Modular Home Construction Gets Green, Fancy And More Mainstream

March 07, 2010

For some reason, the idea of having your new home built in a climate-controlled, systematic factory setting is unappealing to the average consumer.  To many, it conjures up images of assembly lines and cold, factory-like precision and monotony of identical widgets getting packaged and shipped away.  Those who are more open-minded and familiar with the current trends of construction may see that modular construction is a viable alternative to traditional construction methods and is slowly gaining general acceptance in the market place.

Still in its infancy, modular construction accounted for only 3% of the new homes produced in 2009.  More and more modular home manufacturers are popping up even offering green LEED certified homes right off the shelf as it were.  Some are even offering high end luxury modular mansions that can be ordered and assembled in a couple weeks.

The fundamental difference with a modular home construction is the process.  The plan is divided into smaller sections or modules which are constructed separately in a factory using conventional commercial wall, floor, roof and ceiling materials. All major systems including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and finishes are completed prior to shipping and installation on site. From start to finish, it only takes a few days to construct many modular buildings saving months of time.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s mobile homes started looking more and more like regular stick-built homes. Two section and multi-sections homes started appearing with steeper pitch roofs, covered porches and other residential features not normally associated with standard looking mobile homes. The industry decided to drop the term mobile home because it no longer accurately described the new styles and sizes of homes being produced. The term, “Manufactured Home” is now the politically correct term. Terms like; “trailer home,” or “trailer coaches” or just plain “trailer” are no longer used today.

Categories: Green Building

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.



Keep your eyes peeled. Chicago is about to get its first LEED-certified modular home, and there is a developer in central Illinois planning a subdivision of 30+ LEED-certified factory built homes. When matching the efficiencies and economies of scale, a properly designed modular home can be hard to beat.


Another great benefit of modular not mentioned is the cost savings. Manufacturers are able to buy material in bulk since many are building hundreds of homes a year. It’s difficult for your average builder of stick homes to get wholesale pricing on construction materials. There’s also less waste of construction materials. Given Chicago’s density, modular also allows for less site disturbances to your neighbors and the environment. Modular is a great fit for building in Chicago or anywhere for that matter.

Jason – Let us know when and where that LEED certified home is being built. It’s good to see people making progress building modular in the city.

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