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Plant Prefab Installs Malibu Home in One Day, First Since Woolsey Fire

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Design by von Studnitz Architects Custom-Built Entirely Offsite, Aiding Fire Recovery Efforts

RIALTO, California – May 21, 2020: On May 20, Plant Prefab, the first prefabricated residential design and construction company dedicated to sustainable building, materials, processes and operations, installed a new prefabricated home in Malibu designed by von Studnitz Architects. The project marks Plant’s first Malibu rebuild following the destruction of the 2018 Woolsey Fire. The 898-square-foot guest house was installed in just one afternoon and is a prime example of how Plant Prefab’s building methodology makes it possible to build custom, high-quality homes faster and often for lower cost than traditional, site-based construction.

“Plant’s offsite construction process is particularly well-suited for fire victims who are often living in rental properties away from their communities and want to get back on their land as quickly as possible,” states Plant Prefab Founder and CEO Steve Glenn. “We’re typically able to build in half the time compared to site-based construction, which is even more vital now as local construction resources are stretched. Our approach is well suited for Malibu residents who lost their homes because we can build custom designs from any architect, based on any style, in order to take advantage of an expedited permit process for those who rebuild their homes in general conformance to their previous residences. We feel quite honored to be able to help people as we are now.”

As Plant Prefab and Los-Angeles-based practice von Studnitz Architects are both rooted in California, the two entities were uniquely positioned to address the need for housing solutions in Malibu following the destructive fires of 2018, which destroyed over 488 homes in the region. To help address the problem, Plant has already begun working on rebuild projects, and currently has twelve homes in development for victims of the Woolsey Fire and seven others for those of the Tubbs Fire in Northern California.

“Construction is complicated, and our intention in working with Plant Prefab was to alleviate as many complications as possible, lessen our impact on the environment, and be able to move back into our home faster than if we built in situ,” says Rob Wells, owner of the home. “Plant worked to build our home offsite, at a time when local resources were in incredibly high demand and, alongside our architect and general contractor, completely understood that they weren’t just rebuilding a house following a wildfire, but were rebuilding the hopes and dreams of our family.”

Von Studnitz designed the home with an open floor plan and large windows to frame views of the surrounding hills, contributing to a relaxed feel throughout the space. Clean lines and finishes lend a distinctly minimalist aesthetic, favoring a connection with the landscape over architectural ornamentation. The home also features large decks and trellises to increase usable space and provide comfortable outdoor living. Large eave overhangs, which were built offsite, but installed onsite, increase shade without impacting deliverability.

“Our goal was to design the home based on the maximum dimensions feasible for prefabrication and transportation as one, single module, and we emphasized indoor-outdoor living wherever possible, to take advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings,” says Jonas von Studnitz, President at von Studnitz Architects.

With the local environment in mind, fire resiliency was also a core focus of the home's design, siting, materials choices, and construction, which included a standing seam metal roof and a "one-hour wall" assembly with non-combustible siding.

Plant’s custom approach to prefabrication accommodated the client’s needs and architect’s specifications, while also allowing the home to be built and installed more efficiently than site-based construction. Every Plant Prefab home is built in the company’s own 62,000-square-foot, purpose-built, custom homebuilding factory to exacting quality standards, following a rigorous sustainability program that minimizes the negative impact on energy, water, indoor air quality, and material resources.

Note to editors: Plant Prefab is complying with all California state control measures for COVID-19, including training and enforcement of special procedures that include, but are not limited to, social distancing, symptom checking, strict hygiene, and increased sanitation measures.


With a mission to make it faster and more cost-effective to build custom, high quality, healthy, single-family and multi-family homes, Plant Prefab is the first prefabricated residential design and construction company dedicated to sustainable building, materials, processes, and operations.

All Plant projects are prefabricated in the company's 62,000-square-foot home factory in Rialto, CA, with a patented building system that reduces build time by at least 50% over traditional construction while minimizing construction's negative impact on energy, water, and resources. Clients can work with any architect they choose, or they can use Plant's award-winning, in-house design studio.

Plant is defining a new standard in residential home design and construction, helping individuals, architects and developers alike efficiently design and build high-quality, cost-efficient, healthy homes. Plant was funded by Amazon, Obvious Ventures, and others.
In 2019, Plant Prefab committed to full carbon neutrality in their operations by 2028, the first prefabricated home builder to announce a net zero goal.

Plant Prefab homes have garnered significant industry recognition including the AIA’s top sustainable award, Architizer’s Jury and People Choice Awards, Green Builder Magazine’s Home of Year, Business 2.0’s ‘World’s 11 Coolest Products,’ and Businessweek’s “Architectural Wonders of the World.” Nearly thirty Plant Prefab homes have been certified LEED for Homes Platinum, including the first home in the world to achieve the certification.

Von Studnitz Architects is a Los Angeles-based architecture firm that is committed to exploring the intersection of design, construction, and technology as they relate to today’s circumstances. Von Studnitz is dedicated to finding individual solutions that respond to context, environment, and client parameters in a meaningful way.

Jonas von Studnitz has practiced architecture in Los Angeles since receiving his architecture degree from the Technical University of Berlin in 2001. Von Studnitz is a registered Architect licensed by the State of California, is certified by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-accredited professional, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).