French designer and architect Philippe Starck has joined forces with Slovenian prefabricated housing specialist Riko to manufacture a new line of high-end prefab houses under the moniker Starck with Riko. The Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes (or P.A.T.H.) range is available in a number of shapes and sizes, and according to the company, can generate significantly more energy than it requires.

Depending on which one of the 34 different floor plans prospective buyers choose from, a P.A.T.H. home can range in size from 40 sq m (1,506 sq ft) to 350 sq m (3,767 sq ft), and feature anywhere between one and eight rooms, spread over one or two floors.

The home can also sport either an all glass outer shell, a combination of wood and glass shell, or fully-wooden shell. Roof type, interior fittings, and cladding can also be further customized to suit, and the sky – or rather the wallet – is the limit. The homes are built to meet the BEPOS energy standard for positive energy buildings, which is backed by the French government.

A P.A.T.H. home sports triple-glazed windows measuring a 63 mm (2.48 inch) thick as standard, and features insulation made from stone wool, glass fiber, or cellulose. The amount of insulation is dictated by the area in which the home is to be located.

In the prototype Montfort show-home pictured, an IRFTS-produced Easy Roof solar array is installed. This system comprises 36 DualSun panels, which generate both electricity and heat for hot water, plus 22 standard photovoltaic panels. Altogether, the array generates a rated 11.8 MWh of electricity per year, and provides an estimated 70 percent of all hot water needs. A gas boiler is also on standby.

Additional extras include a roof-based wind turbine, designed by Starck himself and developed by a company called Pramac, that's available in 450 watt and 1000 watt versions. An efficient SPEETA wood-burning stove is also available, as is a rainwater collection and filtration system.

The company states that the Montfort show-home produces up to 50 percent more energy than it consumes, but we've no hard figures on exactly how this number was reached.

P.A.T.H. homes cost around €2,500 – €4,500 per sq m (US$3,166 – $5,700 per sq m), depending on the options chosen. Once ordered, delivery is promised within six months.

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