Prefabricated homes a green option for new buyers

For buyers looking for the ultimate in energy efficiency in a prospective residence, an increasingly popular option is one that involves constructing new homes in a factory as opposed to on-site.

According to Sherri Koones, the author of four books about prefabricated homes, the average factory-made model is significantly more environmentally friendly than a house constructed in the field because it reduces waste. Instead of materials being thrown into a dumpster, the prefabrication method promotes the recycling of discarded items to use in other factory made residences, Koones told the Associated Press.

The author also claimed that the quality of the final product is much higher in comparison when a home is built using the assembly-line model that manufacturers of appliances and automobiles have revolutionized.

"Would you want your car to be built in your driveway? Of course you wouldn't. You want your car made in a climate-controlled factory by skilled professionals on an assembly line. Wouldn't you want the same thing for your home?" said Koones in the story.

Many companies have sprouted up over the past few year that are in the market to specifically design environmentally friendly houses that earn the governments coveted Learders in Energy Efficiency Design (LEED) certification. Seattle-based Greenfab, for example, lets buyers play an active role in every part of the design process to make sure their homes are comfortable as well as green.

Whether moving into one of these factory built homes or looking to make your current residence more energy efficient, an energy audit from and a home inspection should be your first step.