Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain / ecotechdesign

© Jack Parsons Photography

The Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain is a 2nd generation pre-fab design for a residence and workplace developed by ecotechdesign in collaboration with ecotechbuild. A container hybrid prototype this kit-like housing product is offered for the first time to homeowners who want more than what is currently available with pre-fab and manufactured housing, even custom construction.

Loosely based on the efficient Prius automobile engineering concept, the hybrid house concept combines diverse pre-engineered building and energy conservation features to maximize efficiency and cost savings, while offering architectural design flexibility and variation.

The hybrid house consists of cargo containers and pre-engineered steel building components that can be erected and combined together at the site, often in less than an hour.

Architects: ecotechdesign
Location: , California,
Project Team: Walter Scott Perry and Eric Engheben
Photographs: Jack Parsons Photography

© Jack Parsons Photography

The project is composed of diverse recycled steel components, including six repurposed ISO containers, a Butler pre-engineered building, a 10,000 gallon steel water tank, and a metal shade canopy with integrated steel framing system that provides extraordinary strength, earthquake, fire and wind protection, as well as large window and door openings to maximize natural daylighting, ventilation, and cooling.

© Jack Parsons Photography

The design incorporates a bolt-on solar home shading system. The adjustable steel frame and shade system creates 50% solar heat, glare and wind reduction on the building, and solar breezeway that allows for plug-in attachment of future solar electric and water heating panel arrays.

© Jack Parsons Photography

Movable, bolt and add-on modules use greywater irrigation and are planted with native desert plants and sedums to absorb heat, glare, dust and CO2.  Water conservation was also part of the design integrating greywater, water harvesting and storage systems.

© Jack Parsons Photography

“By combining high-efficiency and mass-produced modular construction methods with innovative design in one of the harshest climate zones in North America, we have developed a low-cost, sustainable, housing system that can be transported and quickly erected anywhere in the world,” explains Architect, Walter Scott Perry, AIA, and Principal of ecotechdesign.

“The typical housing project in San Bernardino County takes one to three months to go through entitlement and permitting alone,” adds Contractor, Eric Engheben “Our project was approved and permitted in just one week.”

© Jack Parsons Photography

The residence is constructed from 5-20′ long recycled cargo containers that were fabricated and finished in Los Angeles and then shipped to the site where they were erected and stacked 2 high in 15 minutes each. All site work, including foundations and utility placement was constructed at the remote desert site during container fabrication in Los Angeles.

© Jack Parsons Photography

The residence is the 1 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath, 2 story model hybridhouse_1 design that has been adapted for a media client who required a separate photo studio and storage building. The studio is constructed of a Butler pre-engineered steel building with plug-in cargo container storage. It is naturally daylite with 22″ dia. Solutubes, which can be manually controlled and temperature balanced using efficient, dimmable strip lighting.

© Jack Parsons Photography

The container residence and the pre-engineered, steel studio structure act as two bookends that support framing and, in turn a perforated metal shade canopy that wraps the container’s roof, south-facing steel walls and the dramatic 20′ high outside living space, aka solar breezeway to provide protection against desert heat, glare, wind and blowing sand. The breezeway, in turn moderates and then directs a flow of air through the container spaces to enhance passive cooling. A naturally lit, steel-clad stair structure connects the 2 level stacked containers and doubles as a 20′ story high photo gallery in which to display artwork.

© Jack Parsons Photography
Cite: "Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain / ecotechdesign" 18 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=128736>
  • Chris Carlton

    Looks interesting but as far as I’m concerned the number one issue with prefab is cost, and I don’t see any numbers here. Makes me wonder.

  • winningS2000

    No plans or sections – hard to tell what’s going on here without them -

  • dima Alchamaa

    interesting,but there should be plans and sections to understand it better