Modular homes are houses that have been constructed in pieces at a factory before being shipped to the site to be assembled. These houses are built to Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, or HUD Code. The concept was created as an extension of the assembly line, where factory workers specialize in a specific task in order to increase speed and decrease costs by creating items in bulk more efficiently. Though an economical building option, modular homes were considered a cheap option for home buyers.
Today, everyone is obsessed with being “green”. This means they are concerned about how their lifestyle choices affect the environment around us. By using more eco-friendly options and sustainable products, people hope to reduce their “carbon footprint”, or the negative effects humans can have on the environment.
Naturally, this trend of thinking green is extending into house building. Many people are concerned with purchasing a green car, but the reality is that our homes have a much greater impact on the Earth. Though modular houses were once considered inferior, many people are now buying green modular houses as a desirable alternative to a traditionally built house.
There are many reasons that modular homes are greener than traditionally built counterparts. Construction waste is reduced because modular homes are constructed from prefabricated pieces. The skill of the average worker is higher in a modular home factory is typically better than those on a construction site, meaning there is less waste due to error and higher quality work. Because the house is of higher quality, it will withstand the tests of time and nature better, needing fewer repairs. This quality is also evident in the seals. When seals are done outside, there is a risk of mold and mildew. Modular home seals are done inside. This makes the seals stronger, making the house more energy efficient by helping it maintain temperatures better.
Many elements in the construction and design of the house help make it more green. One of the biggest considerations is taking advantage of one of the greatest sustainable resources, solar energy. Strategically placed large windows can help regulate the heating and cooling of the house. This will reduce heating and cooling bills as well as energy consumption by 50% or more. Particularly well designed homes can create a “zero energy” homes – a house that produces as much energy as it uses. The roof plays another important part in the heating and cooling of the house. There are many options such as a living roof, long life shingles, metal roofing, and light colors. Plumbing can be made eco-friendly by incorporating features like recycling grey water and rain water collection and storage.
Currently only 2 to 3 percent of US houses are modular, but many believe this trend is quickly growing and will be the future of home building. After building a green modular house, the only thing left to consider is what economically friendly furnishings will be used in decorating. Fill the house with energy friendly appliances, organic fibers, and refurbished antique pieces.