The increasing popularity of manufactured housing in the USA has a solid statistical basis – up by 15 %, for the seventh year running in 2016. The variety of manufactured homes style available has been aesthetically advanced and new methods of transportation have supported technological advancements like hinged-roofs and second stories.
The introduction of the HUD code in 1976 did a great deal to lessen the stigma attached to what is still sometimes called “mobile housing” and the revisions to the code in the 1990’s, improved the energy efficiency and insulation standards and upped the wind resistance requirements. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 did significantly less damage to manufactured housing than did Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
The Green Revolution: A New Way of Life
Factory construction is in itself an eco-friendly way of building because the waste saving element of a factory production line can be as high as 30%; the raw materials are not exposed to the elements and are therefore protected and the damage done to the site on delivery of the home is minimal.
In line with the worldwide move to “go green” in every aspect of our lives the Department of Housing and Urban Development has formally determined that all Federally assisted housing must now measure up to various green rating systems such as the United States Green Building Council’s environmental performance evaluation; Leadership in Energy and Environment Design. (LEED). LEED guidelines demand that every design must;
Reduce carbon dioxide emissions
Improve indoor environmental quality
Consider the impact on natural resources
Green Measures and Trends for Modular Homes
As the house owner you should be looking for a host of greening measures in your new home.
Check the orientation of your home – the greatest wall area should receive the most sun
The roof should have a rainwater harvesting system
Use low-flow faucets, shower-heads etc.
Make sure the home has low-flow or high-efficient toilets; they have a separate urine and solid waste flush and use much less water: 1.1 gallons per flush as opposed to 7 gallons!
Ensure the paint and other materials that are used are low in volatile organic compounds
Use solar heating
Consider a recycled hardwood, cork or bamboo floor
If you have bought a second-hand manufactured home you should check the above list. If you are re-furbishing there are many additional steps you should consider to improve the green level and increase your home’s value.
Check the insulation and deal with any moisture and leaks
Add gutters and overhangs
Install vent fans to counter internal condensation
Use recycled material where possible
Use structural insulated panels (SIPs) where possible.
Insulate. Insulate. Insulate. The leading green builders say you are looking to create “an ultra-tight building envelope”!
Universal Design Features.
There is another design trend you should be aware of and that is towards universal design features. (UDF) This could be important for older and physically challenged owners. UDF allows people of different abilities to use essential equipment more easily. Some examples are:
Standardizing all doors to 36 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair and/or a walker.
Allowing 5 feet turning radiance for a wheelchair in a bathroom and kitchen
Lowering the height of basins and shelving holding electrical appliances like kettles, coffee machines etc.
Placing light switches 48 inches from the floor
Making the thresholds for exterior doors not more than half an inch.
Making sure the floor is level throughout or using a ramp instead of a step.
A forward-looking supplier will be considering these options.
The “Trump Effect”.
Considering the mixed reaction to President Trump’s appointment of Dr. Ben Carson to be head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD is set for an interesting time ahead. Even those who disapprove of the appointment express guarded respect for the man himself. Dr. Carson, a celebrated neurosurgeon before he was 30 years old, is certainly no intellectual sloth. The outlook for progressive trends in this vital sector of public housing look positive.