Extreme Makeover Home Edition takes on a Green Home in neighboring Baltimore New Modular homes Green and Beautiful
As we sit here and take in this article, thousands of busy-bee workers are pulling together a new home for ABC's Extreme Makeover- Home Edition right outside of Baltimore, Maryland. So, all of you out and about in DC and Northern Virginia, keep your eyes peeled for that loud, yet lovable Ty Pennington and his crew of builders, motivators and motley volunteers. Not even an hour away from us here in Northern Virginia, a very deserving group of at risk Baltimore youth are having a home created for them that will be highly functional for their needs and built in a sustainable manner, so that their new home will be healthy for them, their neighbors and the planet.
The folks at Extreme Makeover have done their homework... Prefabricated homes have come quite a long way, they aren't the single story boxy homes of yesteryear, they are cool, contemporary homes that can produced in a timely manner and have a better indoor air quality than some regularly built homes. Back in April modular home design company Blu unveiled a sleek, new two story modular home that doesn't look shipping container-chic. Interesting enough, I joke about shipping container-chic, but Bryan Clark Howard's recent posting on The Daily Green reminds us that we can "Discover some of the exciting possibilities of shipping container architecture, from disaster relief shelters to luxury condos, green sheds, vacation homes and off-the-grid adventurers. See what makes them green as well as cutting edge." Modular is the new thing to do to go green: our friends at GreenSpur, Inc. were asked to judge a new modular home design competition, where they were able to view some innovative modular home designs that are far from the rectangular, bland, straight from the box designs.In the past, modular homes weren't made from the healthiest of products, but right now, modular homes are on the cutting edge of sustainable design.
For instance, a modular, or pre-fabricated home built from SIPs panels (structural insulated Panels) will be beautiful from the outside and the inside. When most of us think of modular homes, or prefabricated homes, we may not have the grand image of what prefabricated homes have become today. However, if you take a look at some of the newest designs, pre-fabricated homes have gone from boxy to out of the box. The Caribbean style plantation home that Extreme Makeover built for the Beach family is not exception! The architectural details were precise and elegant, and in no way indicative of pre-fabrication! On the subject of the Beach Family's green built, pre-fabricated home, Extreme Makeover's main site states: "We used SIPs for the exterior walls of the Beach family's new home. Because of these pre-insulated panels, their home will have excellent indoor air quality and will also require a smaller HVAC system. This reduces the emission of greenhouse gases and fossil fuel consumption. In addition, SIPs use about one third of the wood used in frame construction. Oriented strand board (OSB) is used to construct SIPs, and is made up of wood scraps from fast growth forests, therefore making it a sustainable resource. SIPs can lower homeowners' energy bills by as much as fifty percent. If properly installed, they make the home airtight, which is a key factor in reducing energy costs since most of them come from air leakage. The airtight construction also helps to prevent dust, bugs, pollen, and mold from entering the home. Lastly, homes made of SIPs are significantly stronger than stick-frame construction and can withstand hurricane winds."
The current home in production in Baltimore has suffered a few set backs due to the major storm fronts that came through earlier this week, but that didn't stop the volunteers from doing their work and helping out a group in need of support and strength. Community building is a huge aspect of sustainable and green living that many people put by the wayside, but Extreme Makeover Home Edition brings together people across all communities, lifestyles and walks of life. This is about community building in the most figurative and literal sense. The home that is being built is a community group home for at risk youth of Baltimore. Kudos to all of the volunteers, tradesmen and ABC personalities for putting so much of themselves into these healthy and sustainable homes for a good and greater cause. For more information about sustainably built pre-fabricated homes in the DC Metro area, subscribe to the newsletter and keep up to date on our blog.