Archive for the ‘Green Prefab & Modular Homes’ Category
June 22nd, 2009
As a native of Kansas City you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn about the new green prefab achievement in my home town. I learned about it from one of my favorite publications, Natural Home. They did a wonderful feature on the house, which you can read in its entirety here.
The 1,200 square feet house is a two-bedroom, one-bath home (remember in the eco-sphere small is good!) and is perched on stilts atop a hill. It has a wonderful view of downtown. It was designed by architecture students from the University of Kansas (KU), who are part of a program that focuses on sustainable and affordable design. It’s an excellent example of affordable, green design.
The home was built in six modular units in nearby Lawrence, Kansas. Then they trucked 40 miles to Kansas City and assembled. The house was designed and built over five months by the KU students. The owners paid around $150,000 for the house.
Natural Home also produced a nice video on the house – check it out.
Popularity: 10% [?]
June 9th, 2009
Written by Susan Kraemer, courtesy of Green Building Elements.com
Steel is just about the most recyclable building material on earth. You could be well reading this in an office building built with steel originally smelted from iron in Julius Caesar’s day.
So it makes good green sense to build eco prefab houses with steel…
Steel does not spread fire. Building with steel allows for a lighter load, so it does not require a huge concrete foundation. Making concrete is one of the most carbon intensive building industries there are, producing the heaviest carbon footprint.
And steel framing makes for construction simplicity: these homes are able to be erected by hand and do not require welding, special torque tools or specialized inspections. This allows an entire house to be framed and enclosed in less than five days.
Click here to read the rest of this article and see more photos.
Click here to learn more about other types of green prefab houses.
Popularity: 12% [?]
May 6th, 2009
Warren Buffett isn’t the world’s second richest man for nothing. He has an unsurpassed knack for picking good companies in strong industries at the right price. Most things he’s touched have turned into gold. So it’s exciting to see that a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary called Clayton Homes has just launched a line of green prefab homes (called the i-house) that start at under $75,000 (or about $105 / square foot) excluding site costs and shipping. Clayton Homes is one of the largest manufactured housing companies in the world, having produced over 1.5 million units since 1934. They’ll clearly get the manufacturing, financing and logistics right, but can they deliver the amenities, materials and compelling designs that prospective green homeowners have come to expect from green prefab?
The first models are quite promising. Even the base version comes with a lengthy list of standard green features, including:
- Well insulated exterior walls, floor and roof (R-21, R-30 and R-30 respectively)
- Andersen low-e windows
- Metal roof designed for rainwater collection
- No-VOC paint
- High efficiency heat pump
- Dual-flush toilets
If that’s not green enough for you, then you can pick from a long list of sustainable options that includes:
- Two to four kilowatts of solar PV panels;
- Bamboo flooring;
- Tankless water heaters
- Energy Star appliances
You obviously won’t get a LEED Platinum rating on your new i-house, but you will get a very low-energy and reasonably green home at a great price point.
The i-house website has an easy-to-use configurator that allows you to create a customized home and view pricing for options and delivery in your area.
Via Jetson Green
Popularity: 10% [?]
April 2nd, 2009
For a few days last week, a rustic green cabin popped up in the middle of a metropolis. Behind the iconic Pacific Design Center and in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in West Hollywood, designers and architects walked in and out of the HOM 1 manufactured home, taking a close look at the cork floors, FSC-certified walnut wood beds, and recycled glass-and-aluminum lamps.
HOM 1, the $235,000, 1000-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom modular home designed by KAA Design Group, was on display as part of WESTWEEK 2009: The Business of Design, a big annual symposium for the design world. Although the model drew a crowd in the city, the HOM 1’s intended as an escape home: “HOM is about living outdoors and in, with a close connection to nature,” declares the HOM website.
The modular home combines modern design with a rustic outdoorsy feel. Buy a HOM 1, and it’ll arrive 90% assembled as a single unit, fully equipped with the latest kitchen appliances, plumbing fixtures, and energy-efficient washer and dryer. According to HOM, the streamlined process of making this modular home means less wasted energy, construction waste, and transportation emissions.
Since HOM also makes eco-friendly furniture and accessories — all of which are designed to last a long, long time — you could get your HOM 1 fully furnished too. Then you can relax on your Wima Ottoman — made of FSC-certified ipe wood, turn on your Akira pendant lamp — made with 100% organic linen, FSC-certified walnut and recycled aluminum, creating the perfect relaxing setting for reading Thoreau’s Walden.
To see many other fine examples of green prefab homes, click here.
Popularity: 15% [?]
March 30th, 2009
The Wedge House in Durham, North Carolina is part modular home, part custom design. The home’s wedge shape was created by using 3 modular prefabricated homes. A single modular is on one side, while the other two are stacked opposite with a slanted roof connecting the two. As prefab homes have greater control on tightness and building quality, they are often considered to be more efficient homes built with less waste. Custom homes though, tend to fit the lifestyle of the inhabitants better. This wedge house is a great example of a blending of the two design styles - prefabricated modules worked into a custom design.
Studio B, a Durham-based architecture firm is responsible for the wedge design and BuildSense took care of the construction of this 1,829 sq ft home. A nearby factory built the three modulars, in a controlled environment with the aid of computers and specialized machines that helped maintain building integrity. Factory fabrication has many advantages over on-site building, like minimizing waste, higher tolerances, less gaps in the building envelope, properly installed insulation and less exposure to moisture and the elements. By the time the modulars were delivered on-site, they were ready to be dropped into place.
Before the modulars even arrived, careful site work was done to determine the optimum orientation for the house to maximize solar passive design. A concrete crawl-space was poured and then the modulars were placed on top and then sealed tightly. A shed roof was laid over the modulars to create an open, airy living space.
The kitchen, dining and laundry occupy the single modular, while the bedrooms are placed in the stacked modulars - the master bedroom and bath are downstairs, and two bedrooms with a shared bath are upstairs. The living room is airy, open and still cozy at the same time. Because the house is modestly sized, what would seem like a giant space, is actually quite comfortable. An outdoor/indoor screened-in patio sits right off the living room for a nice place to sit and relax.
High efficiency windows and doors were installed along with 2 x 6 wall framing for larger insulation cavities in order to improve energy efficiency. The homes floor plan was designed for energy efficiency, comfort, usefulness and natural ventilation. Rain screens were installed along with the exterior siding to prevent moisture damage and improve the efficiency of the envelope. Exterior cladding and materials were chosen not only for their looks but also because they were low maintenance. Polygal Fenestration, Galvalume corrugated metal siding, and Cyprus wood were used as cladding materials. With the busy lives we lead now, spending time and money maintaining homes these days takes away from quality time with our families.
Inside the home, modern finishes and rapidly renewable materials give the home a clean yet natural look. Interior rooms were well designed to maximize the space, which included built in cabinets, study nooks, and a screened-in porch. The large windows in the living and kitchen area provide ample daylight to minimize the use of lighting during the day. And to top it off, the house was built on a modest and very affordable budget.
via Jetson Green
Popularity: 8% [?]