Benefits of Green Prefab [USA Today]

Today USA Today published an article on green prefab in both the Money section and online.  Wendy Koch, author and owner of her own green home under construction, gathered various industry opinions for the article.  Here’s a snapshot of industry thinking on the topic:

Those building old-fashioned, inefficient prefabs are struggling to survive.”  – David Johnston, co-author of Toward a Zero Energy Home

Factory fabrication can reduce costs through eliminating construction waste and doing larger projects. – Shilpa Sankaran, co-founder of ZETA Communities

Green prefabs are often higher quality when built in climate-controlled conditions and not exposed to bad weather. – Sheri Koones, author of Prefabulous and Sustainable

Prefab will gain market share when housing comes back and building codes demand greater energy efficiency.  – Lloyd Alter, architecture and design editor at Treehugger

Companies offering prefab can help with “one-stop shopping” and trying to “manage the amount of stress people deal with.”  – Bill Haney, president of Blu Homes.

Single family projects are constrained by financing and land acquisition, so expect to see success this year in both smaller and larger projects — additions/ADUs on the one hand and multifamily on the other.  – Preston Koerner, chief editor of Jetson Green

Read more: Home builders see green prefab potential by Wendy Koch.

  • Justin

    I couldn’t disagree more with the myth the prefab industry keeps spreading about building the homes inside a “climate-controlled” environment being any better. This is totally false. As a custom home builder who has also built modular. There is absolutely no advantage to building inside a factory for “climate control”, and to be quite honest, the quality from the factory wasn’t even close to what we build in the field on “stick built homes”. It should be noted we got our modular from one of the biggest companies in the country. Furthermore, our modular was built in winter and the boxes literally got pushed outside of the factory into the elements to sit before shipping. Because it was winter they couldn’t even complete the original order which was supposed to have fully grouted tile in the bathrooms. They grout would’ve froze so they couldn’t complete it. Where is the advantage to building inside if you push the boxes right out after completion? There certainly wasn’t better quality in the trim or framing details.

    Prefab homes offering “one stop shopping” is not any different that hiring a general contractor or construction management company as we offer “one stop shopping” as well. In fact your better off to get your modular through a local company that has the resources to complete all the necessary site work as well.

    Why would building prefab give you better energy efficiency? This statement also makes no sense.

    The only advantage I have seen from prefab is the companies buy material in such large quantities that they can usually negotiate better pricing for materials than a small single home building company can.

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