Attention writers of short stories and poems: we have a problem.

For the past few weeks we have been urging you to submit your work for our annual Summer Fiction issue coming out in July. Just send your work, along with a brief biographical sketch, to

But then came the gremlins. The hack of our website that caused our site to go dark for several weeks also triggered a reinstallation of our E-mail system. And in the midst of that operation, the forwarding command for our “fiction” mailbox sent mail to uncharted areas of the Ether Ocean.

Our best solution is to ask any of you who submitted work via E-mail and did not receive a “got it” confirmation note from us to send it again to, yes, As always, if a poem involves some complicated formatting then send a hard copy to us, as well. The mailing address: U.S. 1 Summer Fiction, 12 Roszel Road, Princeton 08540. We look forward to hearing from you.

To the Editor:

More on Modular

Thank you for initiating a discussion about modular and cost of construction in general in the pages of U.S. 1. In his letter to the editor on May 28, Peter Madison makes very good points about the need for affordable housing and creative ways inclusive zoning could help. Mr. Madison’s statement that using off-site fabrication techniques will only deliver 5 percent savings is out of context. It really depends on what the comparison is.

Both projects described in U.S. 1’s May 21 cover story, “A Made-to-order Model for Modular Homes,” were estimated by local builders using on-site and off-site fabrication methods. In the case of the Quarry Street house, off-site fabrication allowed us to save over 40 percent. In the case of Prospect Avenue house, the savings are about 20 percent per square foot.

Reducing construction time by 6 to 12 months helps to save money. Even with these savings, the construction cost of these homes is higher than a typical house built by a developer. The goal is not to build the cheapest house possible, but to find ways of building unique designs at close to the same cost as standard ones.

I believe that off-site fabrication is not a magic bullet, but just one solution to be used when appropriate. In some cases it could save 40 percent, in some cases 5 percent, and in others it could be more expensive than building on-site. For example, using modular construction for a small addition will not provide any savings since the cost of a crane and set crew will be relatively high. Off-site fabrication could still be worth considering if the reduced construction time allows the homeowners to remain in their home or move back sooner.

Building modular is not a goal, it is one of the tools in our toolbox. I strive to create architecture that engages all senses, meets my clients’ needs, responds to its environment, and creates a sense of place. I believe that understanding basic structural principles and utilizing innovative construction methods and best craftsmanship will help achieve these results at predictable, reasonable prices.

Marina Rubina, Architect

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