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Manufactured Housing: Can it Save the Environment and Solve Humanitarian Problems?

Posted by: admin | Posted on: July 20th, 2011 | 0 Comments

Manufactured and Prefabricated homes aren’t just good for the environment, energy efficient and built to higher standards than many site built homes in the United States, they may turn out to solve many of the world’s housing problems.

It may sound like a bold claim, but global corporations, engineers and architects are planning and building homes that can sell for as little as $720.00 USD. One designer even feels that cooperatives may be able to build homes made of earthen brick for absolutely nothing.

Today, TATA Motors of India announced plans to offer a prefabricated home complete with windows, doors and a roof for an anticipated sales price of only $720.00 (source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43809684/ns/business-personal_finance/). While the home is not a permanent structure by any means, the company believes the home will last for 20 years. That’s just $36.00 USD per annum to own a home minus the cost of land and installation.

Ingersol-Rand promotes The $300.00 house challenge; a contest awarding $25,000.00 USD for the best home design that will cost a person only $300.00 USD to build. One of the best designs proposes collectives to make earthen brick to construct homes based on their specific design plans. You can learn more about the $300.00 challenge at: http://www.jovoto.com/contests/300house/landing .

Why do architects, designers, and multi-billion dollar corporations care about building homes that will solve global housing problems? One would like to believe altruism is perhaps the primary motivation, but there is a great potential for significant earnings in inexpensive design and fabrication. The salient problem is this: design is an idea that costs nothing more than a keen intellect and training in the fields of engineering; manufacturing is a completely different ballgame.

To make these design ideas come to fruition, it takes a great deal of time and, perhaps much more importantly, investment capital. The benefits can be enormous. Manufacturers may be able to obtain government contracts for building inexpensive housing for emergency shelter, NGO contracts and foreign government contracts for building inexpensive housing.

Manufactured and prefabricated housing holds promise for the future on a number of different levels. Will these forms of housing help save the environment and conserve energy? Yes. Can the industry solve major humanitarian problems? We shall see.

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