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Q: Manufactured housing design trends ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Manufactured housing design trends
Category: Business and Money > Consulting
Asked by: bruce1970-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 13 Sep 2003 19:54 PDT
Expires: 13 Oct 2003 19:54 PDT
Question ID: 255589
We are developing several manufactured housing villages specifically
for the retirement market in Victoria Australia.  The standard of
designs for manufactured housing in Australia is currently very poor
and dated.

For our new villages we are wishing to draw upon the lastest design
trend from around the world for both single story and double story
manufactured and modular homes.  We are particularly interested in
modern and coastal designs that make inovative use of materials and
natural light.
Subject: Re: Manufactured housing design trends
Answered By: digsalot-ga on 14 Sep 2003 06:39 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello there

There are interesting things happening in the world of manufactured
homes.  First of all, I live in one.  A double wide three bedroom on a
permanent foundation.  With the landscaping, back sun deck and front
bay windows, it looks as good as any stick built in the area.  A
couple of the researchers saw pictures of it over the 4th of July and
can verify it is a good looking house (especially with my flower

You will also notice that I will be providing what might be considered
just a list of links.  The reason is that so many of the articles I am
directing you to are large enough that trying to paraphrase them or
quote them in their entirety, would create an unwieldy post with
probably more confusion than not.

The information is here, it is just still all in 'their' words at
'their' place.

"Ground Breaking Manufactured Housing Project Going Largely Unnoticed"
- This article from "Realty Times - Real Estate News and Advice," is
about a new manufactured housing community located in Seattle,
Washington. - - - - "Some 60 of the homes are either two-story,
single-family detached manufactured homes -- the first in the Pacific
Northwest -- or two-story manufactured row townhomes, perhaps the
first in the nation...You'd never know the porched Craftsman-style
homes with pitched roofs and energy-efficient windows were factory
produced unless you witnessed the crane settling the sections into
place." - quote from the Realty Times article.

This article has to do with sales and trends.  I think you will find
it interesting reading. - - - "Manufactured homes, those prebuilt
dwellings long derided for being of low quality, have enjoyed a design
renaissance -- and the business of building them is poised for a
resurgence."  this article goes on to describe how even the 'well to
do' are looking at manufactured housing as a place to purchase second
or vacation homes.
- From the Real Estate Journal, a part of the Wall Street Journal.

Here you will find targeted some of the improvements and design trends
since the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act 2000. - - -
"State-of-the-art technology and design ensure that homes are built
efficiently and affordably. In addition to single-section and
multisection models, two-story and duplex homes are becoming more
common. Not only is manufactured housing becoming increasingly
appealing to homebuyers, but builder-developers are taking notice as
well. Customized packages, exterior designs, and on-site additions
such as porches and garages, make the homes compatible with almost any
Quote from the "Manufactured Housing Industry Highlights and Trends" -

This page will tell you about how a large company is setting trend in
manufactured housing: - - - "Five years ago Benchmark’s line was one
of the first in the area to offer 9-ft. ceilings, transom windows and
42-inch cabinets, standard. Now they are revamping their line to
reflect design trends and customer demand, while still staying within
the same price point, from $160,000 to $250,000." - - - At this same
website, you will find links to other articles about the manufactured
housing industry as well as housing in general.  Much of the
information is from companies which produce both manufactured and
modular units.  On the page called "Giants article," you will find
some interesting data such as: - - "With 348,671 units delivered in
1999 representing 20% of all new home sales, manufactured housing is
emerging as a crucible of technology and marketing innovation in the
home building industry." Quotes are from Reed Business Online/Housing

"Innovations at the Cutting Edge--New Ideas in Manufactured Housing" -
I usually don't include resources which have to be purchased.  But do
to the nature of the question and your desire to have accurate
information about trends, etc, this document from the US Department of
Housing and Urban Development may well be worth an investment.  It is
85 pages, you would purchase it directly from the department and thus
assure yourself of the authority the resource represents, it is $5 US.
 You can order online: - From HUD

Now, we have "Next Generation of Manufactured Housing: Design Phase
(April 1997, 150 p.)" - Same as above except this report is $10 US.

This next article is also from HUD but you won't have to buy it.  It
is a 57 page article dealing with a subject important to home design:
- - - "As a result of this effort, the efficiency of the air
distribution systems (ADS) constructed at 16 manufactured home plants
whose parent companies produce over 85,000 homes per year was
dramatically improved. The average rate of duct leakage to the outside
was reduced to 3.7 percent from 13.6 percent observed in earlier
studies of homes produced at some of these plants." - - - The full
text file is in PDF format and available from the page -

Here I am going to insert a website which is not part of HUD, but as a
counterpoint to the article above.  While air leakage is important,
there is another part of that design to consider.  "Manufactured Homes
Stir Up Indoor Air Quality Concerns" - - - "Manufactured homes are
assembled in a factory in a shorter time frame then a site-built
house, and as a result there has been some concern that the gasses and
odors that are naturally emitted by many building materials do not
have sufficient opportunity to escape the structure. Potentially
compounding that problem is that fact that manufactured homes utilize
a number of adhesives and sealants in the assembly process to keep
outside air infiltration to a minimum, and a "tighter" house has more
potential for indoor air quality problems." - quote from: - From
Now, back to HUD again and here is their main page about manufactured
housing.  You will find everything from buyer information, to
construction, to inspection, to statutes covering the manufactured
housing industry in the US.

HUD manages the Technical Suitability of Products Program from its
Headquarters in Washington, DC.

The telephone number is (202) 708-6423; FAX number (202) 708-4213. 

The mailing address is: 

Manufactured Housing and Standards Division 
Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs,
Department of Housing and Urban Development 
451 7th St. SW, Room 9154
Washington, D.C. 20410-8000

They also have an email address specific to the term "Minimum Property

You may contact them directly from this page:

or - 

In Japan, manufactured housing is called "industrialized housing."

"A Preliminary Assesement of Industrialized Housing Utilizing Regional
Resources" - This is a good overview of the industry in Japan and
features some of the changes and trends underway. - - - "It is
reasonable to believe that tapping the urban/rural potential through
industrialized housing and other human needs could witness the
development of one of this world's richest ecosystems."

The Japanese have some extraordinary ideas about the subject.

"Jetset - Designs for modern living: Future House..." - here you will
see a manufactured home designed by Oskar Leo Kaufmann of Austria. - -
- "it’s supremely energy-efficient, and of extraordinarily high
construction quality. You’d love to have one, but there’s a catch. The
award-winning dwelling is not legal in much of the United States,
because, you see, it’s a mobile home."  The article might amaze you
concerning manufactured homes in the US.

"The Journal - the Magazine for Manufactured Housing Professionals" -
- While you will need a subscription to access everything, if you are
looking for some design ideas, there are changing images on the
opening page and a gallery.  It is not a "trailer" any more

A fairly common theme is making a manufactured home environmentally
friendly.  When you read the material from Japan, you will find that
is one of their main goals.  There are other experiments in design
taking place such as this: - "Zero Energy Manufactured Home Project"

It includes such features as:
Icynene Insulation
6 kW Photovoltaic System - grid connected
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating System
Energy Star Windows, Appliances and Lighting
Energy Star Heating/Cooling Equipment - Insider Heat Pump
Heat Recovery Ventilation System
Passive Solar Design  

You can learn about the whole project and what the impact might be on
future design. - a US gov

For more information, contact:

Michael Lubliner
Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program
925 Plum St. NE
Olympia, WA 98504

Adam Hadley
Bonneville Power Administration
Mail Stop: PND-1
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208
(503) 230-4631

In conjunction with the 'green' theme established above, here is
"Testimony on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star
Programs."  These findings will have a big influence on manufactured
housing design. - - - "As an example of EPA's continuing improvement
of the program, the manufactured housing sector has joined the Energy
Star program and large scale labeling will begin this year. Because of
the increasing prevalence of manufactured homes and the more
controlled environment in which they are constructed, the energy
savings are expected to be very significant. Over the last seven
years, manufactured housing has accounted for approximately 21 percent
of new single family housing.  On average over the last seven years,
318,000 units of manufactured housing have been placed each year." - From The Polyisocyanurate
Insulation Manufacturers Association

This is a commercial site - "Country Heritage Homes -  Design
Collection" - - These homes also make a greater use of glass and
natural light than most others I've seen so I thought they might be of
interest to you.  I like them.  The gallery has some stunning "house
trailers."  Stick built owners should be so lucky. - website of Country
Heritage Homes

Here is another resource for keeping up with design issues.  It is the
"Manufactured Housing Institute."  However, even if you don't become a
member, there is a lot of material available free, mostly quick links
to related subjects.  I can make no recommendation as to whether you
join or not but look over the site and see if there is any interest. 
It should be a good resource. - website of the
"Manufactured Housing Institute"

"Affordable Housing: Manufactured Homes" - This is a fact sheet
produced by the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This publication discusses the benefits
of manufactured housing, including design, affordability,
energy-efficiency features, and safety.  -

While closer to home:

In Australia there are also some interesting things in the works.  You
will notice that till now, most of the information comes from US
sources.  A quote from the article I'm going to give you may explain
why: - - "Apart from the USA, international experience of affordable
manufactured detached housing is negligible. The European and Asian
examples are largely based on high-density construction due to their
concentrated town centres and hence do not provide any useful lessons
which can be transferred to an Australian."
- Government of New South Wales

Here is an article on innovative design from CNN. - "Double-decker
manufactured homes make most of small lots" - a few photos (I don't
like the color of that house) and information about the concept. - From CNN News

Geodesic dome design has its place in the manufactured home as well: -
- "Housing technology has changed very little since framing replaced
the log cabin. Modifications have been made to improve efficiency and
strength, but they have also increased cost. We applied some American
ingenuity to the geodesic dome home, designed a unique component home
building system utilizing advanced home construction technology, and
developed a superior modular home plan." - From American Ingenuity Domes - a commercial

And of course as you improve your designs, the foundation will become
an important piece of the design element.  Once again, this is a
commercial page but it has some good basic information. - From Baker foundations Inc

Another commercial page about foundation design which is a little more
detailed: - website of ANZER
Their homepage is here:

You may be interested at looking at some existing floor plans.  This
is the "Manufactured and Mobile Homes Catalog of Floor Plans."  You
have to dig a little bit and get to the local dealer.  It is on that
level the floor plans are displayed.  There may be hundreds available.
 The search interface is fairly simple. - From

And here are looks at some manufactured home planned
communities/villages.  I will let each speak for itself. -
"West Branch is home to one of Eastern Iowa's premier manufactured
home communities. West Branch Village provides affordable living in an
attractive, safe neighborhood."
- "The benefits of living in a manufactured home community over
private land are compelling...When you move your home into a Sun
community, you will receive lots of added value and a tremendous cost
savings over private land, and enjoy a great buying experience."

Camelot Communities - Here you can explore several of their
communities.  Each link takes you to a different community with a
photo and good description. - - website of Camelot
Communities - Some communities in Arizona -
From Manufactured Housing Industry of Arizona - "Outstanding available
features include gabled roofs, low maintenance siding, command-central
kitchens, cathedral ceilings, skylights, wood-burning fireplaces,
luxurious master baths with whirlpool tubs and walk-in closets, plus a
host of other options. These manufactured homes offer the latest
energy-efficient technology and rival even the most expensive
site-built residences in the immediate area." - From Moceri
Manufactured Home communities

One of the drawbacks to this kind of an answer is that so many makers
of manufactured homes have added their own innovations and
improvements in design, and each of these companies talks about their
design innovations only on their own websites.

If we took it company by company, the commercial listings here would
be in the hundreds, even after we sifted out the ones where
innovations were not that great or dramatic.

I have tried to select resources covering as wide a scope on the
subject of design as possible.

I hope the above gives you at least a start on what could be a very
interesting project.

Search - Google
Terms - manufactured housing, manufactured housing asia,
industrialized housing japan, manufactured housing europe, innovations
+in manufactured housing, design trends manufactured housing, style
trends manufactured housing

If I may clarify anything, please ask.


Request for Answer Clarification by bruce1970-ga on 14 Sep 2003 18:05 PDT
Thankyou for your answer however while some of the information was of
general interest much of it I already had and very little of it
specically addressed the question.

I was specifically after inovation in designs (ie. external
elevations, floor plans) that are modern (ie. new and experimental,
not following traditional styles) and approprate for coastal locations
(ie. the architecture stlye is approprate for a beach house) and make
innovative use materials (ie. a new way of using building materials)
and natural light (ie. designs with lots of windows or skylights). 
Photos and floor plans of trendy, modern, beach styled single and
double story modular (manufactured) homes is what I am after!!

I am not expecting a huge list of links just a few well selected and
relavant links.

Many thanks 


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 14 Sep 2003 18:32 PDT
Ok, thanks for giving a more detailed and specified direction.  That
will narrow things down nicely.  Before there was so much latitude, I
tried to be as broad as possible.

Back to you in about a day.  


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 15 Sep 2003 12:47 PDT
Hello again
"Thank you for your answer however while some of the information was
of general interest much of it I already had and very little of it
specically addressed the question."

Of course unless there is some way you tell us what you already have,
it is a guessing game for the researchers.  What might seem, and be
touted as, 'cutting edge' in style and material to a researcher, may
be old hat to you.  On the other hand, something which may have been
found tried and true by some particular builders may also be something
seldom heard of or contemplated by other builders and may not even be
claimed as a great advance by its current users.

We also have to depend on what the industry and its regulatory bodies
tell us is cutting edge and experimental design.  And due to the past
nature and fragmentation of the industry, especially in the US with
its recently corrected scandals in the manufactured home industry,
there is a very small body (but growing) of generalized information
available, and most of it is from regulatory sources.  What we as
researchers, and the buying public, have largely to depend on is the
material published by individual builders and what they are touting as
experimental and leading edge technologies and designs.

"I was specifically after inovation in designs (ie. external
elevations, floor plans) that are modern (ie. new and experimental,
not following traditional styles) and approprate for coastal locations
(ie. the architecture stlye is approprate for a beach house) and make
innovative use materials (ie. a new way of using building materials)
and natural light (ie. designs with lots of windows or skylights). 
Photos and floor plans of trendy, modern, beach styled single and
double story modular (manufactured) homes is what I am after!!

Once again, based on what I said above, and what you asked in your
question, I tried to address that.  First of all, when it came to
traditional style and in light of the fact there are some regional
differences as to what constitutes "traditional style,"  I went
through websites dealing with Australian coastal manufactured home
communities.  I know what Ettalong Beach Village, Lakeland Park,
Heritage Estates in Toukley and a few others look like.

What I tried to provide was what did not follow traditional style in
your area.  Because what is traditional style for a manufactured home
in southern Ohio, may be totally alien three states away.  So, since
there is that variable base, I addressed what might well be considered
"new and experimental" in your region, once again based on observable
past tradition.  The concept of what is "traditional" has to be
anchored someplace.  I based that anchor on the location mentioned in
your question.

I also kept the waterfront in mind when choosing the styles I did.  I
avoided the boxy look or the too formal look.  The bulk of the houses
shown are styles that fit with an informal and relaxed setting as well
as being built of materials and exterior coverings which are still
considered unique or even leading edge, according to the claims of the
manufacturer.  That is also why I had links to such things as HUD
documents which covered everything from energy efficiency and ability
to stand up to harsh weather, to foundations, all things important to
a house built at the shore.

Now you know what I mean when I say the question had a lot of latitude
and the fact your clarification request narrowed things down.  I
figured if I explained what the previous research was and why, it may
allow you to provide even more detail as to what you are after.

As it is, the question is completly subjective.  To make it more
objective, I need that anchor as to what you consider "traditional?" 
Breaking with tradition architecturally can involve ultra futeristic
spaceship type designs to a dive into 17th century France.  I have
located one manufactured housing company producing a product
duplicating historic European homes and with a material that looks
like old European limestone.   Most of their work is beach front
design.  The houses even have a hurricaine rating and come complete
with storm shutters.

Would you consider that a break with tradition, or would the use of 
'historic design' cosmetic exteriors nullify it?  Perhaps the use of
concrete, as this company does, is old hat to you or perhaps it really
is the innovative use of material they claim it is.  It could be that
concrete is old hat, but they have a new way of applying it.

I will try to find what seems to be as unusual and innovative sites as
possible.  Then after I post them, perhaps another clarification can
narrow things even more.

Without some close guidance from you, we as researchers have no way of
knowing what resources and knowledge you already have.  What may be
our cutting edge may be yesterday's potatos to you or what we might
consider mundane would be a brand new experiment in Australia.

Looking forward to a fun research.

Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 16 Sep 2003 14:07 PDT
Still at work.  Everything I seem to find that seems good leads to
something else which might be better.

I'm also finding that websites dealing with such topics in general are
few and far between.

What I am doing is going through manufacturers sites one at a time and
finding what each is doing in the way of development and "concept
homes" on their own. (or at least as much as they are willing to say)

While a company might have a rather mundane line, maybe one out of a
hundred designs might fit within your requirements.  I'm trying to
isolate these examples so you won't have to go through a whole website
to find them.  I will also provide the url to the site's main page in
case something catches your eye and you want to know more.

It would seem that development is mostly by individual company rather
than industry wide so I need to look at it from that standpoint, which
takes a little longer.

I have also become fascinated with the subject.


Request for Answer Clarification by bruce1970-ga on 16 Sep 2003 16:37 PDT
May be to assist you I will give you some examples of what I would
consider to be modern architecture.  Modern is something that is new
or different from the norm, out of the ordinary or a break from the
past.  Most of the manufactured units that I saw in my recent visit to
Las Vagas and Pheniox in April followed what I would call a
Californian Bungalow style.  These are typically singel story, with
one large gable roof, facing or parallel to the street with a roof
pitch of 27o to 30o.  The roofs are generally covered with ashpelt
shingles, are clad with horisontal vinal or mock timber pailings which
are painted white or off white and have half hight windows.

Something "modern" might include some of the following eliments:

* Two story
* Flat roof
* Iron roof (Colorbond steel - see )
* Full hight windows
* Vertical cladding, smooth sheets or steel sheeting
* Strong bold colors
* Open internal spaces

Another suggestion is rather than looking at manufacturers web pages
have a go at building suppliers and architects web sites, they often
lead the manufactures in new ideas and trends.  Some architects
specialise in designing homes using maufactured housing modules!!

As mentioned perviously I am particularly interested in external
elevations and inovative use of new (different) building products.

Good luck


Good luck

Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 17 Sep 2003 14:30 PDT
It will probably take one more day.  I'm running into some interesting
beach communities with two story homes, steel clad with stucco
exteriors, and the fact HUD permits zero property line tolerance
(houses can be built right to the property line) allows a town-house
effect.  Roof lines on many of these are fairly flat.

I'm also running into "hinged roofing" which allows a steeper slope
and gives much the same look as site built.

None of these might be spectacular advances or advances which you have
not heard of, but I'm also looking for examples of where these
advances are showing up in combination to produce something new.

I have also run into a fairly small manufactured home, made mostly of
metal, flat roof, front almost all glass, looks like a tool shed
(personal opinion only) but could fit on a very small beachfront


Request for Answer Clarification by bruce1970-ga on 17 Sep 2003 16:22 PDT
What you are talking about now sounds great.

I look forward to receiving your research.


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 17 Sep 2003 18:00 PDT
Hello there

Here is a trial sample.  I figure the best way to do this is get
things to you as I go.  That way, if I get too far afield, you can
provide direction as to what to look for.

As I have gone through this, I found that much of the material and
design that a company says is cutting edge only exists in a model or
two out of their entire line of homes.  I also find that to be the
same with original architecture and those types of plans which would
be good for the beach.
You will find a number of companies mentioned, some intact, and some
broken down in the following ways:   There may only be one or two
items offered by that company which might fall within your topics.  I
will try to isolate those examples rather than sending you to their
general website.  The url of their site will follow the urls to the
special information.  That way, if something catches your eye you can
go to the general website.  If it doesn't, you won't have to wade
through the whole site to find out about it.

 I've also followed your advice and searched out some architects and
building material manufacturers to see what I could come up with.

This place provides for three of the criteria you mentioned; two
story, flat or almost flat roofing, contemporary "California Beach"
design.  Colors are not exciting, but that can always be corrected and
the amount of glass is not overabundant. (though they say every home
has been individually designed for the site so that window views can
be maximized)   However, the outside is clad to resemble stucco rather
than siding or visible panels.

A close up of a couple of the houses can be seen here:
and here: - - click-to-enlarge
images for full view. - - Floor plans for each of these are found as
click-to-enlarge images beneath the house image.

This is Cannery Village, Newport Beach, California
Click on "The Cannery Village Story" to see homes under construction
but more importantly a couple of photos that show what a line up of
these manufactured homes looks like.

In the use of new materials division, here is a press release from
'Plymouth Foam Incorporated' which would be perfect for beach houses
and was in fact designed for them, especially in windy zones.

"Plymouth Foam Inc., a leading manufacturer of high performance
cellular foam plastic insulation, has developed the first expanded
polystyrene (EPS) wall sheathing product that is Wind Zone III rated
for manufactured home applications. Gold-Guard Z3 exceeds the strength
requirements set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) for wall sheathing material in manufactured homes
placed in Wind Zone II and III areas of the United States . . . Wind
Zones II and III cover the majority of a 50 to 100 mile wide swath of
the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from North Carolina through Texas, all of
Florida and Hawaii, and parts of Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia and
Alaska. Wind Zones II and II are so classified for their
susceptibility to extreme winds and hurricanes, and are among the most
active areas in the U.S. for new residential housing activity." -

From website of Plymouth Foam Incorporated

Another news item about the use of foam in manufactured housing: -
"WASHINGTON, June 20, 2000 - The first-ever manufactured home built
entirely from energy efficient foam core panels has been produced as
part of a US Department of Energy initiative to reengineer the
American home for energy efficiency and affordability. The
demonstration home was built at Champion Enterprises' Silverton,
Oregon, factory and is expected to have heating and cooling costs up
to 50 percent lower than a manufactured home built to the minimum
housing code says Energy Secretary Bill Richardson." - quote from
"EarthVision Environmental News"

Even more, it is the second story down: - "The home is now undergoing
rigorous testing that so far shows superior strength and energy
efficiency. . . Structurally, the home is superior in terms of wind
and seismic resistance, snow load and soundproofing." - quote from
oikos - Iris Communications

I promise I will not crack any jokes about styrofoam houses.
Building materials again.

Here is something called "the monolithic dome." - - "Once this has set
up, the resulting building is about as tough as anything made by man.
Domes of this sort have withstood hurricanes and earthquakes; even
cannonshot would not knock one of these down!"

It is about a quarter of the way down the page and includes photo. 
The entire page is about experimental building materials.  You may
find something else that interests you.

Near the bottom is a link to Solar Pyramid Homes. The photo puts it
into the realm of cutting edge.  However, the website is still under
construction.  I am listing it anyway since the concept might be new
enough you may want to keep checking back till their website is

According to this website, which redirects to the new website above - - "will be announcing the first
manufactured structural kit for the OASIS-1499 (a 2BR-2B model) at: very soon."

email for the architect Ron Hexum at: - just in
case you might want to get a little jump on the website.

I think you knew I would include this one, just because it is somewhat

Here is an unsual use of materials but with some classic designs, by
classic I mean French Style, luxury and old world charm.  Many of the
houses were designed as beachfront properties and are labeled as so. 
They are even rated for tropical storms and other beach front weather.

The material is an old one used in a different way.  We are speaking
of concrete that is finished off to look like European limestone.  As
you explore the website you will find drawings, photos,  floor plans
and elevations.  The use of glass is perhaps not as extensive as you
would like, but the fact these homes were designed for the beach front
made them an item of interest.

Since this company puts so much attention to the safety of the houses
during storms and even provided hurricaine shutters as part of the
package, it may be that in some instances large expanses of glass at
the beach would be impractical, especially if the house is built where
storms may be a regular feature of the environment.

They certainly do not follow any traditional style, if traditional
style is defined by what has been done in the manufactured home
industry in the past.

The page dedicated to "Luxury Home Design" shows more expanse of glass
than do the others.  Some of the beach houses even have lookout

"Home Plans for DAC-ART Building System concrete modular homes"

I also notice you use the words "modular" and "manufactured" almost
interchangably.  Here, they do have different meanings.  While both
may even be built at the same plant, the manufactured home is on a
chassis and is moved to the site in a section/sections and dropped on
its foundation.  A modular home is essentially brought in to the
building site in assorted pre-made 'pieces' and assembled on the spot.

Are we on the same wave length and do you want information on both? 


Request for Answer Clarification by bruce1970-ga on 17 Sep 2003 19:29 PDT
Dear Digs

Cannery Village, Newport Beach, California is right on the mark.  this
is the sort thing that I have been looking for.  If you have any more
links along these lines PLEASE send them through.

As for your question of definition between manufactured and modular

Manufactured - built in factory with chassy and wheels, single story..
Modular - built in bactory and put on a trailer and crained into
position, often used for two story homes
Panel - built in prefabricted panels and errected on site
Site built (stick built) - built entirely on site

Fortunately cyclones are not a proplem in Victoria.

Many thanks and good luck.


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 18 Sep 2003 03:39 PDT
This village is featuring two story houses and is competing well with
neighboring stick built sub-divisions.  While roofs aren't flat, if
you look at the first click-to-enlarge image of the village, the
'variety' keeps away the manufactured all rooflines the same quality.

The houses are not joined as in the townhouse line up but are single
and erected in 'clusters' with open space around.  These homes have
traditional amenities such as basements, garages and porches.

It is "New Colony Village" between Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

"Technology Roadmapping for Manufactured Homes" I am including this,
not just because it is a long document from HUD which attempts to lay
out the future technological developments in manufactured housing, but
because of some of the photos which are interspersed through it.  Most
are of two story units and how they are being used.  No flat roofs,
but perhaps some good community planning images.  Plus all the stuff
from HUD.
It is a PDF file

On page 13 you will see a picture of the CanAlfa's Liberty Village
development displaying stacked three story townhouses.  A search of
reports about CanAlfa shows the company as yet to generate any
reports- units built last year 0   That non-review of CanAlfa is here:
- - - If the
image is any indication, multi-story manufactured and modular
construction may be just at its beginning.  The buildings have flat
roofs and intersting outside textures which looks as though it
contains some cobble stone finish walls. -
A PDF file - The website is "Building Excellence Magazine - The
Official Magazine of the Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute"  It
is a full online publication and you may find much more in it that I
did.  There are commercial pages, pages about materials, and more. 
Many images of two story homes.

On page 23, you will find two story brick finish manufactured
townhomes at "English Village" in Detroit, Michigan.  Traditional
styling but very untraditional for manufactured housing. (at least
from what I'm seeing)

I went through page by page.  Those are the only two that jumped out a
little and that was based on design rather than any other factors. 
You may find materials information that I would have overlooked.

Ok, this goes back to a technical side of design.  You said you have
little to worry about from cyclones.  I have no idea of what the
seismic activity is in your area.  So, I'm including this.  During the
Northridge quake in California, the building I was in lost its bottom
floor though those of us on the second floor didn't even have cracks
in the plaster when things settled down.  So, if you do have quakes,
this might be of interest. - A PDF file - From
"Automated Builder" Magazine - just 1 article only two pages.

Here is their main website: -

No - this answer is not done.  

It may never be.  

This is turning into one of those subjects that gets more fascinating
the deeper I get into it.  Maybe being a retired archaeologist has
something to do with it?  I'm interested in seeing what they will be
digging up in 3000 years.

By "It may never be," I mean that with the very volume of material out
there, new things happening every day, and leads leading to more
leads, it has gotten to the point that spending a couple of hours a
day on this question has become a way to relax.  You've given me a
research hobby.

So be prepared to receive bits and pieces all the time.  Some days may
have only a couple, some days a dozen or more.

That will also give you a better opportunity to point things in the
direction you want, and who knows, as time passes, the directions may

It also means that you will wind up with a lot more information than
would normally be given in an answer of a single post.

More tomorrow.


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 19 Sep 2003 16:28 PDT
Was down most of the day yesterday till the storm passed.  What I am
looking for is the expanded use of glass in manufactured homes.  Due
to energy restraint considerations, at least in the US, so far all I
have uncovered is the addition of sunrooms after the house has been
sited.  The houses I have found with the most glass are some of the
luxury lines covered in the original answer which was already common
knowledge for you.  So I'm still looking here.

I will go ahead and include a couple of pages from companies who build
sunrooms and conservatories with an idea of perhaps offering them as
options to be built on site, such as some garage additions, decks,
etc.  I realize the sunroom concept is not something new for you but
I'm alsolooking for things which in combination might create something

From this company, "The Easy Living Collection" may work with
manufactured housing.

Here you will find a company who deals in "manufactured" sunrooms and
since they also deal with modular type construction can even have the
sunroom or glass wall designed as part of the house.  You will find
models, floor plans and elevations. - "Greco Homes and Sunrooms"

This company's products may work perfectly with a manufactured home.  - "Sunporch"

This company is at the top end of the field and some of their designs
might go with larger two story houses and a clientel who can afford
it. - Website of Tanglewood Glass

This brings us back to domes again, some with interesting window
features such as skylights as "rose" type windows.  They certainly
could be called "contemporary." - -
"Dome Homes - Modular Homes Manufacturers" - needless to say, there
are no flat roofs here.

Still looking

Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 21 Sep 2003 16:23 PDT
"Royalty Custom Homes - modular construction contractor..." - "Faster
Than Site-Built - "Better Built" Than Site-Built - Less Expensive Than
Site-Built - Same Mortgage Rate as Site-Built - Same Appraisal Values
as Site-Built

These are multi-family modular homes which may be excellent at the
waterfront.  A mix of styles from traditional to contemporary.  What
plans are online are for single family homes but you might be able to
get multi-resident plans from the company if you ask. - Some
interesting photos - From "Royalty Custom Homes"

I also got back a reply from an email I sent to the company that built
the manufactured home I live in.  I asked about senior housing and
contemporaty style.  His reply was that while they had considered such
a thing (they do modular as well as manufactured), contemporary styles
did not really appeal to seniors (of course things could be different
in australia).  The small community they had built as an over 55
project was entirely contemporary with glass fronts and white gravel
roofs.  They had to open it up to any age group as those mostly
interested in contemporary style were younger and still in the work
force.  It would seem the retirees here are more interested in
familiarity and comfort than being on the leading edge of style

I know that was not part of your question but I just thought I would
pass it along.

There is also the question as to what is being touted as
"contemporary" style in the industry.  for example, the second image
down is what is being called "contemporary" by a major builder and it
is by no means close to what you are looking for. - website of "Modular Homes
by CRM"

I'm beginning to think that one of the reasons there are so few
examples of what you are looking for to find, is that of yet, there
haven't been that many built or in the planning stages.

That doesn't mean I'm giving up the quest.  But with thousands of
pages to search through, I'm going to pretty much have to stumble over
them by accident.

As I do, I will send it your way.


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 23 Sep 2003 19:24 PDT
Just for the heck of it, I sent out some emails to a few of the
companies we have covered here.  I've asked them if they have any
'architectural experiment' projects in the works that they would be
willing to talk about.  Might be interesting to see what they say.

This is becoming a hobby.

bruce1970-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Manufactured housing design trends
From: contax-ga on 14 Sep 2003 08:42 PDT
I don't know if this is useful to you, but this is a US based company
that I think produces nice looking housing.

Good luck!

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