How Do Manufactured Homes Stack Up Against Traditional Site-Built Homes in Terms of Energy Efficiency and Overall Environmental Footprint?

The housing market has been doing some funky stuff these past few years. The pandemic spiked a never-ending housing shortage, triggering outrageous bidding wars with astronomical numbers. Then came increases in mortgage rates and interest rate hikes; inflation hasn’t been helping, either. It’s no wonder first-time home buyers have had it tough. While the typical housing market has been acting wonky, the manufactured housing industry has been doing quite well. This market saw more shipments in 2022 than since its last rise to prominence in 2006.

Unfortunately, despite the ascension of manufactured home production and sales, many Americans dreaming of homeownership are still not aware that a manufactured home could well be the path to quality home ownership or have discounted manufactured housing as an option due to uninformed misrepresentations and mischaracteristics of today’s only quality affordable housing available in this country. One of those myths* is that manufactured homes are not energy efficient and/or don’t stack up to traditional site-built homes in terms of “green” living, energy efficiency, and climate change.

Click  –  “Debunking Manufactured Home ‘Myths’ Vs. ‘Realities’


The following are excerpts from an Arizona Daily Sun narrative by EARTH TALK  (, a 501(c)3 non-profit that produces content on green living, sustainability, and climate change.

Today’s Modern Manufactured Homes:  More Energy Efficient, Less Waste, And Lower (CO2) Emissions Than Site-Built Homes.

As one might expect, manufactured homes run the gamut with regard to energy efficiency. In an analysis completed by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), it was found that modern manufactured homes used 70.4 MM Btu/year, a significant amount less than the 108.5 MM Btu/year average seen in traditional “site-built” homes.

In addition, the actual manufacture of manufactured homes produces less waste, as does the on-site set-up, according to the Manufactured Housing Association of British Columbia. The construction and set-up of manufactured homes create 50 to 70% less waste than traditional home-building.

Traditional home-building also requires that the materials, tools, and workers all be sent to different sites throughout the year. This approach is far less organized and efficient than the streamlined factory process associated with manufactured homes. As a result, all kinds of emissions are produced. In an in-depth report commissioned by the Sturgeon Foundation of Alberta, Canada, (CO2) emissions of both manufactured and on-site building projects were compared. It was determined that the on-site construction process produced a whopping 43% more CO2 emissions than manufactured homes.

Before 1976, manufactured homes (mobile homes) were built more quickly, for less money, and with far less regard for energy efficiency. By June of that year, The US. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) devised and implemented the HUD Code, setting a higher standard for the quality, safety, and efficiency of products.

Today, manufactured homes must have sufficient levels of insulation, this includes the ductwork, electrical outlets, lighting, etc., modern water heaters, and energy-efficient appliances. If the manufacturer does not meet the minimum standards set out by HUD, then it is illegal to be sold, leased, or rented to anybody.

Recent Posts