Prefab Flex House comes tricked out with smart home features

Not your usual prefab

A rendering of the Flex House. 
Green Builder Media

If today’s tiny houses and shipping container homes (and shipping container tiny homes) strike you as a bit absurd or otherwise impractical, perhaps the new Flex House concept presents a more compelling vision of sustainable compact living. Recently shown at CES, the so-called “right-sized” prefab design comes in at a comfortable 760 square feet, with smart home trimmings from head to toe.

Flex House, presented by Green Builder Media, is the second and newest concept from California-based modular housing company Shelter Dynamics. From the outset, the curved roofline suggests that this efficiency-focused design doesn’t skimp on the architectural details that might charm buyers of traditional houses. Inside, pale floors and walls are garnished by arched doorways, recessed lighting, plus built-in seating and storage.

The Flex House on display at CES 2018.

Upon entry, you’ll find two living areas: a main living room to the left, and a nook to the right, which leads to a bonus “niche” space before you get to the kitchen. In the kitchen, two windows bring in light, while 24’’ Bosch appliances make the most of the space. All the cabinets in the model home are from Ikea.

Of course, the Flex House wouldn’t be the Flex House without its full suite of smart home integrations and sustainability-minded fixtures. These include: a Nexus eWater greywater recycling system, Rachio WaterSense smart irrigation controller that optimizes water use based on weather data, Sylvania smart lighting, Lutron smart shades, Wemo smart plugs, Sensi smart thermostat, and Kwikset smart lock. And all of this is integrated with the smart assistant Amazon Alexa, which can be controlled by voice or app.

The concept also makes the case for electric vehicle charging at home (with 60 PV panels from JinkoSolar, a battery system from Tabuchi Electric, and EV charging station from Bosch), as well as emissions-free landscaping using lithium battery-powered outdoor tools from Greenworks.

Envisioned as a flexible housing solution suitable for young families, professionals, empty nesters, and more, the Flex House is expected to go on the market this June. The base cost will be between $125,000 and $150,000 depending on specific fixtures installed.

A look inside the Flex House 3D model.
This rendering shows what a Flex House development would look like.