Very few companies have been able to make an affordable, green home for the masses yet. When they do, sales are sluggish and the homes are usually discontinued.
When the manufactured giant Clayton introduced their modern iHouse and eHouse, they flopped. The layout was great and there were several unique features. Standard pitched roof along with optional rooftop deck, solar PV system, rainwater catchment, and separate studio were all great options to get to choose from. Whether mainstream wasn’t ready for such changes or the companies just haven’t gotten the marketing right, they simply did not sell.
Fortunately, there are a few independent shops that are producing their own pre-fab designs successfully. Of course, their homes are not cheap, some starting in the high $300,000 dollar range. Still, their designs are great to see what works with the buyers, what features are best for green living and what architectural designs are most pleasing. The chances are pretty good that a mainstream manufacturing company will eventually get a green modern design to take in mainstream, affordability and all. When they do we can expect to see designs like these from 2 popular architectural shops…
Michelle Kaufman is best known for her modern, green, airy and light-filled prefab designs. She is considered one of the most successful green, pre-fab architects and is a favorite of Inhabitant.com. She has designed several commercial and residential homes as well as parks and communities.
Blu Homes is doing a great job at pre-fab design. Their infamous GlideHouse offers great storage, warm materials, and high ceilings. The home starts in the high $300,000 range.
BluHouse has a home called Element that starts in the more affordable $160,000 area. This home uses a folding system once it is placed on the foundation.
It’s fun to see what is popular and to see the newest ideas for our types of homes. While pre-fab and modular is more expensive than traditional manufactured homes, they are essentially built the same way, in a factory. I’ve seen a few articles floating around that stress the difference between modular and manufactured. There are a few differences but basically, they have much more in common than not. It’s more a marketing ploy, their customers are typically higher income earners and can’t fathom the thought of living in a trailer. They want to pretend like the manufactured home is just their ugly stepsister, when in reality the manufactured home is the beautiful mother of modular and pre-fab. It’s simple marketing 101.