lake views and maximum sun for heating. On the north, street-facing side, fewer and smaller windows make the home more efficient (Photos: Elemental Photography).


There's nothing passive about Natalie Leonard's drive to build sustainable affordable Passive homes

Designed to withstand natural disasters, exterior, poolside of modern mansion in hills above Los Angeles by Landry Design Group

Los Angeles-based Landry Design Group collaborates with structural and civil engineers on hillside homes to determine if the best seismic reinforcement is concrete caissons sunk into the ground, or a mat-slab foundation in which the home’s weight is evenly distributed across the foundation. Photo: Erhard Pfeiffer


Resilient design creates homes that can survive natural disasters and stay functional in the aftermath

The upper courtyard and garden of Quarry House, protected from Connecticut seacoast winds, offer an imtimate place to sit, says architect John Tittmann. The home, which sits on a granite ledge, was built by Brian Maresca of Guilford, Conn. Photo: Robert Benson Photography


Building a foundation on a challenging site takes planning, patience, and a collaborative attitude

elderly living, assisted living, modular homes, modular building, nationwide

NationWide Homes introduces “Care Cottages” for the disabled, elderly


Martinsville, Va.-based Nationwide Homes introduced its first ever Care-Cottage. The modular units are set up on rural properties next to primary caregivers  and offer an affordable alternative to home renovation or assisted living facilities.


Toll Brothers and EchoFirst announced that Echo solar systems will be deployed as the state-of-the-art energy management system within new Toll Brothers communities in Arizona. 

energy efficient homes, energy star, energystar, energy efficiency, green homes

Georgia builder sees advantages in energy-efficient flooring and wall sheathing


Al Durden, construction supervisor for SF Communities in Macon, Ga., builds quality residential homes in Macon and surrounding communities throughout Middle Georgia. Recent alterations in SF Communities’ standard construction practices require Durden to build quieter, more energy-efficient homes.

home certification, weatherization, home weatherization, home performance

BPI hits 25,000 home performance certifications


The Building Performance Institute Inc. (BPI) reached 25,000 active certifications this week, more than tripling its total number of professional certifications in the home performance and weatherization workforce in just 18 months

Tips on designing and specifying shower systems

Understanding the mechanics of shower systems is vital to creating a great user experience, according to kitchen and bath design expert Paul Greenspan. He offers advice on shower system design and specification, including when to use a thermostatic valve in lieu of a pressure balance valve.

FALL 2021

This Month in Custom Builder


The French luxury switches brand Meljac has developed a new solid brass collection in collaboration with Australian designer Marc Newson.


The HS300 whole-house HEPA filtration unit is designed to be installed directly onto the return air plenum of forced air heating/cooling systems.

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