Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day Edition: Custom Modular Homes Were Green Before Green Was A Thing

In recognition of Earth Day we thought it would be great to talk about some of the ways custom modular homes have been eco-friendly or “green” long before green building was a thing.  Homebuilding has come a long way in offering a variety of eco-friendly materials to choose from for new custom homes.  But, it’s really the building techniques, particularly custom modular processes that can add to the overall environmental friendliness of your home.  Even though you may not see it, what goes on between the walls and under the floors BEFORE your home is set onsite can make a big difference in how “green” it is built.  Here are some of the ways that custom modular homebuilding is environmental friendly.

Recycled before it leaves the factory.

Did you know that most of the leftover materials at one of our manufacturers, Apex Homes, are reused and recycled into something else for use in building the homes?  For instance, leftover drywall is sent back to the manufacturer and is recycled into more drywall.  Even things like windows, doors, and vinyl siding are all reused or recycled.  Wood scraps are ground up and used to heat the plant during the winter and any products that come in damaged are repurposed for shipping of the homes.  Just to put it in perspective, most homes under construction (as in on-site builds) produce about a dumpster each day of trash that goes to a local landfill.  With a custom modular home, the factory produces only two dumpsters per month and they build 1.5 homes per day!

We like to start with energy efficiency. 

Modular homes are green right from the start, and ensuring your custom modular home and any options you choose achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency start at the factory.  The energy used in homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and risks of global climate change. So, the less energy used, the less air pollution generated. The easy way to make sure a new modular home is energy efficient is to look for the blue ENERGY STAR mark.  ENERGY STAR qualified homes are independently verified to meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes save money on utility bills, provide a more comfortable living environment with better indoor air quality, and help protect the environment.

ENERGY STAR isn’t just a buzzword.

The custom modular homes built by Apex Homes routinely meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® guidelines. They start in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, and can be produced much “tighter” than those built on-site. In fact, our homes routinely operate at least 15 percent more efficiently than a standard home. You’ll also find that your home will be comfortable year-round, thanks to our high standards for building homes that are beautiful, strong and durable. Apex Homes uses a variety of building products and processes that earn the ENERGY STAR® label.

What’s the benefit to you, the homeowner?

Green is much more than just reducing a home’s environmental footprint. You will also realize many direct benefits by owning a green home. Here are some of the primary benefits that you can experience by integrating green features into your new custom modular home compared with a conventional home:
  • Increased comfort — Green homes have relatively even temperatures throughout the home, with fewer drafts and better humidity control.
  • Lower operating costs — Homeowners receive less expensive utility bills because of energy and water efficiency measures
  • Improved environmental quality — Green defines details that control moisture, requires materials that contain fewer chemicals, and defines air exchange/filtration systems that can contribute to a healthier indoor environment.
  • Enhanced durability and less maintenance — Green homes incorporate building materials and construction details that strive to increase the useful life of the individual components and the whole house. Longer-lasting not only requires fewer resources for replacement but also reduces maintenance and repair costs.

Using eco-friendly, or green products to build your new custom modular home doesn’t have to bust your budget before you even break ground.  By choosing to build a custom modular home with RBA Homes you are automatically reaping the benefits of a green building process starting right at the beginning from our factory. For more information on building a custom home, or a list of the energy efficient products and materials we utilize in every home, contact us today.