This California company makes smart, off-the-grid, and 'healthy' prefab homes for to $670,000 — see inside and how they work

  • Dvele builds smart self-sustaining prefab homes that use AI to create a healthy home environment.
  • The “software-defined” homes use DveleIQ and 300 sensors to monitor itself and its occupants.
  • Dvele’s lineup includes both homes over 3,000 square-feet and tiny homes for $150,000 to $670,000.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

California-based Dvele is creating smart prefab homes with integrated artificial intelligence programs to make the homes healthier to live in.

While prefabricated homes aren’t a new concept, they’ve often been considered the future solution for our increasingly inaccessible housing market. As a result, several prefab home makers have seen an increase in public interest, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes Dvele, a technology-forward prefab home maker with a focus on improving both human and planet health.

Dvele’s lineup of home models combine several major topics that have since popped up during COVID-19, specifically home buying, prefab homes, and health. Keep scrolling to see how:

Prefabrication allows Dvele to produce its homes regardless of the weather conditions, all within four to six months.

Once the homes are ready, they can be shipped to its final destination and set in place using a crane.

According to Matt Howland, Dvele's president, smart prefab homes are "absolutely" the future.

"Can you imagine an iPhone being built in normal construction conditions?" Howland told Insider in an email interview. "To achieve a self-powered, intelligent home, factory production is the way to go."

Like many prefab home builders, Dvele saw a boost in business during COVID-19.

However, Howland attributes this more to the nature of Dvele's "healthy" homes (more on this in a bit) than the prefab aspect.

Dvele emphasizes a mid-century modern design with an open floor plan throughout its homes.

Peeking around inside, the units all look similar to that of any traditionally built home.

Aspects like the large windows, sliding doors, entertainment areas, custom cabinets, and modern utilities make its prefab nature almost unidentifiable.

The homes all have robust air quality, water filtration, and energy saving systems.

The homes can also be customized, and customers can pick from one of Dvele's six different exterior finishes.

Most of Dvele's clients slightly customize their homes to fulfill their "dream home and lifestyle," according to Howland.

Dvele has 13 models of varying sizes, but it's Elsinore model is its most popular.

Elsinore has been a hit with the customers due to its design, open floor plan, and "popular bedroom and bathroom mix," Howland told Insider.

The $640,000 Elsinore home is 2,940 square-feet with four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

The popular home has an open kitchen, dining, and living room layout. There are also separate laundry and powder rooms.

The kitchen looks like any normal cooking area with its cabinets, pantry, stovetop, dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator.

Moving on, the living room has its own cabinets, an optional electric fireplace, and sliding doors that lead occupants out to the patio.

The primary bedroom then has its own bathroom and a walk-in closet with wardrobes …

… while the other two bedrooms share a bathroom.

The fourth bedroom — which can function as a guest room — has its own restroom.

The full bathrooms all have the typical necessities, including wall-mounted toilets, showers, and vanities.

Other models in Dvele's arsenal include the 3,523 square-foot Trinity. This option, the company's largest offering, starts at $670,000 and includes four bedroom and 3.5 bathroom.

Tiny home enthusiasts can also find their fit with the company's three 419 square-foot tiny homes ranging from $150,000 to $180,000.

No matter the model, all Dvele homes are built with DveleIQ, the company's proprietary "whole home solution" that integrates artificial intelligence "from the foundation up" to make a home's interior environment healthier.

"While DveleIQ facilitates the normal convenience features of smart home tech, it also provides an intelligent system that will enhance the health of the occupant, the home's energy efficiency, and even the durability of the home," Howland wrote.

Smart homes aren't just about lights that turn on and off automatically.

To Dvele, a smart home is a home that creates a healthy environment while learning to become become more efficient overtime.

The "software-defined" homes use over 300 sensors and DveleIQ to monitor different aspects of the home, from mold to carbon dioxide.

The home can then look into the reasons of any issues that have popped up.

For example, when the humidity level falls under a certain point, the home's system will check for potential causes, such as open doors and the number of people in the home.

Another example: if the system notices potential water or mold damage, it will let the homeowners know, and can notify Dvele for any possible solutions.

However, the units still have all the typical "smart home" features.

For example, the home can monitor its occupant's schedule and preferred thermostat settings to set the interior temperature before the homeowner arrives back from an outing, preventing the thermostat from working even when the home is empty.

To monitor its occupants, the home can use tools like smart phones and "energy consumption patterns," according to Howland.

"Our homes are constantly learning about their occupants and adapting to them as they start to understand a user's interaction with the home, anticipate their needs, and facilitate them through the home's systems," Howland wrote.

Dvele currently has a growing list of about 100 "intelligence home automations" that include detecting maintenance problems and helping its occupants relax at the end of the day, according to Howland.

"The goal of DveleIQ was to build a software-defined home that could sense in real time the state of the home and react accordingly," Howland wrote. "Because of this, every Dvele home is continually getting better, like how software updates to a Tesla make it continually better."

According to Howland, the public has received DveleIQ well, especially as more people have begun understanding that a "smart home" isn't just automatic lights and temperature settings.

Beyond technological innovations for healthier homes, Dvele also excels in the sustainability space.

Dvele is able to decrease its waste output because its homes are prefabricated with different models that use several of the same materials.

With the help of DveleIQ, the homes are also designed to be planet friendly by incorporating aspects like solar power, insulation, and efficient hot water heaters.

Keeping in line with the company's green forward mission, Dvele plants 10,000 trees for every home built, and uses "sustainable material sourcing."

Like other sustainable prefab home makers, Dvele aims for passive house certifications.

The homes are also all self-powered, taking away any reliance on larger power grids.

This is possible with a Dvele home's insulation, energy efficient amenities, and solar power use.

A Dvele home's solar panel output changes per location and home type. As of now, most of the company's units are based in California, according to Howland.

The prefab units also have backup battery and energy storage systems just in case.

Are you an EV owner? No worry. A Dvele home's systems have enough energy to charge an electric vehicle.

“DveleIQ and our ‘Self-Powered’ initiative were both very well received by the market and we saw an uptick in owners looking for quality healthy homes,” Howland wrote. “Our sales and interest have continued to exceed our boldest expectations, it’s been awesome to see how our core tenets are resonating with prospective owners.”

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