Green Prefab Housing Ideas

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My favorite thing to do is design houses. I’ve been a wannabe architect since I was 6. My partner and I will be combining households within the next year, and we are going to build a house, so I’ve been planning! Since we will be running a vegetable farm, I wondered how much time I would actually have to design and oversee the construction. Prefab housing came to mind, so I did some research.

Prefab housing means less waste, less impact

Prefab building is done in a factory, and sections are shipped to the building site to be assembled. Construction in a controlled environment reduces time and money lost to bad weather and delayed shipments. There is less waste, since materials can be purchased for many projects, and this also saves money. Because there is not a lot of construction equipment at the site, there are fewer negative impacts on the land.

Prefab building is not new. Modular and manufactured homes are prefabricated, but now designers and builders are adding green features to make them energy efficient and more desirable.

Illustration of proposed Germantown, Nashville, TN prefab housing project. (image: David Hunter)

Prefab housing construction options to consider

Here are a handful of green prefab homes I found that would suit our needs, but, believe me, there are many more!

Green Modern Kits Passive solar and thermal mass, SIPs, off-grid options, water catchment

Eco Structures LEED certified, sustainably harvested wood for cabinets, passive solar, super insulated, recycled materials

Fab Cab Universal Design, energy efficient, sustainably harvested wood, SIPs, low VOC paints and finishes, recycled materials, water efficient fixtures

ARKit Optimized building envelope, sustainably managed and harvested wood, low lifetime operating costs, designs for residential, offices, hotels, studios and urban infill

Michael Jantzen’s Homestead House Recyclable steel, strong, adaptable, portable, passive solar

Blu Homes Element Natural light, passive solar, no wasted space in floor plan, sustainably harvested woods, low VOC paints

Cottage in a Day SIPs, exceeds Energy Start and LEED requirements, durable materials

Prefab housing becoming more commonplace

As people become more aware of how to tread lightly on the planet, they will choose green prefab housing. The options are unlimited to perfectly suit a building site, budgets and personal needs. Energy prices are unstable, and an energy efficient prefab will be a buffer against price increases, which will bring a higher return on investment. I think green prefab housing will become more commonplace once the housing market picks up again.

Look at me! Even a designer is turning to prefab!

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.