Las Vegas— California-based precision home builder, Blu Homes, has taken a significant step toward revolutionizing the way homes are built in the United States with the announcement that it has sold and will be manufacturing the first Blu home personalized entirely online in 3-D by a consumer.
The two-bedroom Element 48 home was designed by Cathy and Walter Pearlman, using the Blu | 3-D Configurator, bluhomes.com/configurator, which allows anyone to go online to style, visualize and spend time in their own Blu Home before it is ever built.
Blu Homes demonstrated the Configurator at the ShowStoppers @ CES 2012 media event in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Unlike conventional architectural 3-D renderings, Blu is able to connect the 3-D models created in the Configurator back to Blu’s precision-building process, creating a seamless integration between design and manufacturing and advancing construction quality significantly. Blu builds each home from the client’s 3-D custom model, using precision tooling and trained craftsman in its climate-controlled factory in Vallejo, CA.
After choosing the Element, one of Blu’s seven eco-friendly, architect-designed home designs, the Pearlmans were able to personalize everything for their new Pembroke, MA home—from exterior siding and kitchen appliances to bathroom fixtures and cabinetry finishes—all in an easy-to-use, realistic 3-D environment. The Pearlmans then sent their design to their dedicated Blu representative. After just one meeting to confirm their selections – with only one minor change to the bathroom tile – they were ready to purchase their home at a fixed, pre-agreed upon price.
“At first, designing our home online seemed so high-tech that it felt more like something our kids’ generation would do. Once we tried it ourselves, we realized how fun and easy it is—especially since everyone at Blu was standing by to help us,” said Cathy Pearlman. “It turns out designing your home online—and then having it built straight from the online designs—is something anyone can do. And getting such a high quality home at a fixed price and in such a convenient way really makes things more relaxed for us!”
“Designing and building homes has historically been an expensive, arduous and time consuming process. This is particularly true for architect-designed homes that typically require months of costly design effort and numerous in-person meetings that can be stressful for all parties,” said Bill Haney, Blu Homes co-founder and president. “With the Configurator and our proprietary IP, Blu is leveraging all of the benefits of online retail, such as lower selling costs, a more convenient shopping experience, reduced need for brick and mortar presence, and streamlined sales and building processes. At the same time, we’re investing in a world-class sales team that supports our customers through the entire process. And customers get world class design support, the tools to personally choose all the finishes for their homes all for free — and then get a fixed price for the house they have chosen!”
“We hope that many more customers will choose to save time and money by building their own eco-friendly, precision-built homes this way,” said Maura McCarthy, Blu Homes co-founder and VP, sales and marketing. “The Configurator makes everything easier for both the customer, and for Blu. The customer gets a beautiful, convenient shopping experience, while Blu gets the benefit of automatically processing customer purchase requests.”
Since its October 2011 launch, almost 6000 home designs have been saved with the Configurator. Anyone can access the Blu Configurator for free at bluhomes.com/configurator and begin customizing a Blu home today.
Blu Homes’ core design and engineering technology—and the technology behind the 3-D home designs in the Configurator—is Blu | 3-D, a proprietary design software similar to that used by automotive and aeronautical designers and engineers at companies like Boeing and Volvo. To create the Configurator, Blu Homes worked with UI experts and game developers to design a consumer-friendly user interface.
Blu Homes’ design team uses Blu | 3-D technology to design and build each home. Because it provides engineering information not often considered in architectural software – such as demands on the structures from wind, snow and seismic activity – Blu is able to achieve climate-specific engineering. That information is then automatically detailed in the building plans used in construction. This means that each home is built with remarkable precision with much lower variance allowances than in average stick-built homes.
All Blu finishes, fittings, appliances and systems are selected by Blu designers for their leading environmental performance, resulting in healthy and beautiful living spaces and high indoor air quality. Offering at least 50 percent energy savings over comparably sized existing homes, Blu homes are Energy Star rated and LEED certifiable.
For more information on Blu Homes go to bluhomes.com.