Building a new house can take a lot of time, energy and effort. When you're environmentally conscious, you have even more factors to consider. One way to circumvent some of the hassle is to invest in a modular green home. They are prefabricated and installed to your specifications on your building site, cutting down on some of the time and expense incurred in the building process.
Modular home building is one of the fastest-growing segments of the home construction industry. It provides a higher quality home at less cost and in less time than building the same building on site.
A modular home is built in sections in a factory environment. About 90 percent of the home's construction is completed including walls, windows, ceilings, roofing, floors, stairs, plumbing and electrical, cabinetry, counter tops and decorative flooring. Heating and air conditioning may be added in the factory or it may be added on site. The sections are individually covered and then shipped to the home site where they are assembled onto a pre-constructed basement or foundation.
A modular home can be designed to be "green" with the use of natural, non-toxic and sustainable materials to achieve a low-impact living home. For example, an eco-friendly kitchen can be added in the factory. Geothermal heating and cooling can either be added in the factory or installed onsite by a local contractor.
Choosing Your Modular Home
As the prefab industry grows, your choices of green homes also grow. If you've traditionally thought of modular homes as boxy, small spaces akin to manufactured homes, you're in for a surprise. While many modular homes are built with a modern style and clean, straight lines, you can choose to have a green home custom built to your design specifications. In many cases you can build a home as large or as small as you like with numerous luxury amenities. You can start your green home search at the following companies:
- Blu Homes: "...breakthrough computer modeling, unique use of steel and wood and revolutionary folding technology makes beautifully designed homes more economical to ship and quicker to set up "
- GreenPod: Offers pods that you can customize and furnish and even have a floating pod design
- Cutting Edge Homes: 80 percent of modular completed in factory with SmartPanel construction
- Method Homes: "Custom manufacturer of precision-engineered prefab structures"
- Deltec Homes: Round homes
- Bamboo Living: Featuring the Zen Collection with exposed bamboo rafters
- Alchemy Architects: weeHouse prefab home designs
Advantages of a Modular Green Home
If you're not sure why you should pick a modular green home over a traditional build, you may want to consider the following benefits:
- Consistent quality: The factory quality control departments can check each section throughout the construction process to ensure consistency
- Lower cost: Materials can be purchased in bulk to take advantage of quantity purchasing and to avoid price fluctuations in building materials
- Faster construction: A home can be built in the factory in one to two weeks. During this time, the foundation can be completed on site. It will take two to four weeks to assemble the home after it arrives at the home site. Construction is seldom delayed due to weather, labor problems or missing materials.
- Strong construction: More wood is usually used than in a site-built home and the joints are usually tighter and cut with more accuracy.
- Design flexibility: A wide variety of styles are available and can be customized.
- Energy efficiency: A modular home is highly engineered and uses the latest construction technology. This provides a tighter home that experiences less energy waste.
- Less construction waste: Wood is used efficiently. Unused wood is usually recycled as fuel in the factory.
Enjoying the Design Process
Just because you're purchasing a prefab house doesn't mean you have to give up the fun of designing the layout and picking out materials. Aside from the fact that modular homes are built in a factory, the design process is fairly similar to a traditional build, particularly if you choose to have an architect or company design a custom home. After choosing the floor plan or custom design you will have the chance to pick out your colors, flooring, appliances and cabinetry, ensuring that the final product is the green home you've always dreamed of.