Listen Up #RVA – Smart Affordable Modular Homes

The concept is simple and efficient; durable, sustainable, and smart. It saves the homeowner thousands in energy costs while helping the environment. More comfortable to live in and it takes less time to build. It produces less waste (~80% less waste) and it is stronger. What is it? High-performance, super energy-efficient and affordable modular homes or panelized homes that are available NOW!

I’ve read countless articles on prefabricated, panelized, and modular homes while designing our retirement home. To be clear, we’re not talking about trailers or what is typically referred to as “manufactured” or “mobile” homes (tornado bait).

Affordable Modular Homes

We are building either a modular or panelized retirement home. It is a passion of mine and I want to learn more. Details will be published here so stay tuned but in the interim . . . I just read an article on how they are getting affordable housing accomplished in Houston, Texas. You guessed it, modular homes, BOXPREFAB AIMS TO BRIDGE THE HOUSING GAP WITH MODULAR CONSTRUCTION. The following is a brief case study of a home built by Box Prefab. It is for those interested in a better way to build your home.

A three-bedroom, two-bath home is completed in 90 days. Note that’s half the time it takes to build a similar stick-built home onsite. In addition, no material shortages, no labor no shows, or weather exposure during construction. The envelope includes high-efficiency spray foam insulation, low-e insulated windows, low-maintenance materials and magnesium oxide siding (rainscreen). It is safe to say this home is likely 2-3 times more energy efficient than any home that was just built in an RVA (Richmond, VA) residential development.

affordable modular home

We need more affordable housing here in RVA. Not only that, we need RVA builders to get the message that modular and panelized homes are winners for your typical development as well. They’ll sell as fast as you can build them and it takes less time to build them – do the math!

We’re really passionate about ways that we can use this system to bring affordability to housing,” says Rame. “We understand the need for it, that’s something we’re passionate about as well. That’s what led us to work on this project with Avenue CDC and tackle some of the affordable housing issues. We want to deliver premium prefab in a way that’s reliable, transparent, and easier for people to do. At the same time, we need the scale and opportunity to help bring good design to affordable housing.

The home is intended to be the first in a scalable line of properties within the range of affordability for families priced out of Houston’s housing market. (SOURCE: Builder article published October 16, 2020)

Universal Design

Several universal design principals are used to build the home, such as low-threshold shower, transition-less and slip-resistant flooring, lever-style door hardware, and bright finishes for greater visibility. Also included are LED lighting, low-VOC paints, and efficient plumbing fixtures, appliances, a smart doorbell and security system. Other desired features of universal design include: zero-step entry and wider hallways for increased access by all (i.e., wheelchairs).

This is just one example of how we can improve our homes. Let’s improve them for ourselves and for future generations that come along after us.

Greg Magnus

Homeowner General Contractor (GC), Professional Geologist (PG), President, AIM Custom Media (

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