The Zūm evolved from a collaboration that began in 2006 between Bensonwood Homes, MIT’s Open Source Building Alliance, and other industry partners who came together to start the Open Prototype Initiative (OPI). The prototype Zūm was an energy-efficient modern-style home we built in Maine for the President of Unity College. Since the college’s focus is environmental studies, the home had to achieve both Net-Zero and LEED Platinum ratings. The design and production processes that came out of that project were a major turning point in the development of Unity Homes.
Our most modern design, the Zūm’s open-plan living space can be configured in many ways to separate public and private spaces. The airtight construction virtually eliminates drafts and outside noise. Plus, since it’s designed and oriented to maximize natural light and solar gain, the temperature remains even, something that’s typically hard to achieve in a one-story home.
Every Zūm is designed as one integrated whole, including:
1. Basic standard specifications to achieve energy efficiency and air-quality standards,
2. Kitchen and bath fixtures that can be incorporated into pods manufactured off-site,
3. Doors and trim that are designed to combine high insulating value with ready access to mechanical systems, and
4. Optional add-on structures, including porches and garages.