3 Green Prefabs for Less Than $120,000

These small, sustainable spaces make for fine, affordable living.
January/February 2010
The i-house includes ample natural light and outdoor living spaces.

Photo Courtesy Clayton Homes


Clayton Homes, one of America’s largest prefabricated home manufacturers, has developed the i-house “to create an environmentally friendly house that promotes healthy living at a price people can afford,” says Brandon O’Connor, Clayton’s i-house specialist. The 723-square-foot basic unit costs around $75,000 and can be expanded and customized. The highly efficient i-house’s 4-kilowatt solar-electric system powers it for about a dollar a day.

• Low-E windows
• Efficient appliances
• Solar panels
• Super insulation
• Dual-flush toilets
• Tankless water heater
• Bamboo floors
• Rainwater-collection cisterns
• Zero-VOC paint
• Composite decking from recycled materials

For more information visit Clayton Homes' website or call (866) 516-1140.

Cottage in a Day

Last August, Cottage in a Day delivered the first of its factory-built homes. Constructed with structural insulated panels (SIPs)—efficient foam sandwiched between two pieces of oriented strand board—the homes exceed the National Association of Home Builders’ green standards. Local suppliers provide materials, and excess materials are rebuilt into furniture, mailboxes and birdhouses. Cottage in a Day’s 1428 SB model offers 375 square feet and a 288-square-foot deck for $117,000.

• 70 percent recycled-content steel roofs
• Energy Star appliances
• Bamboo flooring
• Low-VOC finishes
• Structural insulated panels
• High-recovery electric water heater
• Dual-flush toilets
• Energy Star windows
• Water-saving fixtures
• Electric air-to-air heat exchanger

For more information visit Cottage in a Day's website or call (231) 946-7741.

Blu Homes

Blu Homes save 30 to 50 percent in energy and release half the carbon emissions of a typical home. The 600-square-foot, one-bedroom/one-bath Origin prefab costs around $90,000. The company uses a combination of modular and flat-pack technology to reduce shipping costs. “Our goal as a company has been to provide sustainable homes for ordinary Americans,” says Maura McCarthy, cofounder and vice president of business development.

• Efficient soy-polyurethane foam insulation
• Clerestory windows for passive solar and natural lighting
• Low-water toilets and low-flow fixtures
• 93 percent efficient forced hot air and cooling system
• Bamboo, cork or sustainable wood flooring
• Recycled rubber or metal roof tiles
• Energy Star appliances
• Cradle-to-Cradle-certified interior products
• Heat recovery coil in shower
• Paperstone or other eco-friendly countertops
• Energy Star windows
• Low/no-VOC laminate or wood cabinetry
• Home energy-management system
• CFL or LED lighting

For more information visit Blu Homes' website or call (617) 517-6163.