Move Over Tiny Homes, These Pre-Fab Solar Homes Are Hot for 2018
Prefab Solar Homes That Will Blow Your Mind
For many people, living sustainably isn’t just a trend – it’s an ethos. For those striving to live more sustainably, traditional homeownership hasn’t been the ideal choice. In many cases, traditional construction, featuring large floor plans and large heating and cooling footprints, has been avoided in favor of an evolving set of alternative options.
The default housing choice for the sustainability-minded over the last decade has been the tiny home, but that may all be about to change. A wave of modular, prefabricated homes (many complete with solar power generating systems and systems designs to lower their energy and water usage) are currently gaining popularity worldwide. Here’s a look at four companies producing prefab, sustainable homes that you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on.
Deltec Homes of Asheville, North Carolina has been in business since 1968. Since the mid-eighties, they have been constructing modular prefab homes that are known for both their hurricane resistance and energy efficiency. They are a certified B corporation and offer sustainability-minded homeowners a great prefab option in their Renew Collection line of homes.
These houses are created using pre-designed floor plans that are created to use two-thirds less energy than a conventionally constructed home while powering the remaining third of its energy needs through solar power. They even make a passive-solar farmhouse that also has solar panels on it.
Cubicco, M.A.Di., and other European Modular Home Builders
An international manufacturer of modular dwelling units with a base in Miami, Florida, Cubicco makes beautiful modular dwellings, working with developers and builders to put together communities of sustainable homes. They have a model home open for tour that you should check out if you live nearby or are visiting South Florida.
Like the Italian designer of the M.A.DI. concept and other European modular home companies, they are focused on providing affordable, sustainable, prefab modular homes that can be manufactured, transported by truck, and assembled quickly on site and with minimal impact to the ecology of the building site. Further, these homes are powered by solar panels.
Hive Modular of Minneapolis, Minnesota focuses on projects of over 1,000 square feet in size, but don’t worry, they also make smaller houses for tiny home enthusiasts. They manufacture and ship volumetric modular homes, with all the wiring, fixtures, and plumbing pre-installed at the factory to save on construction costs. All of their homes have passive solar features worked into the design and are solar panel installation-ready when delivered.
Hive Modular builds homes in a variety of sizes. Some models are narrow in design and are meant to help with urban in-fill efforts by slipping into lots between existing homes. Some models are more spacious and designed for suburban lots or rural installation. They also make custom modular homes, working with the homeowner to design and deliver the perfect house, and they even design and build modular multi-family housing.
Serving the Western United States and Canada (including Hawaii and Alaska), Method Homes builds and delivers absolutely beautiful zero net energy (ZNE) homes and commercial structures.
Through the employment of high R-value insulation and tight construction, the employment of a heat exchanger, high-quality windows and doors, passive solar design, a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, solar electricity, and high-efficiency fixtures and appliances, Method Homes strives to make your home produce more energy than it actually uses.
Picking Out and Customizing Your Prefab Dwelling Unit
This article just scratches the surface of the rapidly developing U.S. prefab solar home industry. A quick Google search can turn up a wide variety of options if an eco-friendly, solar-powered, prefab home seems like a good fit for you. And yes, if you want to, it can still be tiny.