PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity October 2023 Houston

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Page 123 of 147

UTURE F By Caitlin Clark. Photography Robert Gomez and Robert Tsai. M odular homebuilding is rarely associated with dis- tinctive architecture, but two award-winning Texas companies — Lake|Flato Architects and developer Oaxaca Interests — are subverting all prefab expectations with HiFAB. Much has been written about their Haciendas, a series of site-built homes in West Dallas that served as a test run of the HiFAB prototype. The modern, mindful dwellings designed by Lake|Flato, the renowned architecture firm, are comparable to something that would sell for more than $1 million but are available for a fraction of the cost. Naturally, the sustainable aspect — a clean-lined vi- sion that prioritizes wellness and courtyard living — has stolen the show, but the true heart of the project lies in HiFAB's recently opened factory in Grand Prairie, Texas (also designed by Lake|Flato), where the company's wellness-focused ethos and thoughtful design extend to the team crafting the homes. "Travel and weather are often eating away at the morale of those doing the work," says Ted Flato, co-founder and principal of Lake|Flato. "That's why we did more than just build a factory. It's about creating great morale and a great culture to encourage great workmanship." One way to accomplish their goal was to rethink the quality of outdoor spaces for work breaks, accomplished with the help of efficiency and sustainability experts. The Grand Prairie factory is surrounded by natural woodlands, so the team utilized the lush landscape to encourage employees to get outside and connect with nature. Construction on the climate-controlled factory was postponed until the team nailed the design for the first HiFAB prototypes, which are crafted to blend in with the Texas countryside while withstanding the state's notoriously extreme weather — a marked difference from most other modular homebuilders. "Many com- panies don't [survive] due to factory inefficiencies," says Oaxaca Interests and HiFAB CEO Brent Jackson. "At HiFAB, we have recruited masters in the field of not only construction but also in modular building." Now that they're off to the races with the Haciendas (with six different floor plans, starting at $299,000), the HiFAB team has been seeking developing partners, exclusively in Texas, that make sense for their mission. First up is Tree Tops, a design-forward communi- ty in fast-growing Round Top from Starred Sky Development, which will also help build HiFAB's presence across Travis, Bastrop, and Fayette coun- ties. "It's so important to bring good design to more people," Flato says. "With HiFAB, you can afford to spend more time thinking about the design since you'll be replicating it. We've developed a product that will be popular and well received for a very long time." The Homes of the ARE HEADING TO ROUND TOP FORGET PREFAB — IN TEXAS, THE FUTURE IS HIFAB.

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