5 reasons why your next home should be a modular one

Living
5 minute guide

Prefab homes got a bad rep in the last century but it's time to think again about the prefabricated house - now called a modular home. Modular homes now often demonstrate the latest in green architecture and technology, such as net-zero emissions, solar panels, rainwater systems and using recycled materials. Derek Lotts looks at why a green future might be modular.

Derek Lotts 12 February 2018

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5 reasons why your next home should be a modular one

Waste reduction

Waste control is one of the greatest benefits of modular homes. As modular homes are built in factories according to specific measurements, there’s no need for excess material, which reduces building waste significantly. The prefabrication of trusses, frames and other parts can reduce waste by 52%. 

Since modular homes are assembled according to strict guidelines, they also reduce waste on site. Considering the fact that renovation and construction waste accounts for around 40% of landfills, the fact that modular houses reduce this significantly is a major plus for eco-conscious homeowners.

How To Build A Modular Home2

Modular homes (or prefabs as they used to be known) use less waste as they're made according to strict measurements

Say hello to smaller energy bills

Self-sufficient modular homes can reduce a household’s energy consumption by up to 72%. Imagine what your energy bill would look like if it was nearly three-quarters smaller?

Self sufficient modular homes are typically powered through solar panels, so they reduce the need for energy from the regular grids. In addition, homeowners can also opt for energy batteries used for storing excess solar energy. This can enable a home to use only the solar-generated electricity by consuming the stored energy overnight. In addition, some modular homes can also sell their excess solar energy back to the main grid.

Finally, modular homes typically use low-energy light bulbs, such as LEDs or CFLs, which are more energy-efficient and durable. 

Better insulation can lead to smaller energy bills. Homeowners can install cladding made of cost-effective composite panels that can improve a home’s insulation significantly or add in double glazed windows and doors. Not only do they reduce energy consumption, but they also improve acoustics inside homes and reduce noise pollution.

Save on water

Water efficiency is yet another reason why self-sufficient modular homes are more eco-friendly. Solar-based water heating systems can reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating water, by providing homes with up to 90% of their hot water. 

Plus, these homes are typically designed with the aim of reducing heat loss from pipes by grouping together areas that need water such as the bathroom and kitchen. This kind of design means shorter water pipes and reduced heat loss. 

How To Build A Modular Home3

Reduce your energy bills with solar panels, better insulation and a range of sustainable materials

Healthier homes  

Modular houses are often held to higher sustainable standards than regular housing, there's a focus on clean and green energy and using non-toxic or low VOC materials. (Some traditional building and cleaning materials like PVC cement, refrigerator units and some plywoods contain Volatile Organic Compounds, which release chemicals into the air and are thought to have adverse health effects). 

Some modular houses can even come with complete with eco-extras like green or wildflower roofs ready to go.

Sustainable materials

Modular homes often use the latest in recycled building materials for internal walls, insulation and roofs. Green Modular homes for example use FSC certified timber and recycled materials for their internal and roof panels. Top quality insulation is key for energy efficiency - good quality insulation should keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, which means you need to spend less energy heating and cooling it. The best eco-friendly modular home companies use SIPS (Structural Insulating Panel System) for insulation.

From bamboo floors and VOC-free paint to rainwater collection systems and homes that hit LEED silver, gold, or platinum standards - modular homes are at the cutting edge of eco-friendly architectural design.

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