Modular home building isn’t often associated with distinctive architecture, but two award-winning Texas companies — Lake|Flato Architects and developer Oaxaca Interests — are subverting all prefab expectations with HiFAB Homes. Much has already been written about their Haciendas, a series of site-built homes in West Dallas that served as a test run of the HiFAB prototype.

The modern, mindful dwellings designed by the world-renowned architecture firm are comparable to something that would sell for $1 million plus, but available for a fraction of the cost. 

Naturally, the sustainable product — a clean-lined vision that prioritizes wellness and courtyard living — has stolen the show, but the true heart of the project lies in HiFAB’s newly opened factory in Grand Prairie, Texas (also designed by Lake|Flato), where the company’s wellness-focused ethos and thoughtful design extends to the team crafting the homes. 

“Travel and weather are often eating away at the morale of those doing the work,” says Ted Flato, co-founder and principal of Lake|Flato. “That’s why we did more than just build a factory. It’s about creating great morale and a great culture to encourage great workmanship.” 

One way to accomplish their goal was to rethink the quality of outdoor spaces for work breaks, accomplished with the help of efficiency and sustainability experts. The Grand Prairie factory is surrounded by natural woodlands, so the team utilized the lush landscape to encourage employees to get outside and connect with nature. 

Construction on the climate-controlled factory was also postponed until the team nailed the design for the first HiFAB prototypes, which are crafted to both blend in with the Texas countryside and withstand the state’s notoriously extreme weather. It’s a marked difference from most other modular homebuilders.

“Many companies don’t make it due to factory inefficiencies,” Oaxaca Interests CEO Brent Jackson says. “At HiFAB, we have recruited masters in the field.” 

Now that they’re off to the races with the Haciendas (available in six different floor plans starting at $299,000), the HiFAB team has been seeking developing partners, exclusively in Texas, that make sense for their mission. First up is Tree Tops, a design-forward community in fast-growing Round Top from Starred Sky Developments, which will also help build HiFAB’s presence across Travis, Bastrop and Fayette County. 

“It’s so important to bring good design to more people,” Flato notes. “With HiFAB, you can afford to spend more time thinking about the design since you’ll be replicating it.

“We’ve developed a product that will be popular and well received for a very long time.”

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