Back in the beginning of May, I shared news that Blu Homes’ next-gen Breezehouse — a bigger, badder, and breezier update on Michelle Kaufmann’s iconic 2005 green prefab design — had been selected as Sunset magazine’s 2012 Idea House. Given the quick and efficient nature of modular building, it didn’t take long at all for construction of the steel-framed home to wrap up at Blu Homes’ Vallejo, Calif. factory and for the structure to be trucked up north to the beautiful Sonoma County community of Healdsburg where it was “unfolded” and buttoned up at its permanent site, connected to utilities, and gussied up quite nicely with the help of interior designer Sharon Portnoy and landscape designer Steve Hinderberger. Just a few days ago, the 2012 Idea House opened for public tours that will last through Sept. 9 (Fri., Sat., Sundays).
Can’t make it to wine country for a tour of Sunset’s cutting-edge prefab showhome? Darn, I can’t either. But don’t despair as Sunset has shared a handful of photos with those of you who can’t make it (or those of you lucky ducks who plan on attending but are craving a sneak peak). And in addition to the photos, I’m also including a time-lapse video of Blu Home’s game-changing install process as well as a behind-the-scenes video produced by Sunset. Both are embedded at the bottom of this page.

And since I didn’t mention the eco-friendly specs of the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home in my initial post (aside from the obvious), here are a few highlights:

• Radiant floor heating system from Warmboard
• Bamboo flooring throughout
• Solar hot water heating
• Water-efficient fixtures
• Low-VOC Aura paints from Benjamin Moore
• High R-value wall assembly with rain screen, exterior insulation, and blown-in wall cavity insulation
• Innovative recycled steel framing construction process that produces significantly less waste than lumber construction (2 percent vs. 20 percent)
• Maintenance-free fiber cement siding
• Not necessarily green, but since this is Sonoma, after all, there’s both a wine cellar on the ground level and a built-in wine bar in the living room, aka the “Breezespace.” And there's also a built-in outdoor couch in which to enjoy that vino. 
Plenty more 2012 Sunset Idea House goodness right here including 3-D virtual walkthroughs, floorplans, a blog, and tour info. Anyone had the chance to see the home in the flesh yet? What did you think?



Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Sunset uncorks Breezehouse for tours in Sonoma
Appealing to both storage-conscious oenophiles and fans of modular green building alike, Sunset's 2012 Idea House, a next-generation Breezehouse from Blu Homes,