Green Prefab Architect Michelle Kaufmann Debuts mkHearth

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Michelle Kaufmann, award-winning green architect and sustainable living expert, today announced the debut of mkHearth™, her latest preconfigured home design. mkHearth™ is a sustainable, modular approach to the modern farmhouse inspired by the natural beauty found in rural structures across the American landscape. The new design is suitable for urban or rural settings in all climates and is ideal for community developments.

Michelle Kaufmann leads a full service design/build architectural firm that uses off-site modular technology and prepackaged green solutions as the means to create beautiful, eco-friendly homes and multi-family developments.

“As Americans begin to demand greater efficiencies from their homes, the market for green structures has continued to grow despite what we’re seeing in the traditional home industry,” said Michelle Kaufmann, founder and chairwoman of Michelle Kaufmann Companies. “We’re very excited to respond to that growing demand with the debut of mkHearth™, which works in a variety of climates, making green home design accessible to many more people.”

With flowing spaces that organically open to one another, mkHearth™ revolves around a center hearth space, a dual-purpose fireplace/cabinetry unit that circulates up the three stories. Other beautiful and unique features of the home include window seats, screened-in sleeping porches, and sliding wood doors on barndoor tracks (to maximize light and cross-ventilation). The loft on the third floor is flexible space for an office, library, bedroom or playroom.

A variety of siding and exterior configuration options are available for the mkHearth™ making it a wonderful choice within community developments.

mkHearth™, like all Michelle Kaufmann designs, draws on Michelle’s 5 EcoPrinciples: smart design, eco materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, and healthy environment.

Specific examples of how mkHearth™ has been designed to incorporate Michelle Kaufmann’s 5 EcoPrinciples, include: Smart Design: Designed for urban or rural settings in all climates, the home includes strategically placed windows, glass doors, and sliding wooden sunshades to maximize daylight and breezes and minimize heat gain. The central hearth and ample outdoor living areas give the home an expansive feeling despite its responsibly-sized footprint. Eco Materials: Renewable and recyclable materials are used through out the home, including FSC-certified woods for cabinetry and flooring. Energy Efficiency: All heating, cooling, and lighting systems are highly efficient and reduce resource consumption. Solar options are also available. Water Conservation: The home includes water-conserving fixtures as well as a rainwater catchment system that minimizes the need to use fresh, potable water for landscape irrigation. Healthy Environment: Holistically designed for healthy living, the mkHearth™ uses non-off-gassing materials and paints, air filtration systems, and high-performance insulation.

mkHearth™ is the latest preconfigured design from Michelle Kaufmann. Other designs include the Glidehouse™, mkLotus™, mkLoft™, mkSolaire™, Sunset® Breezehouse, and Sidebreeze. Kaufmann also creates custom homes and larger multi-family and community developments.

By reducing resource consumption, waste, costs, and building time by up to 50%-75% over conventional building methods, Michelle Kaufmann’s prefabricated, modular building techniques deliver benefits to individual homebuyers as well as builders/developers, who are interested in building green multi-family and community developments. Michelle unveiled the first mkSolaire™ home as part of the original Museum of Science and Industry exhibit Smart Home: Green + Wired. The exhibit opened in Chicago May 8, 2008 and will run through January 4, 2009.

About Michelle Kaufmann Companies Michelle Kaufmann (AIA, LEED® AP) is a tireless advocate and knowledgeable source for eco-conscious living. Michelle founded Michelle Kaufmann Companies with the mission to make it easier for people to build green and live a more sustainable lifestyle. To that end, Michelle Kaufmann leads a full service design/build architectural firm that uses off-site modular technology and prepackaged green solutions as the means to create beautiful, eco-friendly homes and multi-family developments. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Oakland, CA, the company expanded to run its own factory delivering homes for clients on the West Coast. Michelle Kaufmann Companies also works with key factory partners to handle increasing volume and expanded territories.

Interested in connecting with people beyond traditional architecture, Michelle has launched a collection of lifestyle media properties, products, and events designed to inspire individuals, families, and communities to create and enjoy sustainable lifestyles.

Visit Michelle’s blog at or website at Learn more about Michelle by following her on Twitter @ mkaufmann, or joining the Michelle Kaufmann group on Facebook.


Dana Smith
Michelle Kaufmann Companies