System Benefits

A Steel Chassis for a Stronger, Greener Future
HabiTek applies modern materials and technology to age-old post-and-beam construction methods. The system combines the advantages of prefabricated, galvanized steel with the best aspects of conventional wood framing.

HabiTek is a true STEEL + WOOD HYBRID SYSTEM, and the only one of its kind. Our mission is to ease the transition from stick framing to a 21st Century “green” model that focuses on greater durability and longevity, while making building faster and less laborious.

The HabiTek system leverages the economy of prefabrication and the strength of steel to create homes suited for applications on marginal lands like flood plains, coastal regions prone to hurricanes & rising sea levels, and seismically-active zones. See our completed projects to see what makes Habitek’s modular system unique.

Benefits of the HabiTek System

  • Resilient; Pre-engineered to resist earthquakes and high winds
  • Framework connects the roof, walls, and floor to the foundation structurally, all acting together
  • Post & beam open system is design neutral
  • Do-it-yourself (DIY) capable
  • Components are largely interchangeable, and non-handed, expediting assembly
  • Works with local building materials & methods
  • Lightweight components eliminate heavy equipment during assembly
  • Incremental assembly with easy expansion & disassembly options
  • Shorter building times: ready to assemble
  • Components close-pack for intermodal shipping, even to remote locations
  • Components are reusable and recyclable
  • Framework can be elevated above ground in areas vulnerable to flooding

Why the HabiTek System Is So Flexible: System Schematics

Select any schematic for a larger view, as well as to read the complete caption and description.

All Steel Versus Hybrid Frameworks

All Steel Framework

At right, four HUB types are shown. These connecting means are at the heart of the HabiTek System, and are patent pending. The HUBs are named as follows (clockwise from the front): POST-BASE, TERMINAL HUB, INTERMEDIATE HUB, and BASE HUB. Their locations within the framework is indicated in the framework rendering above: #1 Post Base HUB; #2 Terminal HUB; #3 Intermediate HUB; #4 Base HUB.

Hybrid Framework

Above, a hybrid framework of steel & dimensional lumber is shown. Common dimensional lumber integrates well with HabiTek’s steel members, as shown in the mock-up to the right.

Commentary on the Framework

HabiTek’s modular CORE product is a resilient steel framework, with associated shear panels and fasteners, as shown in the renderings above, based on the Adapt-1 model. On the left is an all steel frame version; on the right is a hybrid version (steel frame + wood joists). Both versions assume eight shear panels, which could increase or decrease based on the level of shear resistance required. This, of course, is a function of the expected maximum wind velocity and seismic conditions at the location involved.

Because of the numerous variables involved, pricing for a core framework is done on a case-by-case basis. From our experience, it is safe to say that the steel components, including fasteners, required to complete a HabiTek framework is competitive with stick framing, and very likely less given the much shorter time involved in completing a resilient steel framework. Importantly, this assumes a stick framed building can achieve strength on par with HabiTek’s steel frame, which is highly doubtful.

The frameworks illustrated are elevated above the ground, which has significant cost implications – but well worth the added expense in locations prone to flooding. At present, before committing to future activity, and to achieve economy of scale in mass-production, we have set a minimum of ten units before commencing.

Using the basic Adapt-1 concept, illustrated above is an OHANA (small house in Hawaiian) version for Hawaii, a State where HabiTek has had considerable experience (see BETA PROJECTS). In recent years, Hawaii’s exposure to tropical storms, and even hurricanes, has increased. The post-and-pier resilient framework, integral to the HabiTek System, allows for elevated structures. This benefit is especially applicable to those portions of the islands susceptible to flooding, as occurred recently in Kauai, with devastating results.

Although especially suited for challenging locations, HabiTek’s prefabricated post-and-beam framework can be assembled almost anywhere, and with a variety of infill panel types. Shown above is a version employing milled logs for the exterior, on a core steel chassis nearly identical to that used for the Adapt-1.