In the introduction to her book “Prefabulous World, Energy-Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the World” Sheri Koones writes, “We have learned over the years that there are better ways to build Container Houses . . . Prefabrication has been my mantra for a long time because it is such a superior way to build.”
Modular construction is one prefabricated approach proven to help reduce the environmental impact of building a home while helping to increase the energy efficiency and overall sustainability of the home.
While waste recycling is gaining momentum for conventional construction, factories building modular homes consistently utilize leftover material from one project in additional projects in the factory.
“Because [systems-built homes] are built in a factory and much of the lumber is pre-cut, there is less scrap and waste; the cut-off pieces are often ground up and recycled; the central location of a factory means no wasted transportation to get workers to an isolated job site, so there’s savings in fuel and energy,” said Steven Winter, Chairman of the U.S. Green Building LEED for Homes Program. “So, in a whole array of material savings, time savings, and energy savings attributes, systems built homes go a long way toward achieving green objectives.”
And while modular construction offers significant environmental advantages over site-built construction when it comes to waste recycling and energy savings, the process also reduces overall construction time to further reduce the building impact on the environment.
With modular buildings, where construction of the home takes place in a factory, simultaneous in-factory and on-site work reduce overall construction time. Weather delays, vandalism and theft are practically non-existent in the factory setting to further increase the efficiency of the construction process.
Selected features, design aspects and planning can improve the efficiency and sustainability of any home, but modular construction lends itself to greater sustainability than conventional construction.
Up to 90 percent of modular construction takes place in a factory off site. Homes are built in the factory in modules and then shipped and craned into place before being finished on site. Modules are shipped with interior fixtures, flooring, finishes and appliances in place leaving minimal site work left before the home is finished. Modular homes must meet the same codes as site-built homes and often exceed the building standards.
Skilled craftsmen, resources and Granny House materials are located in a single location during construction and provide key benefits when it comes to green building.