Over the past decade, the growth rate of the manufactured housing industry has been dramatic, and affordability has played a key role. Today's manufactured homes offer the quality, value, and technologically advanced features that homebuyers desire. Features include vaulted ceilings, walk-in closets, fireplaces, state-of-the-art appliances, spacious floorplans, customization packages, two-story models, and exterior designs compatible with almost any neighborhood. Manufactured homes are built in a factory-controlled environment and are required to meet the strict HUD Code, which was established by the Federal Government to regulate the design, construction, and safety of these homes. The HUD Code sets standards for heating, plumbing, air conditioning, thermal and electrical systems, structural design, construction, transportation, energy efficiency, and fire safety.
In May 2000, PATH unveiled the Next Generation Manufactured House, or NextGen House. This innovative house demonstrates how factory-built homes will perform in the future and how they will be virtually indistinguishable from conventional site-built properties. From a design and engineering perspective, one of the project's biggest achievements has been NextGen's remarkable energy performance. Recent computer analyses show that the home not only qualified for an ENERGY STAR label, but it exceeded that program's performance requirements by nearly 20 percent. For the homeowner, this amounts to reduced annual energy costs. This is an important consideration for affordable housing units, where monthly operating costs can influence an owner's ability to pay the mortgage. NextGen is one of the ways PATH contributes to research for improved manufactured housing that will meet PATH's goal for housing throughout the next decade.
Content updated on 5/28/2004