Compass Greater NY, LLC
Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES, Compass Greater NY, LLCPhone: (917) 623-0624
Email: annmarie.damashek[email protected]

Are Prefab Homes Sustainable?

by Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES 12/19/2021

"vipp's prefab shelter" by Nicolás Boullosa licensed under CC BY 2.0

Prefabricated homes come with many advantages. They require less time and less labor than traditional building process and still allow you to own your own home with a much smaller budget. Sustainability is another key factor discussed among builders and buyers alike. Builders promote prefabricated homes as being eco-friendly and efficient options for homeowners, but it isn’t always clear exactly how they fit that criteria. Here we will go over some key reasons that prefab homes can be more sustainable than other homes.

Less Waste

Prefabricated homes are extremely resource-efficient when compared to traditional construction. The various pieces of a prefab home are built in factories rather than assembled at the build site, typically using modern assembly-line processes. Specialized technicians and craftspeople oversee and manage the construction in a quality-controlled environment. Everything built in these facilities is subject to strict manufacturing codes and guidelines to ensure the best possible quality and safety. This means less waste from damaged or unused materials because of production errors or transportation issues. Putting the structures together on the foundation also requires very little additional resource usage when compared to traditional building techniques that require extensive temporary support structures.

Prefab homes can reduce waste of material but also waste of time. One of the most attractive features of a prefab home is how quickly it can be assembled—sometimes within a single week. Even though the parts need to be delivered to the building site, a single entity and team of professionals coordinate every part of the process. There are fewer risks related to labor issues, transportation delays and other logistical time-wasters. They spend less time building the house and more time on perfecting the production techniques and efficiency.

Energy Efficient

Prefab homes are energy efficient for several reasons. The uniformity and efficiency of the manufacturing and building processes means better quality control over things like insulation and weather sealing. Building seams are tight and secure because they build the components to be the correct size and shape every time. When connected to an electrical grid, a prefab home will help you save money on heating and cooling by keeping the indoor environment indoors. Modern insulation and windows are included standard and low-energy lighting is a common upgrade option. Some homes are even self-sufficient and use state-of-the-art solar panels which can allow you to live “off the grid” in some situations.

The house itself is not the only energy-efficient aspect to prefab home building. The streamlined nature of the process—from manufacturing facility to your foundation—reduces emissions and resource consumption by cutting down the required transportation. Builders do not have to ship materials all over the continent or overseas in order to build your home. Quicker construction means fewer trips back and forth for the crew. These factors combine for a low carbon footprint when compared to traditional building methods.

Sustainable Materials

Finally, it’s very common for prefabricated homes to use sustainable building materials. Builders have more options than ever for recycled and environmentally friendly materials for every part of the build. These materials include things like sustainably harvested wood, recycled stone tile, bamboo and even walls made of mostly recycled paper. Paint and other products free of VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, cause less air pollution and help maintain a healthier environment.

All these reasons and more make prefab homes an excellent choice for somebody wanting to make eco-friendly decisions. If you’re looking to build a house with sustainability as your top priority, consider going for a prefab home.

About the Author

Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES

Ann Marie Damashek has always been a natural at helping people prepare their homes for sale. She started out with a successful business selling goods for people on eBay. "Nine times out of ten they were hiring me because they were down-sizing,” Ann Marie says. "So I decided to get my license. I said, ‘Might as well sell their house too.’” The transition was a smooth one and for nine years she’s had a thriving full-time real estate business that allows her to marry her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for helping others. With an office in Larchmont, New York, she serves all of Lower Westchester County, with her primary market in the Sound Shore region. The majority of her business is "sphere of influence” with former clients referring her to friends and family. A gifted communicator, Ann Marie quickly builds trust and rapport with her clients by being both thoughtful and responsive; she understands that during the purchase or sale of a home, a quick response time is crucial. "I am very accessible,” Ann Marie says. "I always make time for my clients. They can call me, text me, email me up until 10 o’clock at night and I will respond. I’m available on weekends. I get back to people very promptly. I’m very customer service-oriented.” Her clients appreciate her professionalism, passion and enthusiasm and as a result her repeat and referral rate continues to grow each year. While selling real estate is serious business, Ann Marie knows that at times humor and a moment of levity can be a relief to clients. While she has a laidback and easygoing personality, she can be assertive when needed on her clients’ behalf. She loves being of service to them, and the continually changing nature of the work keeps her engaged and fulfilled. "It’s never boring,” Ann Marie enthuses. "Every day is different. That’s probably what I like most about it. But I also enjoy helping people sell or buy and educating them about the process. I love helping them achieve their goals.” This ethic of service has resulted in well-deserved recognition. Ann Marie has received the Westchester Magazine Five Star Real Estate Agent Rating four years running, in 2015 and 2016 she was the #1 agent in her office, and she’s a Zillow 5-Star Premier Agent. To keep in touch with former clients, Ann Marie sends cards to mark special occasions or reaches out via email. To market her listings, Ann Marie uses Multiple Listing Services (MLS), as well as, a service that allows both agents and their clients access to MLS data. She also uses a Facebook business page and ads to boost new listings or promote upcoming open houses. "That drives a tremendous amount of traffic,” Ann Marie says. She also uses the most popular real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia. A strong believer in giving back, Ann Marie sits on the Board of Trustees of her church and is involved in a variety of social justice projects. She’s affiliated with Furniture Sharehouse, a furniture bank for Westchester County, which collects and distributes gently used furniture free of charge to those in need. "I love it on so many levels because as a realtor, it’s helps my sellers downsize through charitable donations. I like the environmental aspect of it as well. And it helps people who truly need things.” She’s also involved in Impact 100, a women’s philanthropic giving organization. In her free time, Ann Marie enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. For the future, Ann Marie wants to continue expanding her business and developing her brand, and she someday hopes to grow a strong team. But her main goal is to stay in the real estate business, helping her clients to achieve their dreams.