Pre-fab homes are a very credible option for high performance home construction.
When it comes to high efficiency sustainable housing, until recently prefab homes didn't even show up on the radar. A few companies in recent years have taken huge steps to change that, notably with the recent completion of the Beachaus I in the White Rock / South Surrey area of BC, built by Inhaus Developments Ltd.
Inside and out the design of this home is not what you would expect from prefab. It's 2085 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a large separate office/studio space and naturally lit open concept living areas.
Modern 'high performance' homes like this one offer homeowners surprisingly intelligent system automation and a lot more control over their living environment. With that comes increased comfort and higher energy efficiency.
It might seem a little intimidating at first to those of us who only had to worry about turning off the stove when we left the house, but once you get used to an automated home, you won't want to live without it. For example, if you leave and forget to close the skylight, it will close automatically when it starts to rain, as well as open automatically if the temperature goes above 22C.
An important part of certifying homes to LEED standards is education. Homeowners are taught about their operating systems and how to use them, so you aren't left scratching your head with a stack of manuals.
One feature that the gadget freaks will love about the Beachaus I is the ipad mounted into the wall. This is the systems control centre and it can be operated with a smartphone. You can remotely control temperature, lighting, music and it can also open and close curtains to even further maximise your passive solar gain.
Not only is this a high efficiency home, it's a healthy home as well. Indoor contaminants were kept to a minimum by installing formaldehyde-free solid wood cabinets and zero VOC paints and finishes.
Some other features that this home includes are:
- HEPA filtered air exchanger
- Low-E fiberglass framed windows
- In-floor radiant heating
- Air-to-water heat exchange system as principal heat source
- Energy usage monitoring system
- Rainwater harvesting system
- Carbonized bamboo floors
- Custom open bamboo staircase
- FSC Certified solid wood cabinetry
- High efficiency toilets
- Pre-wiring for electric vehicle charging
Beachaus I is now waiting for its final certification of LEED Platinum from the Canada Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized rating system that encourages sustainable building practices, and Platinum is the highest level of certification. Congratulations to Inhaus Development Ltd. for a great design.
For more information, please visit inhaus.ca