In the final article in this series on prefabricated homes, I offer a round-up of some of the best eco-friendly prefabricated homes available today. As we’ve seen, prefabricated design and construction typically produces less waste and uses less energy than conventional construction, but that doesn’t mean all prefabs are inherently eco-friendly.
Once you really dig into the specifications for many prefabricated home designs, those ‘green’ credentials can start to seem more like a green ‘wash’. Thankfully, there are some fantastic companies out there making environmentally friendly prefabricated homes including tiny homes and cabins, large family homes, and even floating homes!
The best eco-friendly prefabricated home builders
Taking into account the use of eco-friendly materials, energy efficient designs, reputation and service quality, my top picks for companies making prefab and modular homes today are as follows:
Other companies worth checking out, but whose ‘package’ is a little less comprehensive, and/or eco-friendly practices a little less robust, include:
How to choose a prefab eco-home builder
Your choice of prefab building company will depend greatly on where you live, your budget, the size of your family now and whether it is likely to expand or shrink, and a range of other factors. Some companies such as Deltec Homes and Bamboo Living Homes offer hurricane resistant prefabricated homes. Others, such as Allwood Eagle Point, offer a bare bones service that may appeal to you if you’re a keen DIYer with a lot of your own ideas for a bespoke home.
Some companies are full-service outfits that will hold your hand through the whole (potentially terrifying) home building experience. My favorites among these are Unity Homes, Deltec and Mandala Homes, all of whom have strong reputations for customer service and quality. Others, such as Clever Homes, Honomobo and NOMAD Microhomes have a much simpler approach where you can order a prefabricated tiny home online in a few clicks and figure out things like site orientation, permitting, labor, landscaping, service hookups, and all those other pesky things for yourself.
To make it a little easier to find a company with whom you’ll want to work, I’ve separated the best of the best into those who offer a full-service solution and those who don’t.
Full Service Prefabricated Home Builders
- Mandala Homes – a smaller, hands-on company who offer patient, insightful advice in all stages of home-building (I’d say they’re the West Coast hippie’s eco-prefab builder of choice!)
- Unity Homes – a friendly, experienced company who hold your hand through the whole building process and seem really invested in building your dream home with eco-friendly materials and design
- Living Homes – the OG of eco-friendly prefab homes, this company offers all the help you could ever need to build the home you want, and all at an affordable price
- Deltec Homes – they offer Home Shell Packages, but provide significantly more than that, including free consultation for green building practices and help getting certified for LEED, DOE Zero Energy Ready etc.
- Honomobo – this tiny home manufacturer offers comprehensive support throughout your build project
Mid-range options, where the company goes beyond just providing design and prefab services, but stops short of managing your whole build project, include:
- EcoCraft – best for if you live in Pittsburgh or very close by
- FabCab – based in the Pacific Northwest and focused on accessible modern designs
Companies such as Alchemy (who design weeHouses) focus almost exclusively on the design of your home and offer little in the way of project support, although Alchemy will help you get state building permits. Bert’s Boxes, NOMAD Microhomes, and Allwood are more self-contained products, with the companies simply selling you the home and doing little, if anything, to help you navigate all the additional steps involved in your building project.
There are tons of other prefab homes out there, and I’m sure I’ve missed some gems. If you’ve built a prefab eco-friendly home with another company, or with one of those mentioned, I’d love to hear how it went. Let me know in the comments below (extra nerd points if you include specs and energy usage stats!).