Posts Tagged ‘TreeHugger’

YIMBY, Amazon backed Plant Prefab Introducing ADUs, Product Video

November 16th, 2018 Comments off


Treehugger says, “Yes in my back yard” (YIMBY), “Yves Behar and Plant Prefab introduce ADUs.”


California recently signed into law the okay for a broader use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

The environmental focused publisher, says, “The reason prefabs make so much sense in the A.D.U. context is that the added construction is easy on neighborhoods and neighbors. It can take two, three years to build something, with all the noise and visual pollution. And wasted materials that come with that. But with the YB1, it takes about a month to build it in a factory and a day to install. It comes prewired with all your electrical, HVAC, appliances — everything is ready to go. Prefabs make it so much more accessible for people to add housing stock, and it’s so much cleaner.”




That’s an argument that factory-builders know well and embrace.




Lloyd Alter, writing for Treehugger, said: “…in the comments, the usual objections come up: $480 per sq ft is $200 higher than a conventionally built custom home with nice finishes. Good idea, but it appears there is a high premium for these ADU’s.” Or, “Yet another toy for the rich with no practical basis in reality for the majority of people, and only those who live in the sunbelt and in wealthy enclaves.” Or, “This is beautiful and definitely solving a problem… for people with money. Not sure how it helps homelessness or people with less money.”

Alter then goes through his reasons for rebuffing some of those concerns. For the general public, Alter’s points are okay.

But for modular home builders, or especially for HUD Code manufactured home producers, it misses the tremendous value differential between conventional construction and manufactured housing.


Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data


It is a reminder that California alone could be boom town, for a visionary operation, with or without the support of a savvy trade association.



It is also a reminder of why MHProNews has lead the factory-built home trade media in tracking how big tech has been nibbling around the edges of factory home building in recent years. See the related reports, linked below.

That’s tonight’s “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

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Related Reports:

The “Need For Quality Affordable Housing Has Never Been Greater,” Says LT


$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes


Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales


Factory-Crafted Home Living, Reimagined – “The Art Park” vs. MHCs – Interview with Robbie Antonio, Founder of Unicorn Revolution Precrafted Homes



Meet ÖÖD, $50,000 Mirrored PreFab Installs in 8 hours

June 8th, 2017 Comments off

MirroredGlassPreFabOOD50kPreFabModularManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPrefab goes in disguise with these sleek tiny dwellings from Estonian company ÖÖD. With mirrored glass facades—reminiscent of Portuguese prefabs inspired by minimalist artists—ÖÖD homes blend into their surroundings, appearing especially sublime in rural or natural landscapes,” crows Curbed.

Designboom sings, “ÖÖD promises that in eight hours anyone can build up their own pre-fabricated house or even start an accommodation business similar to AirBnB. The concept, born in Estonia, introduces the ÖÖD house / hotel room as a well-designed, mini dwelling offering a compact but comfortable 200 square feet space composed of a bed, kitchenette and bathroom.”


Treehugger trumpets, “Mirrored glass prefab from ÖÖD is an instant AirBnB.”

Meet ÖÖD, $50,000 Estonian Mirrored PreFab

The unit is designed to be a hotel room type of structure. With stylish mirrored glass, and iconic styling that oozes class, the units are a cool $250 per square foot, so no threat to HUD Code manufactured homes most aggressive price point.


Photo credits, Curbed, ÖÖD.

ÖÖD is another reminder, though, that the media croons over prefab, tiny houses and even pricey prefabs.  In a recent report, we noted that CNN favorably touted modular and prefab homes.


Photo credits, Curbed, ÖÖD.


Photo credits, Curbed, ÖÖD.

Some industry pros might wonder…where’s the love for manufactured homes?


Photo credits, Curbed, ÖÖD.

Love for the HUD Code’s manufactured homes is out there, increasingly, to be sure – as MHLivingNews routinely reports.  But there’s more downer stories than positive ones, a fact the industry’s professionals must routinely respond to as they arise.


Given the U.S. affordable housing crisis, the home above at about 1/5 of the cost per square foot of an OOD, this home and its value looks pretty amazing, doesn’t it?

But the hunger and thirst for stylish, affordable factory built homes is there for those in the HUD Code industry – and other parts of factory built housing – for all of those with the eyes to see. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are provided under fair use guidelines).

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on

Another Country Turns to Prefab to Solve Housing Crisis

January 24th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Treehugger.

A German designer is the latest to turn to prefab and modular to solve the nation’s housing crisis.

Architect and builder Werner Sobek of Aktivhaus has a new project underway in the town of Winnenden that looks to solve the problem of housing a lot of refugees in a hurry.

According to Treehugger, the development is designed to accommodate 200 asylum seekers, but is not the usual emergency housing, often made out of shipping containers. The Daily Business News recently covered Sweden’s effort to use shipping containers to solve their housing crisis. That story is linked here.

Instead, the high-quality 22 units are coated externally with a larch wood façade and are resource saving, recyclable, and free of emissions, delivered ready to assemble. Aktivhaus says that the units can be up and functional within a few weeks.


Credit: Treehugger.

And that’s welcome news, says Hartmut Holzwarth, Mayor of Winnenden. Not just for refugees, but overall.


Hartmut Holzwarth. Credit: Namefinder.

Even without refugee access, it is estimated that there will be a need for 40,000 additional apartments in Baden-Württemberg in the coming years. In addition, it is estimated that some 30,000 apartments will be required each year for the recognized asylum seekers and their families who have been rescued,” said Holzwarth.

The topic of refugee housing in Winnenden has been a hot button issue for critics, as it represents potentially separate, special accommodations for refugees of the Syrian war in special areas outside designated settlements.



Winnenden, in red. Credit: Google.

According to town officials, the plan is for units to be used as a “connecting accommodation” for Syrian civil war refugees for three years, then to take legal steps to convert the special area to a residential area.

Those plans are already being discussed. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Treehouse Riga Branching into Adaptability

August 26th, 2016 Comments off

ExtTreeHouseRiga-credit-SmallHouseBliss-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsText475x713Treehouse Riga, an easily adaptable modular home, was designed by Appleton & Domingos. The Portuguese design firm created this particular version for modular homebuilder Jular.

As factory built home industry professionals know, modular home construction has less waste, is greener, takes less time to build and typically offers significant savings over the comparable on-site construction option. Their concept of the two-module, two-bedroom Treehouse Riga allows for the possibly expanding needs of the homeowner, and thus offers a real benefit to a growing family.

The architects say that they have worked hard to keep performance high and the cost as low as possible. “Treehouse roof, walls and floors are erected using a multi-layer system, designed to provide high energy efficiency, which translates into savings on climate control costs. All Treehouse wooden components hold PEFC (chain of custody) certification.”

The dimensions on Jular’s basic Treehouse Riga is a 474 sq ft design, which features two bedrooms. It’s made of just two modules, each of which measures 236 sq. ft, and are joined together in an offset way.


Floorplan credits, Treehugger, Jular modular.

That creates exterior spaces that are slightly different from each other. When expansion is needed, more modules can simply be attached to the home to create additional spaces such as extra rooms, a studio, a second bathroom, or whatever the need may be.


According to Kimberly Mok at TreeHuggger, the home is covered by ventilated facades made with ThermoWood, a “thermally modified wood.” Their process which makes it more durable. The walls use Kerto, a micro-laminated veneer lumber, and gives the walls a strong and dimensionally stable structure.


In one module is a kitchen and living room space, while the other module houses the bedrooms and bathroom.

There is a sliding wall of birch wood that the homeowner can use to close off each of the modules during the night, or it can slide away in order to open them up during the day.


There is some question as to just how truly green these modular homes are, but as Mok points out “the reality is that not everyone is going to have the time and motivation to build their own home, much less put in the extra time to research and implement whatever sustainable design innovations might be current.”  Their design reminds domestic systems builders that international pre-fab and modular designs are alive and well.  ##

(Photo credits: smallhousebliss, treehugger, Jular)

RobinGardnerSketchedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews75x75Article submitted by Robin Gardner, to the Daily Business News,

Green Modular Home Designed to last 300 Years

January 11th, 2016 Comments off

greenbuild_home__by_unity_homes__modular__treehugger__ceditTedd Benson at Bensonwood in Walpole, New Hampshire approaches modular home design by considering the function and usable life of six distinct interconnected layers: site, structure, skin, space plan, systems, and stuff, as treehugger informs MHProNews..

The structure is designed to last 300 years, wrapped in an extremely-efficient thermal envelope, but designed with easy access to the plumbing, electrical and other mechanical systems, keeping in mind that those systems will likely be improved upon in years to come and can be more easily replaced. This also helps locate where electronics, appliances and furnishings can be placed.

Not underestimating the importance of a healthy home, a lot of the materials and the finishes and furnishings qualify under the greener chemicals banner, even with a big heat recovery ventilator.

The panels in the wood ceiling (as shown in the picture) can be popped up to access the wiring and ductwork. ##

(Photo credit: treehugger–green modular home by Unity Homes)

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

Vertical Manufactured Home Community Built, then Scrapped

December 19th, 2015 Comments off

vertical_mhc__Skyrise_Terrace_Corp__creditAllan Wallis, writing in Wheel Estates, says: “The mobile home may well be the single most significant and unique housing innovation in twentieth-century America. No other innovation addressing the spectrum of housing activities- from construction, tenure, and community structure to design- has been more widely adopted nor, simultaneously, more widely vilified.

In 1966, Elmer Frey, a pioneer in the industry who is credited for coining the term “mobile home,” and for lobbying to change the laws to allow ten-foot wide homes on the highways, envisioned twin towers of manufactured homes in Milwaukee. Each tower would be 332 feet tall with 16 single-section homes on each floor of the 20 stories, totaling 504 homes. He planned the first six floors for shopping and parking, a restaurant on the top of one and a community center atop the other tower. He projected the rent to be $150-200 a month, as treehugger informs MHProNews.

A very large revolving elevator would move the MH up to their 2,640 square feet lots in the sky, and an elevator and stairs were for residents. Frey was not successful in getting the large version built, but did construct a three-story prototype that held nine homes. However, he was not able to pump water to the upper deck during winter, and the company was “invovluntarily liquidated” later in 1966. Had it been built in Florida, as one proposal indicated, it may have been successful. ##

(Photo credit: SkyRise Terrace Corp.-vertical manufactured home community)

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

Aussie Modular Home is Extremely Green

June 3rd, 2015 Comments off

ecoliv_modular__australia__treehugger__creditAustralian modular builder Ecoliv built a show home for the 2014 Sustainable Living Festival, according to treehugger. It features numerous green attributes including a vertical garden at the front entryway, a dry-tolerant garden fed with greywater and water cachement, a 2 kilowatt grid-connected solar system and solar hot water, electric car charging and high efficiency appliances.

Most North American modular builders build with plywood, MDF board and particle board, but Ecoliv uses Foilboard which insulates and does not have any formaldehyde. Even the sustainably harvested timber framing has a low formaldehyde content, and the finishes are all low VOC. The active and passive air circulation systems pass air through strategically placed louvred windows to insure air quality.

The structure achieves an eight star rating on the Australian system, whereby, as MHProNews understands, the potential thermal comfort of Aussie homes are measured on a scale from zero to ten stars—the higher the number of stars, the less likely the need for a heating or cooling system to remain comfortable. ##

(Photo credit: treehugger/Ecoliv–energy efficient modular home)

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

Modular Container Homes Bringing People back to Downtown Phoenix

April 3rd, 2015 Comments off

Phoenix_steel_modulars__treehugger__starkjames_containers_on_grandDowntown Phoenix is getting an entirely new look: Shipping containers being converted into 740 square foot, one bedroom, one bath, modular homes. Designed and built by Starkjames, Containers on Grand, as the development is called, is for tenants who are looking for “something that is creative, innovative and different,” according to what one of the investors, Kathleen Santin, tells MHProNews.

She says there is a shift in generational thinking, that people do not want to be in the suburbs anymore, they are more interested in living downtown.

phoenix_modular_starkjames_containers_on_grandAs treehugger reports, the designers cleverly configured the placement of the bathrooms and kitchens in a site-built link between the containers, making it easier to wire and plumb, and separated the units into clusters which gives it a more aesthetic look. With adequate HVAC, the occupants of these steel modular units should remain comfortable. ##

(Image credit: treehugger/starkjames-Containers on Grand–modular container homes in Phoenix)

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

Off Grid Tiny Modular Home Transports Readily

October 21st, 2014 Comments off

lucas_brown__tiny_home_lbdandf.com__creditStudents at Green Mountain College in Vermont, guided by Professor Lucas Brown, began working on tiny homes several years ago and have now developed OTIS—Optimal Traveling Independent Space—70 square feet of modular living space, easily suitable for one, that fits on a 5′ X 8′ utility trailer and can be towed by a large four-cylinder vehicle.

With environmental sustainability as the backdrop, the 16 students in the Renewable Energy and Ecological Design class (REED) included a composting toilet, a single 120-watt solar panel for electricity, water cachement and a small wood stove for heat and cooking. Making it if off-grid allows travel for the modular most anywhere.

The windows are made of polygal, which has a higher R value than single paned glass, and the

lucas brown  treehugger com  credit  tiny pod housetransparent shell, which brings in natural light, utilizes the same material as found in insulated Kalwall panels. The curved wood struts that provide the frame for the tiny home are milled on computer-controlled equipment for precision. The students researched, designed and built the home in 15 weeks.

As Brown tells MHProNews, noting that Millennials are shying away from the suburbs: “The appeal of living a smaller and more nomadic lifestyle represents a new take on the American Dream, especially among students in this millennial generation. They (students) aren’t interested in being tied down with rent or a mortgage right after college. Something about having their own living space which is very low maintenance and very mobile suggests a different set of priorities.” Student Adam Zais, from Wisconsin, says, “Things like this–even if it doesn’t change the world, it’s helping to change our ways of thinking and that’s important.” Brown says the house would sell for $8,000-$10,000. ##

(Top photo credit:–Bottom:

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to the Daily Business News-MHProNews)

Australian Modular Home Built to Resist Bushfires

August 21st, 2014 Comments off

australian_mdoular_bushfire__resistant_treehugger__comA steel and glass-structured modular home with non-combustible fiber cement floor panels is designed to resist bushfires in the Australian outback, as well as to collect rainwater to use in the event of a fire. The modular Supashak is made to be transportable across Australia and adaptable to a variety of climatic conditions. The broad, angled roof offers spectacular sky views and winter sun warmth, and its slant provides additional protection from bushfires, as does a large screen on the northwest side, the most likely direction of a bushfire. As informs MHProNews, this prototype is available for rent. ##

(Photo credit:–bushfire-resistant Australian modular home)