Our Story

Over 15 years ago, Alexander Hruby, an engineer from Austria, began building houses in Costa Rica. The first thing he noticed was how difficult it was for prospective house owners to understand their new environment. So, he created Manu Prefab, a full service, design and build company that specializes in modern tropical prefabricated homes. The focus was on how to embrace the natural landscape, environment, and sunsets while balancing sustainability and strength of construction materials.

Hruby has traveled all over Bali, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and China examining tropical architecture and materials. He has experimented on his own houses with wood, steel, Covintec®, SIPS, and concrete blocks to find the perfect match between welcoming nature and protecting the structure and its inhabitants from the heat and humidity.

Recently, Alexander moved his attention away from wood frames to focus on galvanized steel frames in combination with Structural Insulated Panels (SIP), which are lightweight Styrofoam core bound between two sheets of Fiber Cement Panel. SIPs are lightweight, very strong, used for walls, floors, and roofing, manufactured under factory-controlled conditions, and can be designed to ft any type of building. Now, MANU Prefab can reduce costs and create better visual communication using the SIP panel format.

Manu Prefab not only builds wood houses using traditional Balinese techniques of interlocking joints,but now they also offer a new, modern, high-tech, green choice to build tropical homes with insulated SIP panels.

Our Mission

We are passionate about tropical design and modular construction in this beautiful country. We hope to share our passion and knowledge with you, creating the best building experience possible.


Behind this fancy website is our team of real people who care about what we do. Our team strives to exceed your expectations by providing honest, accurate, and friendly service that you can trust.

ManuPrefab Team

Nils Hammerbeck – Design Director

Nils was born in South Africa to German parents, who took him to California and around the world starting at age 7. He has a 28 year background in high end residential hospitality, and festival design across the Western US and is a licensed architect in CA. He started helping clients with building dreams in Costa Rica in 2006, but after years of visits, realized the construction world was vastly different, and needed a new modular, design-build, approach that simplified the process to balance speed, quality, and budgets.  His consulting work with Manuprefab began in 2016.

Monserrat Espinoza – Local Architect

Monserrat began her architecture career working in interior design for residential projects. Her passions slowly shifted to the urban scale which led her to pursue a Masters degree in Urban Project at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. After completing her degree in 2017 she returned to Costa Rica and joined the ManuPrefab team seeking to apply her diverse architecture skills in the tropical landscapes of her home country.

Federico Paniz – Associate Architect

Federico studied architecture at the Central University of Venezuela and the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He has collaborated with several architecture studios, participating in competitions and carrying out projects of different scales during all its phases. His teaching experience as an instructor in the project workshop-UD9, UCV. It has led him to participate in international workshops and seminars. He completed his postgraduate studies in Technology management and rehabilitation of building at the University of Cantabria, Spain. In his spare time he likes to practice outdoor activities such as kitesurfing and sailing, in addition to being a guitar aficionado.