prefab

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Prefab Passive House Partnership Hits a Milestone

A house is assembled in New York from panels manufactured in Maine, while Phoenix Haus in Detroit moves into high gear

Posted on Mar 20 2017 by Scott Gibson

It took four carpenters and six crane days to assemble Elizabeth Scott's new house in Altamont, New York, and when they were finished the partnership of Ecocor and architect Richard Pedranti had reached an important goal for their new line of "Solsken" Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. prefabs.


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Image Credits:

  1. Ecocor

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Can This Panelized System Solve Your Enclosure Problems?

The Build Smart system makes it easy to control heat, air, and water

Posted on Dec 14 2016 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
prime

If you want to build a superinsulated, airtight house, you run into some difficulties. How do you deal with the extra thickness of your walls and ceilings when you add all that extra insulation? What's the best way to ensure you hit your airtightness goal? And how do you do all that while keeping the process manageable and the cost affordable?

The new Build SMART panelized system has some answers.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Making the Case for Prefab Zero-Energy Homes

Factory-built homes can exceed the quality of site-built structures, at a lower cost and on a faster timetable

Posted on Nov 28 2016 by Bruce Sullivan

Because zero-energy homes are built to higher standards than most ordinary homes, they require greater attention to detail and often cost somewhat more. These two realities make zero energy homes especially well suited to the economies of scale, the speed of construction, and the precision industrial methods involved in modern prefab construction.


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Image Credits:

  1. Scott Gibson

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Australian Startup Launches Prefab Passivhaus Line

So far, there are no paying customers for these steel-framed buildings clad with steel-skinned panels

Posted on Aug 13 2015 by Scott Gibson

UPDATED on August 14, 2015

A house made from insulated steel panels and a steel frame has been certified by the PassivhausA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. Institut (PHI) and now the Australian company behind the project says that it would like to get the Superpod into full production.

The modernist design has few frills, but the company says that it goes up quickly, is made from durable, low-maintenance materials, and is a "blank slate" that can be customized by its owner.


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Image Credits:

  1. All photos from Superpod

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Coming in From the Cold

What happens if we bring the Northeast’s craftsmen inside to work?

Posted on Mar 24 2015 by Phil Kaplan

In the Northeast, there is a proud history of the craftsman, the homebuilder, the DIY hero and heroine. They work with sturdy tools, with local materials, with real wood. They brave the mean winters, cut each stick with caution, are frugal with lumber. They measure twice, and cut once. They have done this the same way over many years and the product is consistent, steady, exactly the same as it would have been, had it been built in 1953.

There’s only one problem. We live in a very different world than we did in 1953.


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Image Credits:

  1. Trent Bell
  2. Phil Kaplan

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What’s Different About Unity Homes?

Panelized construction, meticulous attention to energy detailing, and a sophisticated computer design system put Unity Homes at the cutting edge of home building

Posted on May 2 2013 by Alex Wilson

In my blog last week, I provided a little background on Tedd Benson and his evolution that ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. him to found Unity Homes. This week, I’ll describe some of the features that set Unity Homes apart from both standard home construction and other panelized and manufactured home production.


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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson
  2. Unity Homes
  3. Tedd Benson
  4. Bensonwood

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Das Haus Tour

Several German organizations work hard to put together a curious green building exhibit

Posted on Dec 6 2011 by Carl Seville

I attended an event in October called the Das Haus tour – a prefab “house” sponsored by the German Consulate General that will be roaming the country for about a year. The first stop was in Atlanta, so although I was one of the first people to see it, I don’t understand the point of the venture.


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Prefab Green Homes: Blu Homes Soldiers On

The company recently attracted the attention of Forbes magazine for the ingenuity of its manufactured homes and its tenacity in a tough market

Posted on Sep 13 2011 by Richard Defendorf

Two years ago, when we last checked in on Blu Homes, a prefab specialist based in Waltham, Massachusetts, the company had purchased the assets of architect Michelle Kaufmann’s mkDesigns, which included modular-home designs marketed as Glidehouse, mkLotus, and Sunset Breezehouse.


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Image Credits:

  1. Blu Homes

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The i-House Finds Its Way to Market

Clayton Homes has delivered energy-efficient modular homes to customers in 10 locations across the country

Posted on Aug 29 2011 by Richard Defendorf

By spring of last year, manufactured-home specialist Clayton Homes had formally rolled out its i-House line of modular homes, whose basic $75,000 model features one bedroom and one bath in 723 sq. ft.

There’s also a 1,023-sq.-ft. two-bedroom version that starts at about $94,000, and buyers looking for yet more space can prep their building site for a Flex Room – a detached 268-sq.-ft. module with a full bath and a deck but no bedroom or kitchen, for about $30,000.


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Image Credits:

  1. Clayton Homes

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Factory-Made Net-Zero Homes in California

A nonprofit developer will erect 22 manufactured homes that are affordable and extremely energy-efficient

Posted on Jun 29 2011 by Richard Defendorf

Ever since it celebrated the opening last year of zFab, its 91,000-sq.-ft. factory in Sacramento, California, ZETA Communities has been pushing hard to expand the market for its prefab construction products, which include commercial and residential structures intended to deliver high performance at relatively low cost.


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Image Credits:

  1. ZETA Communities

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