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  • Modular home construction may become the building trend of the future

    Friday, February 16, 2024   /   by Amy Brown

    Modular home construction may become the building trend of the future

    The face of today's homebuyer has changed. With a future thinking culture focused on technological developments such AI, smart home features, and sustainable and eco-friendly materials, buyers are taking a second look at what a modular home is today and how that is shaping the future of the construction industry.

    Today's modular home is not what you think. In actuality, modular homes are set to outpace site built homes this year and for years to come due to their ability to deliver faster, higher quality housing that is built in a controlled environment instead of outdoors.

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    What exactly is a modular home?

    You are probably familiar with some of the name brands and didn't realize that you were looking at a modular house; names like Deltec, Irontown, and EcoCraft. A modular home is a house where the walls are built inside the controlled environment of a giant warehouse (with the same or better materials than a stick built house), the walls and elements are then moved to the home site, and assembled there with a crane by a crew and a general contractor. Foundations are still constructed on site, of course, and are generally poured concrete with a steel reinforced basement system if the floor plan dictates.

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    Modular homes use high end materials that are more environmentally friendly and of extremely high quality such as cypress or hardboard siding. Many companies construct an entirely green certified home with luxury finishes such as marble tubs, riverstone showers, quartz countertops, cathedral ceilings, farmhouse sinks, wide plank hardwood floors, and anything that you could design or dream.

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    Modular homes are also equipped with AI and smart features such as camera doorbell systems, voice and phone controlled thermostats, smart lighting, energy management, and intelligent detection systems.

    Why are new construction methods trending toward modular homes?

    Modular housing may be the solution to the nationwide housing shortage while delivering a higher quality product in less time.

    The build process for a modular home is much more streamlined and efficient than a site built house. For one, a modular home can be built simultaneously in the warehouse and the on-site work at the same time, resulting in a faster overall build time. 

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    Also, modular homes are built in a temperature and humidity controlled environment out of the weather. This means that precious materials are not getting soaked in the rain or have the chance to mold during times when construction delays occur due to water saturated ground. Homes can be built in any weather, any temperature, and built 365 days a year.

    In addition, when structural assemblies for a modular home are being built inside of a controlled setting, there is less wasted materials as planning and specifications can be better managed.

    Technological Advancements

    3-D printing is now being utilized in modular homes for intricately designed features from panels to entire homes. Companies like Mighty Buildings are 3-D printing entire home panels using a material called LUMUS which is a stone-like composite which has five times the tensile and flexural strength of concrete while weighing 30% less.
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    And companies like Azure are 3-D printing entire homes.

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    Modular homes are now meeting and exceeding their site-built counterparts in energy efficiency. Since a modular home is built indoors, computer-aided design or CAD, can be used to energy harvesting wiring systems. These systems use wireless sensors, switches, and controls that never require maintenance throughout the life of the home. These systems also make the homeowner's life more comfortable by controlling the home's built-in automation such as window shades, occupancy sensors, lighting, and entertainment systems.

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    Modular home builders are able to take control of energy efficiency first and foremost by creating tighter seams during the construction process. There is a complete focus on sustainability with the use of environmentally friendly products such as recycled steel, bamboo, and engineered wood. Most modular homes achieve a very high green certification rating and are energy star certified. 

    Sustainability also reaches the fixtures. You can expect to see energy efficient appliances, solar panels, LED lighting, advanced insulation such as spray foam, and rainwater catchment systems.

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    According to the U.S. Green Building Council, modular construction results in 50% less energy usage than site built construction.


    Time to toss those misconceptions out the window! We are probably looking at the future of housing in America. Not only can these homes be made faster; they can be made at higher quality, with the latest technological advances in the industry, and the luxury finishes that you desire. The next time that you see a home that you like on your computer, I challenge you to guess its construction method. If it is the latest in modern construction...I bet that it's a modular home!

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    *Both of the above homes are modulars right here in Asheville, NC

    List of local modular home builders:

    Deltec
    https://deltechomes.com/our-homes/

    Logangate
    https://logangate.com/

    Mountain Creation Log Cabins
    http://mountainrecreationlogcabins.com/