Prefab Homes: Green, Efficient and Affordable

Forget your notions about prefabricated homes. Today's prefabs are efficient, durable and beautiful.

| December 2010 Web

Prefabulous and Sustainable book cover

"Prefabulous + Sustainable: Building and Customizing An Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home" showcases how beautiful, efficient and sturdy factory-built prefab homes can be.

Photo Courtesy Abrams Books

The following is an excerpt from Prefabulous + Sustainable: Building and Customizing an Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home by Sheri Koones (Abrams, 2010). The excerpt is from the Introduction.  

Featured Green Prefab: The LEAFHouse 

Over the years, as the author of several books on home construction, I’ve explored many of the ways that people build. Nothing, though, impresses me more than the amazing evolution of prefabrication. Think of the Sears kit houses at the turn of the last century—quality homes that arrived on trucks in precut parts and were erected by a local builder. Prefab houses have been around for years. Yet most people think of prefab as a term for mobile homes and poor-quality construction. While this was true for a period of time after the Second World War, today’s prefabricated homes are state of the art. They are energy efficient and come in virtually any style of architecture and countless sizes. Prefabs can be high-end or fit a tight budget.

Prefab offers speedy construction and tight, energy-efficient quality. Raising a new prefab house brings much less traffic and disturbance to the neighborhood than conventional construction. Prefab can also mean lower costs and faster mortgages.

I’ve been wowed by the beauty prefab architects, manufacturers, and builders achieve. I’ve visited factories all around the country, and I’m repeatedly impressed with the accuracy and technology that goes into their production. But the single most impressive aspect of prefab construction is its ecological, or “green,” advantage. If you visit a factory, you will see firsthand the resource conservation that is at the core of prefab construction. Factories employ the latest energy-efficient technology and use nontoxic products to create healthy home environments. Energy and resource conservation have become more than issues of personal choice; they are the global concern of our day.

For years I’d heard about global warming without a clear understanding of its significance. It appeared to be such a huge problem that nothing one person could do would ever possibly matter. Now, however, it’s clear to me that only individuals can make a difference. Acting as a community of concerned individuals, we can turn things around. Whether it’s driving less, making do with what we have, repairing something rather than replacing it, or even changing out old incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent ones—the impact of our decisions and actions grows.

kay youngkin
10/26/2012 12:28:07 AM

Greatly enjoying all the information you have researched for all of us. It helps me to further explore and educate myself not just for my needs but for others also. My future home Thanks you, and your professionals. K. Youngkin Gladstone, Oregon

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