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Modular Homes

Modular Homes

  • EcoClassic Homes. A New World Home master licensee, the company offers energy-efficient, sustainable homes integrating traditional and regionally inspired design with green products. It provides a variety of LEED-certifiable housing options for detached single-family homes, townhomes, duplexes, and multifamily options. It is also designing a line of live/work homes with commercial space on the ground floor and residential space above. The company claims it can produce a move-in ready home in about 100 days. 855.602.8898. www.ecoclassichomes.com.

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    EcoClassic Homes. A New World Home master licensee, the company offers energy-efficient, sustainable homes integrating traditional and regionally inspired design with green products. It provides a variety of LEED-certifiable housing options for detached single-family homes, townhomes, duplexes, and multifamily options. It is also designing a line of live/work homes with commercial space on the ground floor and residential space above. The company claims it can produce a move-in ready home in about 100 days. 855.602.8898. www.ecoclassichomes.com.

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    EcoClassic Homes. A New World Home master licensee, the company offers energy-efficient, sustainable homes integrating traditional and regionally inspired design with green products. It provides a variety of LEED-certifiable housing options for detached single-family homes, townhomes, duplexes, and multifamily options. It is also designing a line of live/work homes with commercial space on the ground floor and residential space above. The company claims it can produce a move-in ready home in about 100 days. 855.602.8898. www.ecoclassichomes.com.

  • LivingHomes. The company just launched its C6 LEED-Platinum line of affordable homes in Long Beach, Calif., designed in collaboration with the Make It Right Foundation. C6 homes combine what the company calls its Z6 Environmental Goals (for zero energy, water, emissions, carbon, waste, and ignorance) as well as Cradle-to-Cradle inspired materials. The three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,232-square-foot models start at $179,000, not including transportation and site, permit, and construction costs. 310.581.8500. www.livinghomes.net.

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    LivingHomes. The company just launched its C6 LEED-Platinum line of affordable homes in Long Beach, Calif., designed in collaboration with the Make It Right Foundation. C6 homes combine what the company calls its Z6 Environmental Goals (for zero energy, water, emissions, carbon, waste, and ignorance) as well as Cradle-to-Cradle inspired materials. The three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,232-square-foot models start at $179,000, not including transportation and site, permit, and construction costs. 310.581.8500. www.livinghomes.net.

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    LivingHomes. The company just launched its C6 LEED-Platinum line of affordable homes in Long Beach, Calif., designed in collaboration with the Make It Right Foundation. C6 homes combine what the company calls its Z6 Environmental Goals (for zero energy, water, emissions, carbon, waste, and ignorance) as well as Cradle-to-Cradle inspired materials. The three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,232-square-foot models start at $179,000, not including transportation and site, permit, and construction costs. 310.581.8500. www.livinghomes.net.

  • ZETA Communities. Tierra del Sols 1,268-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath, net-zero energy homes located in San Francisco come with photovoltaic energy; Energy Star appliances, lighting, and windows; low-flow plumbing; heat recovery whole-house ventilation; and nontoxic, recycled, and sustainable finishes. 415.946.4084. www.zetacommunities.com.

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    ZETA Communities. Tierra del Sols 1,268-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath, net-zero energy homes located in San Francisco come with photovoltaic energy; Energy Star appliances, lighting, and windows; low-flow plumbing; heat recovery whole-house ventilation; and nontoxic, recycled, and sustainable finishes. 415.946.4084. www.zetacommunities.com.

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    ZETA Communities. Tierra del Sol’s 1,268-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath, net-zero energy homes located in San Francisco come with photovoltaic energy; Energy Star appliances, lighting, and windows; low-flow plumbing; heat recovery whole-house ventilation; and nontoxic, recycled, and sustainable finishes. 415.946.4084. www.zetacommunities.com.

  • Epoch Corp. In 2011, this Pembroke, N.H., firm became the first modular plant certified Green Approved by the NAHB Research Center. All of its custom designs are ready to be certified at the Bronze level; however, most are certified at Silver, Gold, or Emerald. The company has also built a number of LEED-Platinum homes. 877.463.7624. www.epochhomes.com.

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    Epoch Corp. In 2011, this Pembroke, N.H., firm became the first modular plant certified Green Approved by the NAHB Research Center. All of its custom designs are ready to be certified at the Bronze level; however, most are certified at Silver, Gold, or Emerald. The company has also built a number of LEED-Platinum homes. 877.463.7624. www.epochhomes.com.

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    Epoch Corp. In 2011, this Pembroke, N.H., firm became the first modular plant certified Green Approved by the NAHB Research Center. All of its custom designs are ready to be certified at the Bronze level; however, most are certified at Silver, Gold, or Emerald. The company has also built a number of LEED-Platinum homes. 877.463.7624. www.epochhomes.com.

  • Simplex Homes. The company won the 2012 Jerry Rouleau Award for Excellence in Marketing and Home Design in the category of Green Modular Building, for its work on the net-zero Bancroft Green Luxury townhouse infill project in Center City, Pa. Features include staggered exterior walls with R-33 mineral wool insulation, R-42 in the ceilings, geothermal heating and cooling, heat recovery ventilators, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures. The bricks for the facades and stoops are reused from the building that was torn down prior to redevelopment, and the rubber rooftop and backyard pavers are recycled from old tires and manufactured locally. 800.233.4233. www.simplexhomes.com.

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    Simplex Homes. The company won the 2012 Jerry Rouleau Award for Excellence in Marketing and Home Design in the category of Green Modular Building, for its work on the net-zero Bancroft Green Luxury townhouse infill project in Center City, Pa. Features include staggered exterior walls with R-33 mineral wool insulation, R-42 in the ceilings, geothermal heating and cooling, heat recovery ventilators, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures. The bricks for the facades and stoops are reused from the building that was torn down prior to redevelopment, and the rubber rooftop and backyard pavers are recycled from old tires and manufactured locally. 800.233.4233. www.simplexhomes.com.

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    Simplex Homes. The company won the 2012 Jerry Rouleau Award for Excellence in Marketing and Home Design in the category of Green Modular Building, for its work on the net-zero Bancroft Green Luxury townhouse infill project in Center City, Pa. Features include staggered exterior walls with R-33 mineral wool insulation, R-42 in the ceilings, geothermal heating and cooling, heat recovery ventilators, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures. The bricks for the facades and stoops are reused from the building that was torn down prior to redevelopment, and the rubber rooftop and backyard pavers are recycled from old tires and manufactured locally. 800.233.4233. www.simplex homes.com.

  • Palm Harbor. This 1,720-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath HUD-Code home will redefine your concept of manufactured housing. Beyond the neo-traditional exterior that would fit in any neighborhood, this Energy Star home installed in a Florida retirement community features R-33 blown-in insulation in the ceilings, R-23 hybrid closed-cell foam (2 inches of foam with a R-11 batten) in 2x6 exterior walls, and R-11 in the floors. Other energy-saving features include a 14 SEER air conditioner with a Compu-Temp mastic-sealed duct system, reflective foil roof decking, and low-E insulated vinyl windows. 813.752.1368. www.palmharbor.net.

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    Palm Harbor. This 1,720-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath HUD-Code home will redefine your concept of manufactured housing. Beyond the neo-traditional exterior that would fit in any neighborhood, this Energy Star home installed in a Florida retirement community features R-33 blown-in insulation in the ceilings, R-23 hybrid closed-cell foam (2 inches of foam with a R-11 batten) in 2x6 exterior walls, and R-11 in the floors. Other energy-saving features include a 14 SEER air conditioner with a Compu-Temp mastic-sealed duct system, reflective foil roof decking, and low-E insulated vinyl windows. 813.752.1368. www.palmharbor.net.

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    Palm Harbor. This 1,720-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath HUD-Code home will redefine your concept of manufactured housing. Beyond the neo-traditional exterior that would fit in any neighborhood, this Energy Star home installed in a Florida retirement community features R-33 blown-in insulation in the ceilings, R-23 hybrid closed-cell foam (2 inches of foam with a R-11 batten) in 2x6 exterior walls, and R-11 in the floors. Other energy-saving features include a 14 SEER air conditioner with a Compu-Temp mastic-sealed duct system, reflective foil roof decking, and low-E insulated vinyl windows. 813.752.1368. www.palmharbor.net.

  • Method Homes. inHaus Developments Dave deBruyn chose the company for his net-zero White Rock project in Vancouver, British Columbia, because he admired the speed and efficiency of the modular process. The three-bedroom, four-bath homes are pending LEED-Platinum certification, featuring no- and low-VOC finishes; FSC-certified wenge cabinetry; a HEPA air filtration system; integrated air-exchange, air-to-air heat pump technology for heating, cooling, and hot water; hydronic in-floor heating; solar thermal hot water preheating; and optional solar energy. 206.789.5553. www.methodhomes.net.

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    Method Homes. inHaus Developments Dave deBruyn chose the company for his net-zero White Rock project in Vancouver, British Columbia, because he admired the speed and efficiency of the modular process. The three-bedroom, four-bath homes are pending LEED-Platinum certification, featuring no- and low-VOC finishes; FSC-certified wenge cabinetry; a HEPA air filtration system; integrated air-exchange, air-to-air heat pump technology for heating, cooling, and hot water; hydronic in-floor heating; solar thermal hot water preheating; and optional solar energy. 206.789.5553. www.methodhomes.net.

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    Method Homes. inHaus Development’s Dave deBruyn chose the company for his net-zero White Rock project in Vancouver, British Columbia, because he admired the speed and efficiency of the modular process. The three-bedroom, four-bath homes are pending LEED-Platinum certification, featuring no- and low-VOC finishes; FSC-certified wenge cabinetry; a HEPA air filtration system; integrated air-exchange, air-to-air heat pump technology for heating, cooling, and hot water; hydronic in-floor heating; solar thermal hot water preheating; and optional solar energy. 206.789.5553. www.methodhomes.net.

  • Keiser Homes. Designed by Kaplan Thompson, the firms Modular Zero line was inspired by a site-built Passive House home by Dan Kolbert Building & Renovations in Portland, Maine. Designed as a moderately priced, zero-energy home, it sells for about $200,000. The company will adapt the home to climate- and site-specific requirements to maximize passive solar heating and cooling. Energy features include super-insulated construction (R-40 walls and R-60 roof), optional photovoltaic solar panels, solar hot water, high-efficiency hydronic heating (heat pump), energy-efficient triple-glazed windows, and airtight construction. Water conservation features include low-flow showerheads and faucets, and indoor environmental features include low-VOC paint, adhesives, and sealants, and nontoxic interior finishes. Sustainability features include FSC-certified wood products, recycled-content resilient flooring, 50-year siding, and a 40-year recyclable metal roof. 888.333.1748. www.keisermaine.com.

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    Keiser Homes. Designed by Kaplan Thompson, the firms Modular Zero line was inspired by a site-built Passive House home by Dan Kolbert Building & Renovations in Portland, Maine. Designed as a moderately priced, zero-energy home, it sells for about $200,000. The company will adapt the home to climate- and site-specific requirements to maximize passive solar heating and cooling. Energy features include super-insulated construction (R-40 walls and R-60 roof), optional photovoltaic solar panels, solar hot water, high-efficiency hydronic heating (heat pump), energy-efficient triple-glazed windows, and airtight construction. Water conservation features include low-flow showerheads and faucets, and indoor environmental features include low-VOC paint, adhesives, and sealants, and nontoxic interior finishes. Sustainability features include FSC-certified wood products, recycled-content resilient flooring, 50-year siding, and a 40-year recyclable metal roof. 888.333.1748. www.keisermaine.com.

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    Keiser Homes. Designed by Kaplan Thompson, the firm’s Modular Zero line was inspired by a site-built Passive House home by Dan Kolbert Building & Renovations in Portland, Maine. Designed as a moderately priced, zero-energy home, it sells for about $200,000. The company will adapt the home to climate- and site-specific requirements to maximize passive solar heating and cooling. Energy features include super-insulated construction (R-40 walls and R-60 roof), optional photovoltaic solar panels, solar hot water, high-efficiency hydronic heating (heat pump), energy-efficient triple-glazed windows, and airtight construction. Water conservation features include low-flow showerheads and faucets, and indoor environmental features include low-VOC paint, adhesives, and sealants, and nontoxic interior finishes. Sustainability features include FSC-certified wood products, recycled-content resilient flooring, 50-year siding, and a 40-year recyclable metal roof. 888.333.1748. www.keisermaine.com.

You may be surprised to learn that the very first house to achieve Platinum-level certification under the USGBC’s LEED for Homes program was a modular home installed in Santa Monica, Calif., by LivingHomes in 2006. Since then, factory home builders have made it a point to be the first in their respective markets to attain high-level green certifications from basic, Bronze-level ANSI National Green Building Standard (NGBS) to Passive House, including many net-zero homes and communities.

“The prefab industry embraced green building to meet growing demand, showcase their products, and, because the efficiencies inherent to factory production—including rigorous quality control, resource conservation, and the ability to assemble a house from the inside out—provide factory home builders with advantages difficult to match, even by the best green builders constructing on-site,” says Sheri Koones, author of Prefabulous + Sustainable.

To a significant degree, green building depends on critical construction details, such as accurate sealing, flashing, and insulation. Working in a climate-controlled environment that resembles a cabinet shop more than a construction site, technicians and craftsmen labor comfortably on all levels of a structure, from floors to roof, without balancing on ladders, enduring harsh weather, or straining their backs.

“The ergonomics of a factory setting favor high-quality workmanship, which is the first principle of green building,” says Steve Glenn, whose company, LivingHomes, strives to build homes certified as LEED-Platinum. Glenn turned to the modular approach to ensure strict and consistent architectural compliance, project after project.

Many developers and architects are finding that quality and cost favor the modular approach for their high-performance projects. But before delving into all the reasons you may want to consider modular construction for your next high-performance home or addition, we should go over some basic prefab vocabulary since the terms “manufactured” and “modular” are not synonymous and often are misapplied.

Manufactured housing refers to factory-built homes meeting the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards, developed and enforced since 1974 by HUD. Commonly known as the HUD-Code, this national standard makes it possible for the industry to build and sell homes across jurisdictional boundaries without having to meet myriad state and local codes.

Manufactured homes are typically single story and trucked to the site in one to three sections, each constructed on a steel frame with wheels, making it possible to relocate the unit. Designed as affordable housing, manufactured homes often carry the Energy Star Qualified label when produced and installed in accordance with Energy Star’s guidelines by a certified plant. Some manufacturers, such as Dallas-based Palm Harbor, will also build models that qualify for green building certifications, including LEED, NGBS, Earth Advantage, and others. Although common with higher-end modular homes, costly certifications remain rare in HUD-Code models.

Modular homes are also constructed in one or more three-dimensional factory units, but to state and local codes rather than a federal standard. The modules are transported to the home site for assembly on a permanent foundation. A network of authorized, surrogate state inspectors review plans and visit the modular factory for compliance inspections during the manufacture of each home. Green certification inspections, including Energy Star, LEED, and NGBS, are also performed by specialized third-party inspectors. The final, on-site inspection is done by a local HERS rater, just as with any other certified home.