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Eco-friendly prefab homes designed to boost cities’ housing stock

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Node’s net-zero modern homes take three months to assemble

Compact rectangular timber house with glass walls. Node

Across the country, cities are facing an affordable housing crisis that has left people unable to make a down payment on a home or pay rent. Solutions can be approached from multiple directions—rethinking policy, raising wages, getting creative, and, of course, creating more housing stock.

Seattle-based Node, like other prefab housing startups, is looking to chip away at low housing stock with a kit home that comes fully fabricated and easily assembled.

Node’s first product, a 400-, 600-, or 800-square foot home that starts at around $150,000 for installation, is a simple, sleek rectilinear module, with a timber clad facade and modern interior touches. Solar panels line the roof and a rainwater catchment system ensures the house zeros-out its energy consumption. Node is also working on more complex designs, which will include multiple stories, extra windows, and spacious decks.

Interior of house with white interior walls, blonde wood floors, and large glass windows. The living room has a view of entry into the bedroom.
Node’s first model, the Trillium.

The parts fit inside a standard shipping container, making the house easier and cheaper to ship. All of the hardware snaps together and mechanical systems come pre-installed, which means the modular homes mostly won’t require skilled labor to assemble (you will, however, need to hire a plumber and electrician to finish the job).

House with rectilinear volumes connected by covered outdoor decks.
Node is working on a new design called the Madrona.

The goal, as Node’s co-founder Bec Chaplin explains to Fast Company, is to supply cities with ready-to-assemble homes that can expand the housing stock quickly and efficiently without relying on the cadence of the established construction industry. “We were just really pushing on what’s a more scalable solution? How do we actually activate jobs, instead of needing the same skilled construction trades?” she said.

Node plans to build its first home in Seattle later this year before rolling it out to the rest of the West Coast.

Kitchen with a small table, four wireframe chairs, and large windows that open to the outdoors.
Kitchen in the Madrona series.