Modular Homes: A Green Approach to Building

Most people don’t know that the item they own that impacts the environment the most is not their car, but their house. Environmentalists attribute more than half of all greenhouse gases and pollution as a result of a home’s embodied energy and utilities. If you are thinking about building a house and are concerned about the environment, consider a modular home.

Once conceived as an economical method of construction, a modular home is also greener than other traditional types of construction. And if you are worried about what a modular house may look like, prepare to be surprised. Many consumers cannot tell the difference between a modular home and a home built on site.

A modular home has less construction waste. Because each home, however unique, is made of prefabricated pieces that may the same for hundreds of homes, companies often buy precut lumber. Other materials can be ordered in precise quantities, lowering waste during construction. Also, many companies employ workers that have more training than the average construction team, meaning less material waste due to mistakes.

These houses are normally sealed much tighter and have less energy lost than on site construction. This is due in part to the stringent inspections by third parties, as well as the increased skill of the workers, who often specialize in a single housing detail. Higher quality construction will increase the effectiveness of the heating and cooling systems in your house. It will also help increase the longevity of the house itself.

Such tightly sealed homes built on site run the risk of creating a perfect environment for mold. However, due to construction within an indoor, controlled environment, modular homes are protected much better from the possibility of mold problems.

The environmental benefits of this method of construction are already recognized throughout the industry. If you would like to get your modular home certified to meet a certain environmental standard, talk to the company before buying. Often they will have information and documentation you will need to provide.

Buying a prefabricated home does not automatically qualify you for certification. Take care to choose a proper heating and cooling system that is efficient and meets your environmental goals. The amount of money you can save using more efficient systems will be greater than if you put the same system in a house built on site.

How you go about readying the land for your house also affects the points you can get towards certification. Get a copy of the certification requirements you will be attempting to obtain, and take a look at recommendations for landscaping, site orientation, and outdoor drainage that could be applicable to your modular house.

The United States Green Building Council has a national ratings system called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is a common system and the requirements can be found online. However, there is a cost associated with getting your house certified. If you are not interested in going through the certification process for your modular home, at least take a look at some of the suggested areas to earn points. A certification system will help you think about ways you can reduce the environmental impact of your modular home.

Once you do some research, talk to a contractor that has experience not only with modular houses, but green building as well. If you do not know of anyone in the area, contact your modular home company. They may be able to recommend someone to help finish your modular home.

A modular home is one of the quickest and easiest ways to construct an environmentally conscious residence, but it is not for everyone. Building a house, even one that can be constructed in a matter of months, can be a stressful experience. For those people that do decide in favor of homebuilding, modular home construction can be a powerful testament to your commitment to your world.

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