When Brad Tomacek and his family outgrew their Denver loft and decided to swap it for a single-family home, the architect took the opportunity to experiment with an alternative building technique.

He purchased a narrow 25-foot-by-125-foot infill lot within walking distance to downtown, and, along with his colleagues at Studio H:T, designed a 2,750-square-foot house to be built in a factory. “It was an experiment to bring modern green design through the prefab process,” says Tomacek. “It saves time and reduces material waste to just 5 percent.”

The first LEED Silver–certified modular house in the state, it has a poured-in-place foundation with two boxes stacked above. “Because the site borders a commercial area, the zoning let us go a little higher than usual,” Tomacek explains. “That allowed for three stories including a basement.” Sliding the top box back a few feet created an upper southern deck and a covered rear entry area.

The project took just four-and-a-half months from start to finish. “We went from a foundation to a full frame structure in about five hours,” says Tomacek. “It was a good experience, and now we have another tool in our toolbox.”

CATEGORY: Production/Semi-custom, 2,000 to 3,000 square feet
ENTRANT/ARCHITECT: Studio H:T, Boulder, Colo.
BUILDER: Eco-Infill, Denver

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Denver, CO.