This is a tour of an affordable green home, the "i-house" by Clayton Homes. I took video (and photographs) of the model in Albuquerque, NM.
The railing for the deck and roof deck wasn't up at the time I took the video but it is in the still photos.
I've been interested in prefabs, smaller homes, and manufactured homes for years.
The i-house is the first of its kind by a major home manufacturer. Clayton is manufacturing this house in five factories in various parts of the U.S. and models are shown in dozens of more locations.
The i-house received a write-up in Popular Mechanics, the Associated Press, and other publications as being revolutionary in the manufactured home industry.
In addition to the modern style, the green, energy efficient features offered include a butterfly water catchment roof, bamboo floors, point-of-use hot water, and optional solar panels.
The price for this home starts under $100,000. However, the model shown is more since it includes the optional detached flex room w/bath, which may be used as an additional bedroom or guest house.
Like many people, I'm concerned about environmental pollution, and the doubling of average home size in the last 25 years. Homes have to start getting smaller and more energy efficient.
If people can be proud of driving the Prius, as a status symbol of energy awareness, they could also start purchasing more energy efficient houses that have a distinctive look.
Since 1994, when new building codes cut out much of the manufactured home industry's problem with shoddy construction, this industry has had the potential to re-invent itself and exceed the efficiency standards and quality of site-built housing.
For example, how many site-built homes in the lower price range, come with Andersen windows and doors, like the i-house?
The industry has also struggled to overcome an image problem. That is, people's prejudice that manufactured housing means poor quality, or low class.
Bringing a bold, modern style, and modular concept in a well-built home was a long time in coming. Now that they've done it, it has the potential to attract a whole new market to manufactured housing, and cause a transformation in this industry toward greater energy efficiency and green building practices.
Such modern homes have been available from smaller companies for several years, often at a cost of nearly twice the price per square foot, and more.
A double-wide version, the ihouse II, is slated to debut in late 2011.
The i-house is a good step toward what I would like to see next in the manufactured home industry, an affordable zero-energy home.