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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

East Coast Modular Factory Builds West Coast Type Prefab

Over the years I have said that a lot of the West Coast designed prefabs look like Lego inspired boxes.  There are some exceptions to that like Blu Homes and a couple of others but when you find an East Coast factory not only building a home that looks like its West Coast kin but also earns an Emerald Certification at the same time, maybe it's time for me to start taking those flat roofed designs seriously.

John Ela, the President and head cheerleader for all things modular and green sent me the article below about a home he recently built.  Thanks John for helping make the West Coast invasion look so darn good.

Modern Cottage


Epoch Homes is pleased to announce that the modern green prefab home that it built, along with their Builder Partner, Modern Cottage, has been certified as Emerald, meeting the highest level of the National Green Building Standard, ICC-700 (NGBS). The home is the first modular home to be Emerald Certified in New York State.

Builders Brenden Maloof and Scot Cohen, Co-founders of Modern Cottage, were looking to make a statement with the custom home they were building in Ancram, NY. Green, energy efficient homes are practically nonexistent on the local market, and Modern Cottage was targeting the educated, second home buyer interested in state-of-the-art energy efficiency, modern design and green building practices.

They initially enlisted architect Joel Turkel of Turkel Design for the unique, sleek, modern design. Epoch often works with architects and is very experienced in converting their design concept for modular fabrication.

Modern Cottages worked closely with Epoch on both the design and the NGBS certification.  They started by using a tool Epoch had developed for their Builders to help incorporate Green Building concepts. The tool lists all of the elements that achieve points in the National Green Building Scoring Tool and color codes them to simplify the design process. A significant number of points, enough to get to the bronze level, come standard in any Epoch Home, so these all show as one color. Other elements are coded to show they are specific to a design or are an optional item that may be selected; others indicate that they can only be completed on site. This makes it very easy for the builder to make product selections and watch the points add up. These same selections can then be checked off on the pricing model so a real time assessment of points and costs can be easily understood, allowing the Builder to make informed judgments about performance and cost to find the optimal mix.

Once the design and selections are complete the information is easily transferred into a NGBS verifiers report. Because the Epoch Homes factory is Green Approved by the NAHB Research Center, the company can generate and sign off on the in plant verification report and send it to the local verifier who completes the verification process as the house is completed on site. It couldn’t get much simpler.

According the Epoch Homes CEO, John Ela, “Epoch’s business model is about making custom builders more successful by eliminating barriers that add complexity to the custombuilder business model. A big part of that is making it easy for our Builders to offer Green homes. Our company serves as a super subcontractor to builders, delivering custom homes to an awaiting foundation that arrive in a matter of weeks being 80-90% complete. While that greatly reduces the elapsed time required to complete a home, it also eliminates the painstaking effort of managing all of the subcontractors normally required to bring a home to
that level of completion. This allows a builder to support a much higher level of sales without taking on the burden of additional overhead, and greatly reduces the costs of a custom design/build home.”

Any home built by Epoch, regardless of the specific design, should attain the Bronze level inthe National Green Building Standard if the builder complies with minimal site requirements.

Modern Cottage was not satisfied with Bronze, however, and added enough green features into the design and selected many of the Green Options offered by Epoch Homes to obtainthe highest NGBS level of Emerald.

To obtain this coveted rating, Modern Cottage specified a highly energy efficient design including a geothermal heating and cooling system along with radiant heating. Epoch’s high performance wall system, combining Icynene foam spray insulation and rigid foam strapping for thermal breaks was utilized to insure a high level of insulation and very low air infiltration.

Highly efficient Serious brand windows completed the tight exterior envelope.
To conserve water, low flow water fixtures were selected for use throughout the house. CFL lighting, recycled countertops, FSC lumber, bamboo floors and more were used to further enhance the sustainability of the homes’ design. Together, Epoch Homes and Modern Cottage combined factory efficiencies, building science and proprietary design tools to build a highly sustainable home, and a highly sustainable building process.

ABOUT EPOCH HOMES: In 2012, Epoch Homes celebrates its 30th year of innovation, providing quality custom sustainable modular homes to discerning Builders and home owners. Epoch is the first modular home manufacturer in the nation to be certified under the Modular Green Approved program offered by the NAHB Research Center, and one of the first to offer homes designed to meet both the LEED for Homes Platinum level, and the National Green Building Standard Emerald level. The company offers a number of tools that make it
easier for Builders to offer their customers Certified Green Homes. Epoch sells through a growing network of quality-oriented custom home builders across New England, NY and NJ.

For more information contact:
John D. Ela, CGP
President & CEO
Epoch Corporation
Route 106
P. O. Box 235
Pembroke, NH 03275

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. This is a great step forward (leap?) for the modular industry.