These homes have earned the federal certification of EnergyStar® by Environmental Protection Agency. EnergyStar® is a federal government certification that means the home has been independently verified to be at least 30% more energy-efficient than most homes. These homes have dual-pane thermal windows, extra insulation in floors, walls, and ceilings, (exceed R-54 total house), and ducting throughout the home for air flow. EnergyStar® homes contribute to improved home quality and homeowner comfort, and to lower energy demand, reduced air pollution, and lower cost of maintenance.
Sustainable and “Green”
As an island community, we are aware of the problems with our overloaded landfills. Using a component home that is manufactured elsewhere eliminates the debris that is usually associated with site-built housing. This is a “green” solution to our housing needs. Because these homes are built in large climate-controlled factories using assembly line production systems, 90% of the construction debris throughout the plant is recycled to be used elsewhere. For example, several sheets of lumber are cut with laser machines, and the minimal waste is recycled to be used as insulation filler, and for other uses.
The Federal Building Code (HUD code) is part of the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act. The HUD code is performance based, which means that factories can take advantage of current technology, improved construction methods, and superior raw materials. HUD code enforcement is more uniform and consistent because inspections take place in the Building Center under controlled conditions. Year-round production and delivery of FABMAC houses to Hawai’i is possible, using these factories. Each home is custom built to our specifications, and, in general, factory-built homes have 20% more lumber, and 30% more fasteners than site-built homes. They are able to withstand trucking or shipping over several hundred or thousands of miles.
All plumbing fixtures, electrical connections and lights, wood cabinets, ceramic sinks, and 1/2″ sheetrock interiors, are installed at the factory, and can easily be repaired using parts available at most hardware stores today. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 required HUD to revise its energy efficiency standards. New rules for manufacturers took effect in October 1994. Homes built after that date must have the following:
- Higher insulation levels
- Double-pane windows in all zones
- Ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms
- A whole-house ventilation rate of 0.10 air changes per hour. When added to the average natural ventilation rate for new manufactured homes of 0.25 air changes per hour, this meets the 0.35 air changes per hour rate recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for residences.
FABMAC factories are building homes that exceed the minimum HUD insulation standards, and that have advanced, energy-efficient ventilation systems to maintain healthy indoor air quality even with very tight construction. Such homes use 50% less energy for space heating than homes built to the minimum HUD standards. These factories are partners in the ENERGY STAR® and Building America Programs.