How long does it take to build a house, a pre-fab building, a tower?
Of course the length of time of construction varies with the size and complexity of each project. Our experience shows that conventionally built single-family houses and small buildings --not prefab-- take about a year from start to finish. Multi-unit housing, low-rise buildings, or complex small buildings, may take an additional six months to a year. And residential or commercial towers, depending on their complexity, may take a total of six years.
With our pre-fab buildings, the turn-around time for fabrication is 8 to 10 weeks. And installation takes about a week.
Who designs your buildings' interiors?
If it is attached to the building, we have designed it. So all the interiors, including all lighting, plumbing, millwork (cabinetry), paint colors, floor finishes are specified by us. When we are done, the building is ready to be occupied and used; just bring in your furniture, clothes and your toothbrushes.
Have you used solar or geothermal?
Yes, we have installed solar panels, geo-thermal wells, high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. But we don't lose sight of a clear fact that the way a building is sited, its orientation, exposure to light, protection from winter winds, simple thermal insulation, and thermal windows are the first steps to energy efficiency. As we often say, a well-performing building shell is like a glove on one's hand: creating a continuous thermal layer that shields the interior from too much heat or cold.
Do you work with your own builders?
Our goal, in selecting builders, is to work with those who display exceptional work and enthusiasm, who are eager to solve problems, and who display a proven track record of projects that align with our methods of construction. Sometimes we are asked to make introductions to those we have worked with. And at other times, we are asked to meet new builders.
Do you work beyond NY -internationally?
Exploring new regions, contexts, climates and cultures is a unique pleasure of architecture. But there are challenges as well; local know-how, knowledge of building codes and construction methods, to name a few. Besides taking time to research and understand any environment, we try to engage local architects to assist with local and regional processes and issues.
Do you design very affordable buildings?
We are proud to say that some of our projects are the most affordable solutions to housing in the United States. Over the years, we have won numerous awards for these. For us, architecture encompasses the wide spectrum of culture, individuals and income brackets. And more often than not, a tight budget yields more substantive results.
Who designed the arrangement of colors on this page?
One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, the radical ideas and work of Donald Judd continue to provoke and influence the fields of art, architecture and design. To read more about Judd, go here.
The work of Donald Judd exerts a special influence on architects of every generation; including us. His outstanding ability to distill experience to a singular event -ripe with infinite associations- influences our thoughts to this day...
Are your buildings expensive to build?
It both surprises and pleases us that most of our new clients think that our buildings cost much more than they really did. We take great pride in exploring methods of construction that are efficient, and in communicating our intent to builders carefully and instructively. In most instances, our buildings cost the same as conventionally built structures of equivalent size. Our pre-fab buildings are amongst the most affordable in the country. And, of course, some of our projects, with complex objectives, require a more robust budget.
Do flat roofs leak?
Its surprising how often this question is asked. It shows that flat roofs have caused issues in the past in some buildings. Flat roof construction is very different now than even ten years ago. A properly built flat roof should not leak! We seal the roof and all its joints very tightly. And take careful precautions to shed water, snow and ice.
Is the Container_Studio “green?”
While it might not be as “green” as a wigwam made out of pre-fallen timber, the Container_Studio has a number of features that decrease its impact on the environment. Four recycled shipping containers make up the bulk of the building material by weight. Because of an import surplus with Asia, thousands of shipping containers are left on our docks never to be sent back making them a perfect material to recycle. To increase its energy efficiency, the Container_Studio is insulated with closed-cell foam and double-pane windows in order to better maintain a constant temperature.
How much is a Container_Studio?
Try to beat these prices. We dare you. For $135,000 you get a 950 square foot Container_Studio with a double-height work space and a 2nd floor office completely finished including insulation, electrical wiring and lighting, plumbing, fixtures, windows, and a finished floor. For $180,000 you get everything from the Container_Studio plus one bedroom, one bathroom, a walk-in closet, living room, and a full kitchen. And for $190,500 you get everything above plus a second bedroom and a second bathroom. These prices do not include delivery, installation, and a small amount of on-site labor. We estimate, on average, that delivery could cost between $12,000 and $35,000 in Northeast US and on-site work (foundation, utilities) costs could range from $25,000 to $45,000 depending on accessibility and location.
How big is the Container_Studio?
950 square-feet with a double-height living room that makes it feel much larger. The living room is 19’ long, 15’ wide, and 17'-6" high. The master bedroom is 15’ long and 7’-5” wide with an attached bathroom and walk-in closet that is 12’-4” long and 7' wide. The downstairs bedroom is 7’-5” long and 7’ wide and the kitchen is 12’-8” long and 7’ wide.
I would like to make some customizations…
The only way that we can keep the Container_Studio priced way below conventional construction is to value engineer every detail of the project and negotiate a fair price with our fabricators so any customizations to the design will add to its cost. But, the Insta_House can be expanded and customized on-site by a local builder using your preferred method of construction.
How complete is the Container_Studio?
Once delivered, the house needs about one to four days of on-site assembly by a local builder and is then up to code and completely ready to move in. Just bring a bed and a tooth brush. It includes bamboo flooring, painted drywall, insulation, fixtures, and appliances. A list of our hand-selected appliances will be provided once an account has been set up.
Do you deliver internationally?
At this point, we do not. We have several manufactures on the East and West coasts but, for now, our deliveries are limited to the continental United States.
What must be done on-site before the Container_Studio is delivered?
A local builder must install six or nine concrete columns on to which the Container_Studio is placed and fastened. Before the Insta_House is delivered, the builder must bring sewage, water, and electrical lines to the site. After delivery, the builder must connect the Container_Studio to the utilities on site.
What is the difference between the insta_house and the the Container_Studio?
Every insta_house starts with the Container_Studio. The insta_house is a series of options that turn the Container_Studio into a home. These options include bedrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen. The Container_Studio also features fewer windows --freeing up wall space for art or storage.
Where can I see one?
Our first prototype was site-built in Amagansett, NY on private property. We are currently on track to build in Montauk, Sag Harbor and Annandale-on-Hudson. Please sign up for our infrequently sent news emails (here) to get status updates of these projects.
go to our Container_Studio page.