These $220K Prefab Cabins Promise Steep Energy Savings (2024)

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CABN was founded in 2021 by Jackson Wyatt after years spent building his own cost-effective, solar-powered home on a remote site. Along with his previous experience in manufacturing compostable products, the lessons from his personal project fed a greater ambition: to make sustainable living possible anywhere in the world by utilizing affordable production processes. CABN now offers four prefab homes, as well as auxiliary structures such as carports and standalone ADUs, that all follow Passive House principals.

Here, Jackson tells us more about how CABN prioritizes sustainability and rapid assembly without compromising other aspects of a build—like aesthetics or accommodating individual needs.

What’s the most exciting project you’ve realized to date?

We have a fully functioning show home in Mallorytown, Ontario, and will be breaking ground on our first build in the U.S. this fall in Maine. The clients, a couple, wanted a retreat that was sustainable, complete with solar and net-zero technology, and, aesthetically, the CABN models had aspects that appealed to them. A main reason they chose us, they said, was that our models have the feel of a cabin in the woods.

So far, we’ve had people reach out to us for a few different reasons. Some are looking to build a CABN as a home to retire to, others are first-time home buyers, and, as with the Maine project, some want to build a vacation home.

In addition to family residential projects, there’s been a lot of interest in CABN from the hospitality world and developers. We’re also talking with municipalities to envision off-grid, self-reliant communities modeled for the future.

What do your models cost and what does that pricing include?

CABN offers four separate models that range from the one-bedroom MOR.II (540 sq ft., starting from $219,000) to the four-bedroom GES.TALT (1,850 sq ft., starting from $549,000). Included within this price is the mass-timber structure itself, aluminum cladding options or alternatives, high-performance windows and doors, full HVAC and mechanical systems, and a solar array roof system (complete with a backup interface and a battery energy storage system).

The interior can be customized so homeowners can individually curate their own experience. The buildings feature a straightforward construction process, allowing for assembly in days and finishing in weeks, with the final product using 20 percent of the energy required for a traditional build [of a similar size.]

What qualities make CABN homes stand apart from the rest?

CABN’s designs prioritize energy efficiency, and include the following characteristics:

  • Remote assembly/affordability: CABN offers a complete component-based package that can be rapidly assembled in remote and rural locations while remaining high-tech and comfortable.
  • Roof profile/angle: The angle, shading, and size of CABN roofs are optimized for solar energy generation and solar gain. Shading optimization helps keep the building cool in the summer, while in the winter, the lower angle of the sun allows solar energy to enter through the windows and heat the unit. This, combined with high-quality insulation and systems, results in significantly lower energy requirements to maintain temperature throughout the year.

  • Sustainable construction techniques: Through the practice of selecting sustainable materials and processes, CABN minimizes its carbon footprint and massively reduces waste in the construction process. CABN’s non-invasive approach to site assembly is one such example of how its building practices further reduce its impact on the environment.

  • Off-grid capabilities: Every CABN has the option for on-grid connection to municipal services, as well as off-grid functionality for total comfort in any environment. CABN offers site assessments to develop the best strategy for new owners based on land, regulations, and optimized performance.

  • Adaptability: CABN is not just one building but a housing technology that can work in a network of units to build healthy sustainable communities. CABN’s goal is to make sustainable homebuilding fast, easy, and efficient anywhere for anyone (whether that be for individuals or communities).

Where is the prefab currently available?

CABN ships anywhere in Canada and the United States. The company looks forward to global shipping in the near future.

Is your design currently pre-permitted in any U.S. municipalities?

CABN has worked to create a line of prefabricated homes that fit within many of the permitting requirements found within Canada and the U.S. For example, our smallest model, HUTT, is available for preassembled delivery and fits within the regulations of many jurisdictions. All models are code compliant across North America.

However, permitting requirements for prefabricated homes can vary significantly from one location to another within North America. Each city, county, and state may have its own set of regulations, zoning codes, and building standards. It is crucial homeowners thoroughly research and understand the specific permitting requirements in their area. Our site assessment consultation, which reviews land, permitting, and design aspects, helps ensure a CABN is right for a client.

Are there plans to expand to different parts of the world?

Eventually, yes. Currently, CABN is focused on the North American market (Canada and the U.S.).

How long can a client expect the process to take after they put down a deposit?

CABN delivers a home within 12 months from the signing of the contract, and it’s typically move-in ready six weeks after delivery.

What aspects of an install do you manage?

CABN supports the client throughout their journey, offering guidance as they prepare their site to receive a home. This includes design and planning, as well as providing documentation for permitting and approvals. CABN also supplies detailed checklists for homeowners to move them through the planning process with ease.

We do not offer standard assembly and installation services, but have dedicated teams to support clients as they assemble a team of tradespeople and coordinate contractors. We have also ensured that assembly is straightforward, with clear labels and instructions on how to join the component pieces. Depending on the location, we can refer assembly teams to assist with a build.

What aspects of the designs can a client customize?

CABN is designed to optimize energy efficiency, exceeding Passive House standards. How the home is positioned and its building envelope are key to the performance of the home. Aesthetic and interior design choices, however, can be upgraded.

CABN isn’t prescriptive with respect to interior layouts, offering clients the opportunity to work with an interior designer if they so choose. In the CABN design process, there are opportunities to customize layouts, exterior finishes, and room partitions, while clients can work with their trades team to finalize other elements of their site and interior finishes.

See more from CABN:

This $299K Prefab Cabin Could Be Coming to the Woods Near You

More Prefab Profiles:

One of the U.K.’s Most Impressive Prefab Builders Just Launched a $58K Sauna

This California ADU Builder Minimizes Waste by Taking a Whole-Tree Approach

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These $220K Prefab Cabins Promise Steep Energy Savings (2024)
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