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Steel Shots: Steel in the High Desert
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM.


The frame of an energy-efficient steel home is rising quickly in a remote area of Yucca Valley, Calif. Photo: Marilyn Chung, The Desert Sun


Two years after building his first steel house on 2 1/2 acres of high desert in Yucca Valley, Calif., David McAdam with Blue Sky Homes, Palm Springs, Calif., is building a second sustainable steel-framed home similar to its prototype. Like its predecessor, the new home is a hybrid, using a prefab frame made of factory-cut, light-gauge steel that is bolted together on site, but still allows for lots of customization and a hip, midcentury modern feel, according to an article in The Desert Sun.


Setting the home’s foundation on a 10-acre parcel of rocky terrain posed some design challenges, but its steel pillars allow Blue Sky to build on sloped or uneven terrain with minimal grading. According to the article, the 1,250-sq.-ft house is planned to be assembled and ready for move-in within eight weeks.


Going with steel also gave the home a green solution. “The new house is 70% recycled, and the whole structure will be 15% to 20% more energy efficient than California’s rigorous green building standards,” said McAdam and Palm Springs architect Lance O’Donnell, who designed both the Blue Sky homes.


Read more about the project and watch the home’s steel frame come together during construction here.

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