Back to Newsroom
Back to Newsroom

HB+A Architects Zero-Energy, Zero-Carbon Box Factory Project Led by Hafsa Burt

Thursday, 07 January 2021 06:10 PM

Campaign Writer

SAN FRANCISCO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / January 7, 2021 / The intersection of sustainability and innovation is familiar territory for San Francisco-based HB+A Architects and its principal, Hafsa Burt. As the lead architect for HB+A's recent groundbreaking Box Factory project, she continues to showcase the firm's commitment to discover fresh sustainable solutions, while prioritizing the health and safety of occupants.

Campaign Writer, Thursday, January 7, 2021, Press release picture

Image Credit: Doug Birnbaum.

For nearly two decades, Burt has been bringing attention to climate change and its impact on the design-build community.

"The developed world must do better and be held accountable for its energy consumption and use of resources. What's happening in other parts of the world is disheartening and tragic. Poorer parts of the world will suffer on account of increasing temperatures and rising water levels because of our lifestyle choices, and some of those countries only have a carbon footprint per capita of 0.2. We believe that all of us within the A/E/C Industry have an obligation to continue to strive for sustainable solutions and not become intellectually lazy but continue to innovate and constantly look for better solutions," said Burt.

In its latest effort to design solutions to combat global climate change, HB+A Architects embarked on the Box Factory project, a 1,750-square-foot single-family housing structure in Jackson, California, just two hours north of the Bay Area.

Zero-Energy, Zero-Carbon, with Stunning Design Aesthetics

Campaign Writer, Thursday, January 7, 2021, Press release picture

Image Credit: Doug Birnbaum.

It's a zero-energy, zero-carbon structure equipped with R-50 walls and roofs, powered by a solar array which provides more energy than the building uses. Additionally, the prefabricated structure features a highly customized metal building system and sandwich panels, allowing it to be built in just 12 days.

Patent pending, Burt said the Box Factory was designed through the firm's development arm, Box Lab, as a spec project to see if an off-grid, prefabricated building could meet the timeline and objectives HB+A set out to accomplish.

The result? A highly durable, efficient, resilient and versatile minimalist living space designed to last from 100 to 200 years.

The home in Jackson sits on an east-west axis to control solar gain. The north elevation features a wall of windows looking out over a valley. Light wells help bring light into the interior of the home while minimizing the effect on the wall's energy efficiency. Additionally, the interior features ample open spaces with breathtaking views, as well as large ceiling fans and operable windows to help circulate air. Conditioned air simply isn't needed.

Campaign Writer, Thursday, January 7, 2021, Press release picture

Image Credit: Doug Birnbaum.

"Space, sweeping views, and energy efficiency were at the forefront of our approach. We had to take a step back and reimagine a floor plan which was simple and uncluttered, but also flexible enough to cater to the changing needs of the occupants," said Burt.

Customizability was key to the success of the Box Factory. Prefabrication structures won't work in every environment. They have to be tailored for sustainability to truly function off grid and be zero energy. "This was never intended to be a cookie-cutter or easily replicable, modular structure which could be set up on any piece of land," Burt said. "It was designed with purposes of exploring zero energy goals in mind first and foremost."

Campaign Writer, Thursday, January 7, 2021, Press release picture

Image Credit: Doug Birnbaum.

HB+A plans to use the patented product and mold it to fit the specific site conditions of its clients. While they won't duplicate it precisely, the same principles will be used to customize it to a different site and functional needs of the occupants in order for sustainability to work. With electrification mandates, this project serves as a working example not dependent on fossil fuels for any of its functions.

The Box Factory at a Glance
Jackson, CA.
Size: 1,750 square feet.
Architect/MEP: HB+A Architects, San Francisco, CA.

  • Prefabricated: A highly customized metal building system and sandwich panels allowed main elements of the structure to be built in just 12 days.
  • Solar Array: A solar array and battery system provide all the power needs for the residence, making it zero energy.
  • Durability: The products selected were designed for durability so that the structure could last 100 to 200 years.
  • Walls and Roof: The walls and roof have R-50 insulation and careful attention to vapor control.

Campaign Writer, Thursday, January 7, 2021, Press release picture

Image Credit: Doug Birnbaum.

Burt attended the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where she obtained her undergraduate and Professional Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) degree, with a minor in Electronic Design.

Her extensive project experience ranges from the (N) proposal for the Guggenheim Museum for NYC at Gehry's office, a fast-track design-build secure connector for the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), to smaller 2000 square foot tenant improvement (TI) projects and custom single family homes targeting Net Zero Energy goals.

Campaign Writer, Thursday, January 7, 2021, Press release picture

Image Credit: / HBAarchitects / Doug Birnbaum.

With varied experience in urban retail, institutional, commercial and mixed-use markets, Burt is actively involved in all projects with a passion and commitment to the practice of architecture as a collaborative and innovative enterprise with a sense of responsibility to the bigger picture of a building's place in the world standing against climate change and socio economic problems.

Burt is proud of what HB+A has accomplished with the Box Factory project, but she isn't satisfied with the larger picture when it comes to the issue of climate change.

"Was this a rewarding experiment which achieved our objectives? Absolutely, when it comes to efficiency, consumption and resilience. Is it a panacea for our climate issues? Absolutely not, and we rapidly need to be doing much more. But, we're going to continue to keep our nose to the grindstone and find tailored solutions for different climates and vast environments," concluded Burt.

About Campaign Writer™
Campaign Writer™ is a leading sales and marketing content writing copywriting firm working with Top Professionals, Executives and Leaders in their field, to help tell their story more effectively through its Team of Award-Winning Copywriters, Wordsmiths, and Ghostwriters, for sales, marketing, public relations, direct response and email marketing campaigns. Campaign Writer is led by Chief Strategy Officer Marty Stewart.

For a strategic, exploratory conversation on how your company can leverage content writing, visit Or, call toll-free +1-877-463-9777 within the United States, or +1-702-997-1222 if calling Internationally.

SOURCE: Campaign Writer

Company Update
Back to newsroom
Back to Newsroom

Contact Us Today

If you have questions or want to learn more about our products, our team’s here to help!

Share by: