Not Your Parents' Mobile Home

November/December 2002
A version of this article appears in the November/December 2002 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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November 01, 2002
Some scientists and builders of manufactured homes figured out how to make them more energy efficient, using new materials but the same old factory.
        Manufactured housing constitutes 20%–30% of new housing across the United States. Because of its sheer volume and the opportunity for factory replication, efforts to improve energy efficiency in manufactured housing can pay big dividends.However, the same factories that represent automated efficiency also represent fixed costs that do not easily adjust to accommodate varying levels of demand.The incorporation of structural insulated panels (SIPs) into manufactured housing helps with both issues. It makes for a more efficient building envelope, and it may allow for more efficient management of production capacity. (For more on SIPs, see “The Lowdown on Structural Insulated Panels,”HE Jan/Feb ’02, p. 38. Some problems with manufactured housing were covered in “Moisture Problems in Manufactured Housing,”HE Mar/Apr ’02, p. 24.)         In June 2000, Champion Enterprises built the first HUD code-approved manufactured home using SIPs.The demonstration house—named Concept 2000—was built as part of a partnership among Champion, Premier Building Systems, Precision Panel Structures, and the U.S.DOE’s Building America program. DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, (PNNL), where we work, coordinated the project and ...

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