The i-house, illuminated.

Project date
July 23, 2014
Location
Lantana, Florida

Deconstructing pre-fab green construction.

The i-house is one part green, modern build; one part sleek, Scandinavian design; and one part intimate, lean-living abode. All three parts come together to make the coolest modular home you’ve ever seen.

The i-house, the ‘i’ standing for innovation, is green from the ground up, featuring renewable bamboo wood flooring, tank-less water heaters, built-in rainwater collectors, energy efficient appliances and windows, optional rooftop solar panels, and more. It’s a study in green, pre-fabricated, affordable homes which can be powered for only one dollar per day. The modular design and construction allow future owners to build their i-house online—the 723-square-foot base structure, as well as additional modular, or “flex”, rooms and decks.

Nestled in a retirement community in Lantana, Fla., is a recently built i-house specially fitted with 21 Iluminarc ILUMIPOD™ LΩGIC 12 fixtures. Of all the green touches used during the creation of an i-house, incorporating the 17 ILUMIPOD™ LΩGIC 12 RGB fixtures (with four ILUMIPOD™ LΩGIC 12 VW in the kitchen) as down lighting throughout was by far the most colorful. The ILUMIPOD™ LΩGIC 12 fixture is housed in cast and extruded aluminum and emits 50,000 hours of light from 18 LEDs (RGB: 4 red, 4 green, 4 blue; VW: 8 warm white, 4 cool white).

Ernst Mirisola and Kathy Cassel Marino, who own the Palm Beach-based i-house and work together at Immedia, Inc.. Since Mirisola and Marino work in the audio and video industry, they chose lights that color mix and ensconced audio speakers in the walls.

“Speakers should be heard and not seen,” Mirisola said with a wry smile. “With our i-house, we wanted the inside to be an experience. Since we’ve worked in theater, we know how important lighting is. How lights add dimensionality and texture to a space.”

It should be noted their i-house is not typical of the online model due to the specified lights and speaker system. These additions afforded them an on-site visit to the factory, to oversee the technical aspects. Donning hard hats and safety glasses, the two witnessed their future i-house being assembled before their eyes. The entire build took only 10 days, with up to 20 people working on it at one time.

“Besides the excitement of getting a new home,” said Mirisola, “being on site, at the plant, is an intense and incredible experience.”

Mirisola and Marino’s home is completely wired. All lighting, speakers and other fixtures run to a central hub and wireless router, to keep everything in one place with minimal wire exposure. ShowXpress™ software aids the lighting design—easily creating programs and scenes with any computer—while DMX control ensures the sound and lights move in concert.

“We wanted the effect of painting the room different colors with light,” Mirisola said, “and we wanted the ability to change it around easily. With programming, we can shape the mood of the space. For instance, we can play ambient sounds and synch the lighting to create an atmosphere—thunder clapping during a rainstorm or birds chirping as the sun rises.”

There’s one space in particular where this is done to great effect—the bathroom. Its interior is lined in its entirety—floor, walls and ceiling—with 3,000 pounds of river rock. This cave-like spa retreat features a wall-less shower with two shower heads, a rain shower from the ceiling and a waterfall mounted to the wall. The standard bathroom layout was completely rearranged to streamline the fittings: a dual-flush, wall-mounted lavatory, a touch-less sink faucet with porcelain base and glass basin, a flat-panel mirrored cabinet, and an electronic door.

“Basically the entire bathroom is a shower-spa,” said Marino, “with speakers and light fixtures built-in for a full chromotheraphy experience.”

The lighting truly enhances the shower-spa, changing colors to the beat of the music or the sound of the water as it hits the ground. Mirisola and Marino found the ILUMIPOD™ LΩGIC 12 fixtures while attending LDI 2009 in Orlando, Fla.

“When we saw the Iluminarc fixtures,” Mirisola said, “we knew they were not only well made, but perfect for our new home.”