Blog

University Boulevard Home featured on the AIA Home Tour

Darren Kincaid - Thursday, November 01, 2018

The AIA Home Tour is a great opportunity to see inside some of the best designed homes in Houston. This home on tree lined West University Boulevard, was conceived with the idea of a treehouse in mind. The forms of the house step back from the street and nestle into the mature live oak canopy. The central staircase, custom fabricated out of steel, is designed to allow occupants to experience the trees at different vantage points. Wood cladding wraps the stair volume and furthers this connection and enhances the warm modern aesthetic. From the second floor one is at the level of greenery and horizontal limbs of the live Oaks on University Boulevard that reach out towards the bedrooms. A guest suite separate by breezeway enhances the treehouse effect. The third floor office acts as a perch above the city with views to adjacent Rice Stadium across University Boulevard and to the city beyond. The home is designed for a family with three young children and a live in grandparent. As such it demonstrates a modern home for a casual family lifestyle. Open spaces and visual connections allow parents to keep their eye on all three children. The kitchen features warm modern walnut veneer and stainless appliances. Durable materials and low maintenance solutions add practicality to the design with warm modern finishes. Sustainably features include low-e insulated windows, spray foam insulation, high efficiently AC, and low flow plumbing and solar ready connections. The home is design to provide a welcome retreat in the trees for the family, aptly named the Birds.

Intexture

 

Urban Terrace a prefab home in Houston TX by Intexure, wins national NAHB Building Systems Council Design Award

Darren Kincaid - Monday, October 01, 2018

Urban Terrace an urban infill prefab home in Houston TX, wins national NAHB Building Systems Council Design Award. This innovative prefab home designed by Intexure for Context Homes and build by Evolution Building Systems is located in the Houston Museum District. The NAHB award recognizes this projects contribution to creating attainable, sustainable urban infill housing and innovation through prefabrication At 2,600sf 3-bedroom, 2.5- bath home represents a smart solution for urban living.

The clean lines and modern volumes exercise restraint while lap siding allows the home to blend into traditional neighborhoods. The open plan for today’s lifestyle is achieved by an exposed steel beam allowing spaces to flow together yet have individual presence. This home represents architect-led design and factory integration. Built on a unique precast concrete foundation system, slabs were cast at the factory by Evolution Building Systems, built as modules and transported to the site. Detailing of how the modules come together was expressed though a steel joint flush to the slab. Design elements such as this were coordinated by Intexure and Context Homes were closely coordinated with Evolution Building Systems.

Through the off-site construction process, waste was eliminated and site disruption minimized as modules are brought on site. Additional sustainable features include low flow plumbing, low VOC paint, Energy Star appliances, high performance spray foam insulation, and thermally broken aluminum windows with low-e insulated glazing. Landscaping includes permeable surfaces, drought tolerant plants and a solar ready roof terrace. Built as both a custom prefab home and urban infill prototype at the same time, this project serves to address critical issues in housing today through architect led solutions setting an example in the heart of Houston of what factory built can be.



 

Selecting a Site for Prefab Urban Infill

Darren Kincaid - Friday, June 08, 2018

Selecting the right site for prefab urban infill construction can save money, time, and contribute to a successful project. The easier the site is to access the better, and ideally would be best to have some staging and maneuvering room on site. Urban infill often implies tighter site conditions and narrow streets can also be a challenge. Overhead power lines make setting prefab modules more difficult as well as large trees in proximity to the house location. If you are selecting a site, consult with an experienced prefab builder first. An initial feasibly study could save you money and avoid problems in the long run. This urban infill project is one we did on Blossom Street in Houston Texas. The site had some of the most difficult challenges to overcome, a narrow street with limited access, a tight lot, a large mature tree in proximity to the house and power lines. Given these conditions, we were still able to achieve a successful project; however if you can avoid these issues it will make your project easier. Watching a street transform from an empty lot in the morning to a two story house at the end of the day is exciting. On Blossom the neighbors came out on the street to watch and welcome the new addition to their street.


Intexture - Prefab Urban Infill

 

Modular Homes Gaining Popularity In Parts Of Houston

Darren Kincaid - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

We are pleased to be featured in the Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media for our work with Prefabricated Modular Homes, or Prefab Offsite construction.

Modular Homes Gaining Popularity In Parts Of Houston

The Houston Chronicle reported in about four months, these so-called modules will have been transformed into a 3,000-square-foot, architect-designed house clad in glass, siding and masonry blocks centered around a courtyard

NANCY SARNOFF, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, AP
| POSTED ONMAY 17, 2018, 12:26 PM (LAST UPDATED: MAY 20, 2018, 9:42 AM)


Some neighbors in Houston recently watched as a remote-controlled hydraulic mover called a platypus carried a structure the size of a mobile home onto a lot in the Heights where it joined two others like it. Three more were on their way.

The Houston Chronicle reports in about four months, these so-called prefab modules — framed concrete slabs made in a warehouse in Navasota — will have been transformed into a 3,000-square-foot, architect-designed house clad in glass, siding and masonry blocks centered around a courtyard.

“It’s going to look like a custom home,” said Wayne Braun, owner of the 6,250-square- foot lot near Fitzgerald’s night club.

The design, he said, is meant to blend in with the Heights, “particularly that part of the neighborhood where we have bungalows and little warehouses.”

The house is a project of Evolution Building Systems, a Houston company recently formed by husband and wife architects.

Rame and Russell Hruska started their architecture practice in Houston in 2001 and later expanded into residential construction. They launched Evolution last year. “We’ve always been interested in prefab and different ways to build,” said Rame Hruska. “We look at offsite construction and really see it as a better way to build and really the future of construction.”

Advantages can include shorter construction schedules, reduced waste and increased labor productivity, according to industry research cited in a report from the National Institute of Building Sciences. Disadvantages include transportation restrictions that limit module size and limited flexibility in future renovations.

The modules making up Braun’s home are fabricated in a warehouse in Navasota, about 80 miles northwest of Houston.

The warehouse is operated by GroundForce Building Systems, a company that builds modular homes and commercial buildings on wood and concrete slabs and then delivers them on special movers to sites across the state. Evolution has an agreement with GroundForce that allows it to use the company’s concrete foundation system technology.

The Hruskas say modular home building is more predictable and reliable.

It eliminates onsite construction variables that are hard to control, like weather and labor availability. Construction theft becomes less of an issue. Neighbors, too, experience fewer nuisances with less waste, noise and overall activity.

“Construction is disruptive,” said Steve Heiney, a Heights resident who was riding his bicycle when he stopped to watch the modules being moved onto Braun’s lot. When his neighbor’s house was under construction, there was often garbage and debris in his yard.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation inspects the modules before they leave the factory.

“There’s a lot more assurance that things will be built correctly,” Rame Hruska said.

“The walls, for example, get built on jigs that lay flat, so it’s a much more precision-built process than just building in the field.”

Construction costs can be $175 per square foot or more depending on size and finishes. That is on par with traditional custom home construction, she said, but it’s done in half the time.

Modular construction is more common in other markets where labor costs are higher, Russell Hruska said.

Large production builders don’t have the same incentives as small, custom builders to go modular.

“This won’t be something right now that replaces a tract home development on the west side of town,” he said. “They get similar economies as offsite construction because they’re building repetitively down a street.”

Designing for a Family Lifestyle

Darren Kincaid - Thursday, March 01, 2018

This garden Oaks home was designed for a family lifestyle with children in mind. In the planning of the layout children’s rooms are accessible from the master but also maintain privacy. An open play area on the second floor facilitates creative play with ample storage space. Children’s bedrooms include closets with organizational storage as well as toy storage in the rooms. Universal design which is often used for aging in place also helps with designing for a family and children through details such as single lever faucets or universal design lever style door hardware. Zero threshold finishes minimize tripping hazards and also facilitate universal design. Safety is also a concern with stairs and handrails. Ensuring young children cannot climb on railings and often going above code requirements for peace of mind are key considerations in design. The mudroom features places for shoes and backpacks so immediately upon entering after schools kids have places for their belongings. The pool includes easy access to a bathroom so wet feet don’t have to travel through the home. Designing for a family also includes thinking about how spaces need to adapt as children grow, including places for homework and flexibility as needs change. This garden oaks home is a great example of designing for a family lifestyle.



 

Designing for Multigenerational lifestyle

Darren Kincaid - Thursday, February 01, 2018

The growing trend of Multigenerational housing offers many benefits. Families share initial housing and land costs as well as the monthly recurring costs. It can offer flexibility in childcare for younger generations while older generations spend more time with grandchildren. The key in designing multigenerational housing is to offer spaces for family togetherness as well as privacy. In this Flint River home in Memorial, the younger family and older couple each have private wings or suites while the main spaces act as gathering areas. Both generations share a love of books and the library became the great room and central core of the home. Universal design and aging in place were also important factors designing spaces that can be used with future needs in mind. Details such as a zero threshold shower, and single lever faucets support Universal design and aging in place. Door widths and flooring transitions were also designed for future needs of Universal design and aging in place. At the same time, safety and the needs of young children were also considered. The lot in Memorial offered a large backyard and areas for children to play. In fact this new Memorial home now occupies the site where the older couple once raised their young children and now has come full circle with the evolving history of the family imprinting their lives in the home.







 

Welcome to Intexure

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Intexure stands apart by providing outstanding service and a personalized experience for our clients. Founded in 2001 we have expertise creating modern environments for over 15 years. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients find their own creative expression, transforming the built environment and enhancing people’s lives through our work.

International Builder’s Show 2018: Technology and Design Trends

Darren Kincaid - Tuesday, January 09, 2018

This year we took the Intexure team to the International Builder’s Show to look at Technology and Design trends. Intexure has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to Building information technology, BIM. We wanted to see what is new in integrating BIM data into construction though software and digital fabrication technologies. We are also interested in advancing rendering and 3D visualization techniques such as virtual reality, VR walkthroughs and how we can use this in our modular prefab approach to off-site construction. Technology can improve the prefab client experience through better visualization as well as the off-site construction approach in having relevant BIM data at the point of fabrication in the factory.



As far as design trends, the modern farmhouse style was clearly growing. Intexure’s modern farmhouse through context homes captures this trend for our clients. This includes farmhouse modern sinks, tile, and other finishes.

 

Neocon 2017: Residential trends in Corporate Design

Darren Kincaid - Sunday, June 11, 2017

Intexure visited Neocon this year with a project minded purpose as well as watching industry trends. One of the biggest is residential trends merging into corporate design to add softness and a more casual approach to the workplace. These residential trends manifest in material choices, with trendier colors and warmer woods also with residential trends in form especially mid-century modern inspired style. Mid-century modern inspired dining tables are showing up as conference configurations, as well as mid-century modern sideboards for storage. Residential trends and mid-century modern inspired soft seating are showing up in informal collaboration zones similar to living room configurations. We embrace this trend, if fact this is something Intexure has been doing for years. Our own live work studio now ten years old is just as fresh in this regard, with an Eames table and chairs serving the conference room and Saarinen chairs as soft seating. It’s a timeless approach and a great example of how blending work and living through architecture and interior design can lead to a happy and productive workplace – a place you actually want to spend time in. We’re all for that!




International Builder’s Show 2017: Construction Industry Trends

Darren Kincaid - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our design build approach has taken us to the International Builder’s Show to look for new ways to integrate design and construction as well as better ways to build. We have our eye on prefabricated modular systems and components that we can integrate into our modular and prefab projects as well as products that can help the factory in the off-site construction process. The show’s prefabricated outdoor village featured modular, prefab, and off site construction and we enjoyed visiting with other industry professionals. We are looking forward to helping bring off-site construction technologies to our work.