What happens when the highly engineered precision of a factory-built structure collides with tiny living? Glass and steel are designed in purpose-built structures that range from custom homes to multifamily dwellings. Architects and national testing standards refer to the “monumental” architectural standard as the highest in the construction industry.
Sculptured and artistic in form, these factory-built custom homes reimagine the minimal lifestyle and the minimal manufactured homes that defy time and the elements while exciting the imagination.
Befama Homes is a small space builder in Richmond, BC with a mission to create the most technologically advanced manufactured buildings that last multiple centuries even as weather events and climate change shape their surroundings.
Quality that is usually only available to industrial buildings and billionaires is here for the tiny home buyer.
Daniel Sanderson, an architectural consultant for Befama Homes explains, “Our two primary building materials are metal and glass. We use something called curtain wall, which is a structural glazing system that gives the building floor to ceiling glass. The windows are of the highest quality available in the marketplace. Skyscrapers are built this way.”
Befama Homes is a new company, however, its founder is not new to the industry. The company has grown out of two experienced and highly regarded local construction facilities that do metal fabrication and architectural painting (PANELEX Industries and PRIMEX Industries).
“Skyscrapers are built this way.”
These companies are coming from a world of building large, precisely engineered structures that must withstand the harshest environmental forces. Sometimes, these technologies would be applied to a striking private home, as in this video:
So, what happens when the precision of glass and steel meets tiny home living? The founder of Befama Homes decided to find out.
“When Greg Palamarz started this, it was an experiment. We asked ourselves, what if we apply the level of quality that we produce for our architects to a 400 sq.ft. dwelling? Quite honestly, we didn’t know whether it would be affordable. We worked out the numbers for a fully contained, fully-functional one-bedroom module. And it ended up being $160,000. We were like, “Whoa, wait a minute. We have something here.”
We didn’t know whether it would be affordable. It ended up being $160,000. We were like, “Whoa, wait a minute. We have something here.”
“It’s $160,000 for the best quality materials and design that the billionaires pay for. The same contemporary sleek European design. We didn’t have to make any compromises. We were excited to create something that would allow an entry-level buyer the very highest quality and design available on the marketplace.”
It’s $160,000 for the best quality materials and design that the billionaires pay for.
Befama Homes models are built to last. Really last.
“There is a classification in architecture called “monumental status”. Which means it’s built to a cultural standard. For example, the Sydney Opera House is not built to last a lifetime. It’s built to last forever. We take the same approach.”
A mechanized lifting system protects the home from floods, fires, and even heavy snowfall.
With severe weather events more and more common in British Columbia, protection becomes a key element of home building. The Befama mechanized lifting system raises the home out of harm’s way and lowers it when it’s safe to do so. Additional protection from fire includes radiant energy reflecting panels, sprinkler systems, and non-flammable facade surfaces to further protect the home from flying embers.
“If you’re not lifting the home, you can also actually pick it up with a crane and move it. Municipalities usually have access to a 50-ton crane. If there is a fire danger, you can literally move our home where it’s safe.”
Befama manufactured homes not only protect owners from the environment’s most dangerous events. They also protect the environment. With a light touch on the ground, they are respectful of the site’s ecosystem.
“I am a big environmental guy and I can tell you that when land is developed, there is a lot of excavation, backfill, soil compacting. You basically destroy the ecosystem. What happens with our homes is that you need a 4 sq. ft. footprint on the ground. Then, you can lift the entire home up with minimal disruption to the ecosystem. You don’t have to terraform huge plots of land.”
“You basically need a 4 sq. ft. footprint on the ground. That’s a minimal disruption to the ecosystem.”
Why live smaller? Because you can and because you want to.
Befama Homes do not limit their designs to strict “tiny home” sizing. They believe there is value in downsizing, whether it’s living in 400 sq. ft. or moving from a 2500 sq. ft. home to 1300 sq. ft. Their home models can even be stacked to create multi-family dwellings.
“There are two experiences from our own lives that we used as inspiration for creating smaller homes. One is, when you travel. For example, you go to Mexico or Hawaii and stay in a small place. I used to do this quite a bit with the family. You can be surprised to find that staying in a much smaller place when you’re traveling is still just as comfortable. You are staying in a fraction of the space you have at home, with a fraction of your belongings. But you have everything you need.”
“The second experience may be something even more universal. When families look back at all the places they lived when they moved to bigger and bigger homes as time went on. Every time their wealth increased, they got a bigger house. The kids got their own rooms. Many people, myself included, will actually say that the first, smallest place is where they were happiest. That first small apartment where everyone was on top of one another – that’s the place that many people identify as being their happiest.”
“That first small apartment is the place that many people identify as being their happiest.”
“It’s really captivating that somebody can think and imagine themselves living in a smaller space. What that does to their lifestyle and their life.”
Here is a video from Daniel Sanderson explaining the system. The presentation covers the entire spectrum of solutions that Befama Homes is offering.
If you would like to contact Daniel to discuss home ownership, he can be contacted via the form below: