One characteristic about mobile homes, and modular homes, they require expensive tractor trucks and permits (due to their width) to move on the highway under a variety of wide-and-long-load transportation restrictions. One contribution that ZED would like to make adds a new twist to the modular housing, rapid assembly-line idea. ZED is working on a novel approach for building a CORE EQUIPMENT MODULE (for the kitchen, utility / laundry room and bathroom) that would NOT require expensive transportation of a lot of empty space down the highway, as mobile homes and modular housing do today.
A factory-built CORE MODULE would be constructed that is slightly less than 8-feet wide, so it would not need a special transportation permit. The CORE MODULE could be inexpensively carried on a 4-wheeled trailer, behind a common V8 pickup truck. The CORE MODULE would NOT contain the empty living space of the home. It would ONLY include: the kitchen (finished cabinets, major appliances, etc.), bathroom, laundry room, finished interior walls, flooring, and the ZED electrical/plumbing/hot water/heating/cooling equipment room in a well-designed 8-foot-wide equipment cluster with short plumbing lines, rapid hot water delivery, complete electrical panel and solar equipment components ready to rapidly plug in and use.
In rural settings, the core module can include well water pump, water purification system, etc. We recommend some type of whole house water filtration system for all ZED homes. Rainwater collection, and gray water recycling are options in locations where water is limited or expensive. You sewer bill often depends on your water usage. If you do things to use less water from a local utility company, you may also have a lower sewer bill.
The housing units built around this manufactured CORE MODULE concept could be off-the-grid standalone Zero Energy Homes (built far from public utilities), or they could be very-energy-efficient grid-connected homes, with minimal utility bills (depending on purchasers’ zero energy capital expenditures, with an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program, subsidized by government agency renewable energy home incentives).
The rest of the empty space around the core module (living, bedrooms, dining, solarium, garage or carport) would then be site-built quickly from a kit of factory-provided structural insulated panels (SIPs), trusses, and radiant barrier roofing components with solar panels, etc. Maximum windstorm resistance features (tie downs, structural support, etc.) would be built in. Total assembly time (after the foundation is in place and cured) could be less than two days, plus time for interior/exterior finishes, flooring, furniture, clothes, food, etc.
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