Modular Homes Gain in Popularity

January 3, 2011

For anyone that has ever worked with a Lego set, it is easy to understand the appeal of modular thinking. Consistency, ease of construction and interchangeability immediately come to mind.

According to Preston, chief editor of Jetson Green, the business today of off-site fabricated homes – shipped as modules, kits or panels – is robust.  “Some companies are shipping more homes every month.  Indeed, prefabrication offers several potential benefits that the housing industry cannot ignore: accelerated construction, controlled construction, construction without the elements, and minimal waste.”

Many of these modular homes are now being marketed under a green heading. For instance, last year, Nationwide Homes launched the eco-cottage (left-hand photo). Ranging in size from 300 to almost 600 square feet, the eco-cottage might be used for “a separate sleeping quarters or hobby space for your arts & crafts or even an office space,” writes Nationwide.

There are many reasons for the appeal of prefabricated homes: cost, less waste, factory precision, ease of construction and energy efficiency representing a few of the basic considerations. In addition, there is the perceived “green factor.”

According to Modular Homes, “Green modular homes are now being built that allow people to live comfortably without using as many natural resources.”

Of interest, a majority of these modular homes have been designed considerably smaller than traditional American homes.

“Modular homes are more than just compact; they are designed so that air circulates more easily, making the temperature easier to control,” writes Modular Homes. “The homes are also built with materials that will keep them better insulated than standard homes. It takes far less energy to heat or cool a green modular home than it does a standard dwelling.”

In addition, modular homes are not only built with little waste, they are nice to look at. The Massachusetts home shown in the left photo, was designed by BluHomes.

The next four posts will explore modular, or prefabricated homes, looking at these categories: design, size, cost, materials, and their green footprint.



Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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