“Green Home Construction” really has two definitions associated with it in terms of its environmental impact on the earth and its surrounding community. A green home must have been built using environmentally friendly methods and the efficient use of materials and energy. A green home must also efficiently utilize energy and water, once it becomes occupied, without sacrificing the comforts we have come to enjoy. Modular homes fit into these two rules perfectly.
Improved Energy Efficiency
From the air conditioning that we use in the summer, to the oil or gas heat we use in the winter, to the appliances we use year round, homes have an enormous environmental impact. The EPA says buildings account for 39% of total energy use, 12% of total water consumption, 68% of total energy consumption, and 38% of CO2 emissions.
(View the full EPA report)
Recently, appliance manufacturers have caught on to these startling percentages and have been working hard to offer solutions. You can now get energy efficient models of just about any household appliance you need. But, that’s only a small part of the problem. The true waste of energy in the home comes from thermal efficiency, or the lack there of. A properly insulated home, along with sealing leaks in air ducts and structure is far more energy efficient, and can save thousands of dollars a year on energy costs.
(Read more at EnergyStar.gov)
Modular homes come out of the factory pre-sealed, airtight and insulated about as well as a home can be. Factory conditions allow for workers to insulate in even the tightest areas. Precision factory tools allow for each section of every home to be sealed tighter than it ever could be if it was built on site. Combine a modular home with energy efficient electronics and appliances and you’ve got one earth friendly and wallet friendly home.
Fewer Wasted Construction Materials
A traditional stick-built home, constructed on site, is far less efficient in its use of materials than a factory built home. On site developers typically order more materials than they need for a variety of reasons. Much of these extra materials are not valuable enough to transport away at the end of a job and are thrown away. Additionally, materials such as framing lumber are cut to size on site. This leaves a huge amount of unusable scraps that also go to waste.
Not only do home manufacturers have records of exactly what quantity of materials are needed for any given job, but they often receive lumber pre-cut to length for framing. Combine this with programs for recycling scraps, where extra materials are already on site for the next project, and a company’s desire to be financially and environmentally responsible, and the result is a process which can typically save 30% in waste materials as opposed to the traditional process.