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Could Carbon-Positive Prefab Homes Be the Homes of the Future?

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If you haven’t heard, prefabricated homes (also called modular homes) have been growing in popularity. These homes are manufactured off-site and are then shipped to a desired location and assembled. They’re quick to put together, durable, can fit in small spaces, and can often cost less than designing and building a home from scratch.

Just recently, an Australian architecture firm took the prefab house to a whole new level by creating one that actually produces more energy than it uses. The world’s first home of its kind features things like:

  • In-ground cooling tubes
  • Solar panels
  • Heat-trapping sunroom
  • Australian plywood walls and ceilings
  • Green, thermally insulated roof
  • Planter boxes for herbs and vegetables
  • Double-glazed, draft-proof windows
  • Air-tight build to save more energy.

As long as a home like this is built in a place where it can consistently access sunlight, it could save around 1,120 tons of carbon emissions over its lifespan (around 100 years); that’s the equivalent of 267 cars being taken off the road. It’s because of this that the home is considered beyond a “carbon zero” home and instead, what’s called a “carbon positive” home, since it actually produces energy on site.

So how much does a house like this cost? In Australia, they’re going for between 260,000 and 406,000 Australian dollars, which is between $203,000 and $317,000 American dollars.

The average American household uses almost 11,000 kilowatt hours of energy every year, so if this trend catches on, it could mean significant energy savings for both the homeowners and the surrounding areas.

To see pictures of the first carbon-positive prefab home, click here. And if you’re interested in seeing the installation of a one-bedroom, two-bathroom prefab home by the same Australian architect, click here.

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