Blu Homes Unfolds Green Faculty Homes at Rhode Island’s Portsmouth Abbey School

September 27, 2011

September 27, 2011 - Blu Homes (, a leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful, green, precision-built homes, based in Boston and San Francisco, announced today the unfolding of two eco-friendly faculty homes at Portsmouth Abbey School, one of the nation’s leading Catholic boarding schools. The two-story Blu “Evolution” homes are Energy Star-rated and LEED certifiable, and will be located on the School’s 500-acre campus on the picturesque shores of Narragansett Bay in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The spacious and highly energy-efficient Blu Evolutions are two of a growing number of Blu homes embraced by Rhode Islanders. A Blu Element was erected in Charlestown last year while a Blu Breezehouse and another Element are currently being prepared for homeowners in Little Compton.

“Our faculty love these beautiful, light-filled homes," said Portsmouth Abbey Headmaster Jim DeVecchi. “The high quality of construction — from the structural steel frames to the exemplary energy efficiency — dramatically lowers monthly energy bills and keeps maintenance costs down. We’re going to own these homes for a very long time, so quality and energy efficiency really matter to us, and the Benedictine stewardship that guides our School sees beauty and sustainability as deeply interconnected. These stunning Blu homes are part of the School’s broad commitment to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. We have already implemented a number of green projects to this end, including the construction of Rhode Island’s first industrial-scale wind turbine, two new student residential houses with energy-efficient features, and a solar-powered house. Building homes with Blu is the next step in demonstrating the Abbey’s leading commitment to principled, green living.”

The Blu Evolutions for Portsmouth Abbey are designed to achieve reduced energy bills of up to 70% when compared with typical American homes, and include high-end features like luxurious radiant floor heating, Energy Star appliances, low-flow fixtures, an energy recovery ventilation system, sustainably forested flooring, healthy Greenguard finishes for indoor air quality and a roof with a 50-year life.

“The architecture and the land have found a unique marriage here,” said Peter O’Connor, head of the humanities department at Portsmouth Abbey, who is looking forward to living in one of the homes with his wife and four children right on Narragansett Bay. “Watching our new home unfold feels like Christmas. It’s miraculous.”

Blu’s homes are precision-built by factory craftsmen in weather-controlled conditions to meet the highest quality construction standards. All Blu homes are constructed with Blu’s proprietary structural steel frames that allow for high ceilings, open spaces and generous natural light. In addition, the steel construction’s strength withstands high snow loads, seismic activity and high winds, and is also fire-, mold- and termite-resistant.

“Being this close to the coast, with the wind often blowing very hard, it is important to have something built as tight and strong as this,” said Paul Jestings, Director of Operations for Portsmouth Abbey. “To have this kind of strength and efficiency in the same structure is fantastic and really critical as we look at the financial and environmental cost of our dependence on oil.”

After leaving the factory, Blu’s homes are installed on site in one day and completed in just two weeks by Blu’s teams of craftsmen. This speed and convenience is a result of Blu’s proprietary building science technology which allows its homes to be finished — completely and to a high quality — in its factory, then folded for quick and cost-effective setting on site. All of this is done at a pre-agreed, fixed cost.

“These homes are built to withstand the test of time, and to feel great to live in. With amenities like plugs for hybrids and a solar-ready roof, we’ve taken into account the future generations that will live here,” says Maura McCarthy, Blu Homes co-founder. "Portsmouth Abbey’s commitment to quality, beauty, sustainability and smart economics — and their amazingly beautiful campus — make this a wonderful site to put our first Evolutions in Rhode Island."

All Blu finishes, fittings, appliances and systems are selected by Blu designers for their leading environmental performance, resulting in healthy and beautiful living spaces and high indoor air quality. Blu homes offer at least 50% energy savings over comparably sized existing homes.

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About Blu HomesBlu Homes, Inc. is a Massachusetts- and California-based builder of green, architect-designed, and precision-built homes. Blu has built a variety of residential and institutional eco-friendly home designs for families and organizations across the U.S., from New York to the Colorado Mountains and the California Coast. Blu’s proprietary steel framing and building technology allows Blu to build homes that are as strong as they are beautiful and then fold them for quick and cost-effective setting across the continental U.S. and Canada. For more information on Blu Homes, contact, or visit