I discovered the amazing pre-fab home manufacturer, New World Home, when I was doing some of my continuing ed for my real estate license, last year. The course was on “green building” and it was a video course, so it was a no brainer when choosing which course I wanted to take. The company’s co- founder, Mark Jupiter, is extremely charismatic and knowledgeable (and easy on the eyes, I might add) and walked us through his model home piece by piece, explaining dozens of amazing green features and building methods that I had previously not known much or anything about. From rain harvesting to pedal sinks, these homes are the real deal as far as efficiency is concerned. Also, after watching their process, I am totally a modular home convert. I always thought modular home = a home made quickly with less quality OR a trailer, like one of those truck- bed sized homes you see cruising down the highway with the escort vehicles. At best, I thought of a very modern one room structure that would make a nice studio or guest house, but is not super practical for much else.
Boy was I wrong! These are real, complete houses made to fit a traditional American architectural vernacular. Hence the name, The New Old Green Modular (NOGM). The NOGM is built inside, which makes for faster construction (no weather hold ups and happier contractors!) and less waste (2% compared to 30- 40% on a job site). It can be put together on your site in ONE DAY, once it’s been built and shipped.
Also, with NOGM, they are using both modern and time- tested practices in their building (again, why it’s New Old Green Modular). Because let’s face it- our ancestors also knew a hell of a lot about efficiency because they had to in order to SURVIVE. For instance, they use metal roofs, which we’ve always known are widely available and fire resistant, but now know also reflect the sun’s rays (reducing solar heat gain), when done right. They also use gutters and underground cisterns to collect run-off rain water, which is then used for landscaping and your non- potable water items, like the toilet. The exterior is very tight- all windows, siding, and insulation is made to the best energy efficient standards. The initial cost to build one of these homes is a bit more, but you make up for it in your maintenance and utilities costs, in not too long.
New World Home has several plans to choose from, in a variety of sizes. However, don’t expect to find any McMansions. Part of their philosophy is based on ideas that we also don’t need as much house as we’ve come to expect in this age of excess and materialism.
Below are pictures from their Country Living model, which shows you just how sexy a green modular home can be. However, if their stock plans don’t do it for you, they will work with your local architect or builder to incorporate their methods with your dream plan…even if it is that McMansion. Hey- every little bit helps! If that’s what you want, better to build it right!
The Country Living House of the Year 2010 was a New World Home, built in downtown Manhattan for a temporary exhibition. Pretty cool.
Living Room. Most of the furnishings were made from reclaimed and sustainable materials as well. All woods, paints, wallpapers and fabrics were also low VOC, meaning they do not off-gas yucky chemicals over time.
Love the wallpapered ceiling and upholstered chairs with hydrangea pattern stenciled on! Also, one interesting fact- they only build with gas fireplaces. Apparently the traditional ones are very inefficient and actually suck hot air from the room when it’s cold out… bummer, because I love a crackling, wood-buring fire!
The kitchen faucet uses a step- peddle to function, preventing you from wasting water… cool in theory, but could be a bit problematic when filling those big pasta pots. However, I think the trade-off is pretty worth it! Also, still beats going out to the well and hand pumping it, right? (The counters are made with recycled materials and the cabinets are all low VOC/ sustainable woods.)
Powder room hung with vintage wallpaper.
Mud room…. my dream space. I don’t have one, so I totally have Mud Room envy. The counters are bamboo- very sustainable.
Upstairs bath. The mirror frames are made from old bourbon barrels… Josh and I need these! Also, the vanity is a repurposed dresser. They only use on-demand hot-water heaters, which are apparently much better now than they used to be. Very efficient and save you tons of $$ in utilities!
Master closet. I mean… what more do I need to say?
Master bedroom with my favorite: wood paneled walls.
These built-ins, in the guest room, are a great idea but they needs some pulls… look a little naked. I do loves me some built-ins though!
Dreaming of warmer wheather…