While most home buyers are confused by the terms 'modular' and 'manufactured,' builders have long understood that industrialized modular homes are built to the same building codes as traditional site-built housing. Plus, and more importantly for all parties involved, a modular home is delivered to site about 90 percent completed and assembled within weeks, saving time, money, and aggravation.

Champion's Genesis Homes, for example, recently announced that its newest modular urban in-fill home design, the "Bunbury," has been awarded a prestigious 2008 Best New Modular Home Design Award by the National Modular Housing Council (NMHC).

"The home was a terrific attraction at the fall meeting's Urban Land Expo, demonstrating in a very visible way the innovative building techniques now available to urban planners and developers to quickly build sustainable communities around the world," said Urban Land Institute's David Howard, executive vice president, membership and development.

As a result of the exposure at the ULI meeting and the flexibility of the design, the home is now being considered for a number of urban in-fill projects in major cities throughout the United States.

"Flexibility of design is key in urban redevelopment projects," said Roberto Kritzer, vice president of Champion corporate design and winner of more than a dozen industry awards. "The goal was to provide high-quality, attractive housing that fits with existing local architecture and can be constructed quickly in a neighborhood-friendly manner."

"We had the greatest number of entries in this category, so the competition was steep," said Thayer Long, NMHC executive director, adding that approximately 3,000 ULI meeting attendees toured the modular home during the three-day meeting.

Kritzer designed the three-bedroom, two-bath modular home to fit on the typical, constricted, urban-sized lot. The 1,914 sq.-ft., two-story "Bunbury" can be produced with a variety of exteriors, architectural styles and configurations to fit in with the surrounding architecture. The single-family version is produced in two modules and a garage can also be integrated into the design.

"My objective was to design an aesthetically-pleasing modular home with single- and multi-family options that would fit in the urban environment of any city and country," said Kritzer.

Building Systems Network's newest luxury, 8000 square foot modular home, "the Homestead," blending of hand-craftsmanship and heritage materials, is a significant example of how home construction technology has evolved in general.

"Not only is the Homestead one of the largest and highest-appraised homes built by BSN, but it represents the trend in American homebuilding as an example of what can be accomplished through the advanced technologies of the modular building process combined with custom finishes," adds BSN CEO Grant Smereczynsky. "Industrialized, or systems-built, homes are constructed under optimum building conditions within controlled environments, at fractions of the cost and time of traditional site-built or 'stick-built' homes."

Modular construction offers numerous advantages over traditional or conventional building methods. With advancements in technology and a growing understanding and acceptance of the modular home, builders and developers can start marketing new homes to real estate consumers that are more affordable, built stronger, offer quicker delivery, and use less waste. Seems like a win-win waiting to happen.

[Note: The National Modular Housing Council was created to provide modular manufacturers, suppliers and builders, a national voice to facilitate policies and programs beneficial to both the industry and consumers of modular homes. For more information, please visit modularcouncil.org, or contact Thayer Long at (703) 558-0678


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