Posts Tagged ‘Systems Building Research Alliance’

Champion Home Builders crafts Net-Zero-Energy home

September 8th, 2016 Comments off

Photo credit, Builder.

Champion Home Builders recently finished the construction of a net-zero demonstration home, reports Builder’s Jennifer Goodman.

The home is located at the Pine Tree Manufactured Home Park in Eatontown, NJ.  The plan is to gather data during the next 18 months, as a way to encourage the construction of more homes that will be more efficient, sustainable and yet affordable.

Data will initially be collected for six months while the home is unoccupied.  Information on energy use will continue for a year once the home has residents. Those results will then be used to help refine the design, with the goal of reducing the costs of future net-zero homes.

To reach net-zero-energy levels, the team applied an integrated design approach. It combined high insulation levels with a highly efficient heating and cooling systems, along with an innovative ductless air-moving system.


The home’s photovoltaic solar panel system allows the house to achieve net-zero-energy on an annual basis.

This project was a team effort.  Participants included the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Building America Program. Support also came from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), the Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA) and The Levy Partnership, Inc. (TLP).

The home is going to be one of the few to garner the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) designation, and the first manufactured home located in a cold climate to receive the honor.

The DOE believes the ZERH designation will symbolize a new level of home performance that’s the result of stringent requirements that will ensure high levels of comfort, durability, comfort and health.

To reach net zero energy we need to make sure every component of the home is extremely efficient,” The Levy Partnership president – and SBRA’s – Emanuel Levy told Builder.

As manufactured home professionals know, Champion is currently the number 3 producer of HUD Code manufactured homes in the U.S.


Emanuel Levy, credit,

Champion Home Builders was founded in 1953 and reports having produced over the years more than 1.7 million factory-built pre-HUD Code mobile homes, post HUD Code manufactured homes and modular homes or buildings throughout the United States, in the United Kingdom and western Canada. ##

Editor’s Note: for a related story on the DOE and their pending, controversial proposed changes for manufactured housing, please click here. ###

(Image credits, Builder/Champion, Dreamstime and


Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

MHARR Issues a Call to Arms to Defeat the Enactment of DOE’s New Proposal

July 14th, 2016 Comments off

M_Mark_Weiss_MHARR_president__mhpronews__credit postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNoting the Department of Energy’s new proposal is critical to the manufactured home industry because “it is genuinely draconian and will have a drastically negative impact,” the Manufactured Housing for Regulatory Reform’s (MHARR) Mark Weiss, says its final adoption can be stopped with enough pushback.

Commenting on a meeting at DOE’s headquarters July 13, 2016, MHARR accuses the DOE of collaborating with non-MH special interest groups and the industry’s largest manufacturers in promulgating this rule to make it more expensive for smaller producers and operators to run their businesses. Ultimately. the consumer suffers. The selective “leak” of the proposed rule to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and others is further evidence of “sham ‘negotiated rulemaking.’”

Attending the meeting at DOE’s headquarters were representatives from MHARR, MHI, the Community Owners Business Alliance (COBA7), HUD’s MH administrator Pamela Danner, the DOE Manufactured Housing Working Group (MHWG), special interest groups and others.

In its remarks at the meeting, MHARR, called the proposed rule “the product of an unacceptable, scandalous standard-development process, as well as in and of itself flawed, and that it would take every opportunity to oppose it. COBA7’s representatives also criticized the rule for its impact on smaller operators, especially MHC owners who purchase MH for their communities.

Meanwhile, MHARR says the MHI and its affiliate, Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA), assisted in concocting the “sham ‘negotiated rulemaking’ process;” provided technical input to the MHWG; and after see-sawing, MHI said it could live with the new rule that would add thousands of dollars to the cost of a manufactured home.

In addition, MHARR says the meeting was noteworthy because there were four representatives from the U. S. Justice Dept. present, the agency that would defend the rule in court should there be a challenge (which MHARR suggests might happen).

Also, the rule’s calculation of life cycle costs, the cost benefit analysis, (the added cost of MH weighed against the long term benefit) does not account for the millions of people who will be excluded from home ownership altogether because of the rule, which DOE’s consultants admitted. The costs of this loss of business to the industry is not measured by DOE either.

Additionally, the DOE’s cost-benefit analysis does not include costs related to testing, enforcement and regulatory compliance, which means their numbers are flawed and statistically invalid. MHARR says the rule also does not satisfy legal requirements that deal with federal rulemaking activity.

MHARR tells MHProNews even its supporters are unable to defend this proposed rule on any kind of credible basis.” Noting the overwhelming impact this rule will have on the availability of affordable manufactured housing, MHARR has resolved to fight its implementation, and will be writing extensive, detailed comments opposing the proposed rule, and invites others to strongly oppose the proposal as well..

The public comment deadline is Aug. 16, 2016. ##

(Photo credit: MHProNews-Mark Weiss, president and CEO Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Kentucky Collaboration will Provide ENERGY STAR Manufactured Homes

April 7th, 2015 Comments off

smart_mhThe Louisville-based non-profit, Next Step Network, is partnering with the manufactured housing (MH) industry, lenders, retailers, utilities, other nonprofits and public stakeholders to increase access to ENERGY STAR homes with flexible financing for Kentucky residents of manufactured homes. Manufactured homes account for 13.6 percent of Kentucky’s housing stock. The goal is to reduce the cost of purchasing homes as well as utility bills, thereby saving MH owners thousands of dollars over the long term. In addition, the homes require less maintenance and have a higher resale value.

The initiative, called SmartMH℠ KY Alliance, will provide good loan rates, better terms and assistance with down payments or utility costs. MHProNews has learned Smart MH loans are now available through the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), which offers low cost mortgages and down payment assistance; CU Factory Built Lending Product offers home only, land/home, and land-in-lieu loans that will accept aging mobile homes as down payment towards the purchase of a new MH.

The ENERGY STAR upgrade program is administered by the Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA) with support from KHC, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which will pay participating manufacturers incentives to build the ENERGY STAR homes, thereby offsetting their additional costs. These homes feature increased insulation, efficient HVAC and high-performance windows to reduce leaks and drafts. A similar program in Tennessee led by TVA and SBRA increased ENERGY STAR home sales from one percent to over 60 percent of market share in three years.

In Kentucky over the past five years, less than one percent of the 2,000 homes sold annually were ENERGY STAR certified. It is anticipated the SmartMH℠ KY Alliance will increase ENERGY STAR manufactured home shipments to 50 percent in two years.

For more information, please visit ##

(Image credit:

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com  Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee to hold first meeting in 2 years

November 24th, 2014 Comments off

manufactured-homes-under-construction-credit=mhi-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) reminded industry professionals that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) is slated to meet December 2-4 in Arlington, Virginia. In a release to MHProNews, MHI said,

It will be the first in-person meeting since October 2012 and the MHCC is expected to meet for a full three days rather than the 2 1/2 in previous years.  MHI and its eight member representatives will participate during the meeting.”

HUD’s portal website describes the MHCC as follows:

Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee

The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) is a statutory Federal Advisory Committee body charged with providing recommendations to the Secretary on the revision and interpretation of HUD’s manufactured home construction and safety standards and related procedural and enforcement regulations. The MHCC is charged with developing proposed model installation standards for the manufactured housing industry. By regulation, HUD has included the MHCC in the process of revising the Manufactured Home Model Installation Standards, Installation Program Regulations, and Dispute Resolution Program regulations.

The MHCC is comprised of seven members represented in each of the following categories:

  • Producers- Producers or retailers of manufactured housing 

  • Users- Persons representing consumer interests, such as consumer organizations, recognized consumer leaders, and owners who are residents of manufactured homes

  • General Interest and Public Officials- General interest and public official members; three of the seven representatives must be Public Officials

In addition to the twenty-one voting members, there is a Designated Federal Official (DFO) that is appointed by the Secretary to represent the Secretary on the consensus committee.

MHI is said to plan public comments before the MHCC. The larger of the two national trade association body’s is based near Washington, DC in Arlington, VA and plans to make the following recommendations:

  • A recommendation to changes in the HUD regulations to further clarify that RV/Park Models are not manufactured homes and should not be regulated as such.

  • A recommendation that the MHCC thoroughly and seriously review the consensus recommendations of the DOE ASRAC Working Group on Manufactured Housing to ensure that the energy efficiency standards proposed take into consideration the affordability of manufactured homes to consumers.

  • A recommendation that DOE utilize HUD’s framework under the HUD Procedural and Enforcement regulations for compliance and enforcement of any new energy efficiency standards.

  • A recommendation that HUD reverse or substantially modify its current policy requiring costly, time consuming and unnecessary alternative construction approvals for attached garages, including retroactive Subpart I investigation and correction of homes previously sold with attached garages. (For more details, see related:

  • Greater flexibility for HUD Code homes to be utilized for certain multifamily purposes such as offices for retailers, certain types of farmworker housing and housing used by workers in the oil and gas industries.

  • Several proposed changes and updates to the HUD Code and procedural and enforcement regulations which will provide for more flexible, less costly, and more innovative design and construction methodologies.

MHI Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Lois Starkey, tells MHProNews that the “…MHCC has a new Administering Organization, Home Innovations Research Labs, formerly known as the NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders Research) foundation.  Home Innovations was the sole bidder for the HUD RFP issued last year.  The Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA) submitted a bid but withdrew because of prohibitive costs associated becoming a certified organization by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as required by the Manufactured Home Improvement Act of 2000.” ##

A download of the MHCC agenda is available at the link here.

A download of the MHCC’s current members and the Designated Federal Official (DFO), are linked here.

(Image credit: HIRL logo. Photo credit: MHI)

Southern Energy Homes Dedicates New Plant in Alabama

August 13th, 2014 Comments off

clayton_homes___creditFollowing a story MHProNews posted July 29, 2014 regarding the opening of Southern Energy Homes’ (SEHomes) new 176,000 square foot facility in Russellville, Alabama, the new plant was dedicated Aug. 8 and attended by AL Gov. Robert Bentley, along with Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, Sen. Roger Bedford and U. S. Representative Robert Aderholt. The cutting-edge operation was selected by Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA) to build three homes, each with a different level of energy efficiency, for a 15-month test of energy performance. The goal is to evaluate the cost versus efficiency ratio to determine the economic feasibility of each, as MHProNews understands.

The gathering included Samuel Rashkin, chief architect for the Department of Energy (DOE), who honored Clayton for building the country’s first Zero Energy Ready Home, according to  Rep. Aderholt said, noting he expects to see growth in rural Alabama, said, “Manufactured housing as an industry has seen some tough times, but it is good to see Clayton Homes do something like this and follow through. Governor Bentley has been committed to rural Alabama and this is the end product of that dedication.” Russellville’s Mayor David Grissom said, “Southern Energy Homes is a great addition to our team of businesses and industries who are all working together to make our city even better in the future.” SEHomes is a subsidiary of Clayton Homes.##

(Image credit: Clayton Homes)

Clayton Subsidiary Testing Homes for Energy Efficiency

July 28th, 2014 Comments off

In an attempt to determine the most cost effective and energy efficient home, the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) is sponsoring a performance test administered by the Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA), using three separate test homes built by Southern Energy Homes (Sehomes), each at a different level of efficiency. The first home meets the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) thermal standards; the second is an Energy Star home; the third meets the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home. A subsidiary of Clayton Homes, Sehomes will host the testing at its Russellville, Alabama facility where all three homes will be on display beginning Aug. 8, 2014, according to The SBRA will monitor the energy efficiency of each home to determine the feasibility of its marketability thru July 2015. MHProNews understands one of the test homes is the only manufactured home nationwide that qualifies for the DOE Challenge Home Program. ##

(Photo credit:–Clayton Home/Tennessee Valley Authority)


Members Chosen for MH Energy Efficiency Standards Committee

July 14th, 2014 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) reports the Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 20 voting representatives to serve on the committee to develop new energy efficiency standards for manufactured housing. The members include people from the industry, energy efficiency advocates, state energy officials, utilities and consumer representatives. In addition to staff from MHI, MHARR, and the Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA), seven MHI members will also serve: Four manufacturers, two suppliers, and one member of MHI’s National Communities Council. Recommendations are to be completed by Sept. 30, 2014, but as MHProNews understands, they will need to be reviewed by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) before the DOE can make a final proposal. The MHI will offer a proposal developed by its Technical Activities Committee. ##

(Image credit: Manufactured Housing Institute)

MHI Briefs Congress on Finance and Energy Issues for Manufactured Housing

January 26th, 2011 Comments off

Industry members participated this week in a high-level briefing on Capitol Hill focused on high energy performance in manufactured and modular homes. Emanuel Levy, Systems Building Research Alliance, and Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Inc., presented to a standing-room-only audience. Manufactured Housing Congressional Caucus co-chair Ken Calvert (R-CA) kicked off the event, remarking on the importance manufactured housing plays in employing some of the most cutting-edge building practices in the energy arena. Congressman Calvert also stressed that the lack of available financing limits consumer accessibility to manufactured housing, “Many Americans lack the ability to buy a manufactured home due to lack of credit and capital available,” he said; “that is not right and needs to be fixed.” Clayton remarked on the limited ability of customers to be able to buy the energy efficient homes. The briefing was hosted by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Congressional High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus.