You’ve probably read or watched a few stories about why green construction is the way to go. If you’re like most of our customers, you’re asking if the benefits of a green modular home are really worth the cost.
What a Universal Design Modular Home Has in Common with a Green Modular Home
This reminds me of my experience with Universal Design (UD) homes. In the early 1990’s, my company built a model home to UD principles. Following these makes a home more user-friendly for everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Over the years we’ve sold several UD homes. But few of our customers have selected the complete set of UD options. So it might surprise you when I say that offering these features helped many customers who weren’t interested in UD before visiting us.
Of course, these customers didn’t express interest initially because they didn’t know what UD features could do for them. Once we demonstrated how the features worked in our model home, many of our customers selected them. For example, when we showed those approaching retirement age a low-curb shower or a step-less front entry, we found that many of them felt these features were a necessity. So too with customers who had elderly parents.
Today we have more customers than ever interested in UD specifications. They’ve become more important because aging baby boomers value their performance. Even so, if we forget to demonstrate our model’s UD features, we have far fewer customers interested in them. We also have far fewer customers who select these features when we require them to select the entire package. Not surprisingly, most customers want to select some of the features – but not all.
Select Only the Features for Your Green Modular Home that You Want
Our experience with UD homes is repeating itself with green modular homes. Most customers don’t know if they want green features until we explain the benefits to them. These include (a) energy efficiency, (b) healthy indoor environment, and (c) environmentally friendly construction. Even after appreciating the benefits, customers typically assume they can’t afford a green home, since they think they need to buy the “complete green package”, which is costly. That’s why we allow them to select green features à la carte style.
Not surprisingly, most of our customers prize utility savings and quite a few value healthier home interiors. Although many of our customers care about the environment, only a few have a budget that allows them to do all they would wish to protect our planet. On the other hand, by selecting energy efficient and healthy home features, they actually are helping to protect the environment. And by using modular construction, they are building a home that is inherently green.
Select a Modular Dealer Who Can Clearly Explain Your Green Modular Home Options
Here’s what you can take from our experience. When shopping for a modular dealer, find one who teaches you what a green modular home can do for you and which options provide the best benefits. Make sure the dealer lets you select only the features you want as opposed to their vision of a “complete” green modular home. If your dealer can’t explain green features, find a dealer who can or research them on your own. Then select what you can afford. It could be a couple of energy efficient enhancements and low VOC materials – maybe less, maybe more. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking green features are an unaffordable extravagance.
For a more detailed answer to the question, should you build a green modular home, see Why Build Modular in my book The Modular Home as well as this detailed handout on the benefits of green modular homes.