Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed

Date:
January 9, 2008
Source:
Mississippi State University
Summary:
When someone mentions a mobile home or "house trailer," the image usually doesn't make others green with envy. Mobile homes haven't earned recognition for long-term quality, environmental friendliness or return on value. But "green" is exactly what one professor wants mobile homes to be. He hopes to toss traditional thinking about the structures into the recycling bin.

MSU architecture professor Michael Berk shows a model of GreenMobile.
Credit: Image courtesy of Mississippi State University

When someone mentions a mobile home or "house trailer," the image usually doesn't make others green with envy. Mobile homes haven't earned recognition for long-term quality, environmental friendliness or return on value.

But "green" is exactly what Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Endowed Professor of Architecture at Mississippi State, wants mobile homes to be. He hopes to toss traditional thinking about the structures into the recycling bin, salvaging the traditional "mobile home" perception one national award at a time.

Working in the Carl Small Town Center--a part of MSU's College of Architecture, Art and Design--Berk created an award-winning, next-generation factory-built unit he calls the GreenMobile. Unlike other lower-end housing, Berk's applies sound construction methods, as well as energy-saving concepts for lower utility costs.

The GreenMobile design meets International Residential Codes for structurally sound foundations, involves using better insulation, promotes the use of energy-efficient appliances, and creates interior spaces better suited for natural-day lighting and ventilation.

It also includes an option to install Tennessee Valley Authority solar photo-voltaic systems, which convert energy from the sun into electricity--an option known in the industry as net-metering.

Energy savings from the home make it a smart choice for people looking for affordable housing and lower utility costs. "It potentially could make money at the end of the month," Berk said.

Energy isn't the only thing separating the GreenMobile from traditional mobile homes. Berk said his next generation of mobile home will appreciate in value, unlike current mobile homes that depreciate shortly after being bought.

Given the potential to accrue value and the fact that they're designed to last longer than traditional mobile homes, GreenMobiles could be financed through low-interest loans from lending institutions such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They're expected to cost in the $50,000 range.

"Lenders have indicated they would consider 35- to 40-year mortgages," Berk said. "That means someone who in the past could afford only a single-wide trailer with a 15-year chattel mortgage would pay less money per month to own a really well-built product that will increase in value in the future."

When Berk completed the concept for the GreenMobile about five years ago, he designed it with the Mississippi Delta in mind, including attached decks and porches to expand outdoor living. Subsequent hurricane devastation in south Mississippi created a new use for the GreenMobile--an adaptable mobile unit for disaster relief housing.

Last December, GreenMobile was awarded a $5.8 million grant as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Alternative Housing Pilot Program, organized to construct alternatives to FEMA trailers in disaster-affected communities.

Berk is working closely with the Mississippi Emergency Agency as a design adviser to modify the original GreenMobile concept and produce stripped-down versions under the name EcoCottage for Mississippi Gulf Coast residents. A prototype is expected to be completed in March, with about 80 units forthcoming.

The design shows how the GreenMobile can function as viable long-term housing or as short-term disaster housing. Berk's concept recently earned first-place honors at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's inaugural Lifecycle Building Challenge competition, gaining distinction in the unbuilt housing category. GreenMobile also has been featured in magazines and at a host of architecture conferences.

While GreenMobiles can be built for any region of the United States, Berk said the structure's long, narrow shape is optimal for the Southern region. If the manufactured home is set so the long side faces north and south, prevailing winds pass south, making ventilation easier and more efficient.

While the new model for manufactured housing has been recognized with awards, industry hasn't yet picked up on it. Working with MSU's Office of Technology Commercialization, Berk seeks a company to partner on the project to mass-produce the GreenMobile, making the award-winning unit a new housing choice.

"It's waiting to go to the marketplace," Berk said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mississippi State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mississippi State University. "'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080104121757.htm>.
Mississippi State University. (2008, January 9). 'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080104121757.htm
Mississippi State University. "'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080104121757.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) After seeing auto sales grow last month, there's plenty for the industry to celebrate as it rolls out its newest designs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) Ford celebrated the 50th birthday of its beloved Mustang by displaying a new model of the convertible on top of the Empire State Building in New York. Duration: 00:28 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins