A rather unique development has arrived in the seemingly ever-expanding Capitol Hill neighborhood. Capitol Hill Oasis, a new town home community located at 12th and K Street NE (much more the H Street Corridor than Capitol Hill, but we’ll let the name slide), represents one of the few prefabricated home developments in the District.
Prefab housing, also known as modular housing, is a rare construction technique in the DC area. They are housing units that are manufactured off site, shipped to the building site by trucks, and fastened together using cranes. The modular units are constructed in large, climate-controlled facilities, often in assembly line fashion to maximize production efficiency.
Although they have yet to see any significant market share compared to other construction methods, there are several advantages to modular construction. Because the modular units are pieced together in factories, the process can be streamlined, leading to cheaper construction costs. (The total construction process can take less than half the time of traditional methods.) Also, because the units are constructed indoors, the materials are not exposed to the elements, minimizing any weather related wear and tear.
When the units are finally completed, it is nearly impossible to differentiate modular homes from homes built with traditional construction methods. The exterior finishes are normally applied at the construction site, allowing for a seamless façade. The town homes at Capitol Hill Oasis use a brick façade, similar to several other new construction row homes in the D.C. area. Save for the obvious design and scale differences compared to the existing row homes on 12th Street, now that construction is complete there’s really no way to tell that they were built any differently. As for the interiors, the finishes are applied on site, again using the same standards as traditional construction.
Capitol Hill Oasis consists of eight four-level, five-bedroom town homes that measure out at almost 4,000 square feet. And don’t worry about trekking up to the fourth floor every night: each unit comes equipped with its own private elevator. Behind the original set of townhomes, there will be a 16-unit condominium comprised of two, three, and four-bedroom units.Once that building is complete, two more pre-fab five-bedroom units will be put in.
Construction on the town homes began in 2007, and delivery is expected in the next two to three months. For more information, contact Jesse at HomeTryst.
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