A mobile home, that is both environmentally friendly and energy efficient, has been designed by a Mississippi State University researcher.
Architecture Professor Michael Berk, who names the new house the GreenMobile, has revealed that he has applied sound construction methods and energy-saving concepts in their design to lower utility costs.
He claims that the GreenMobile design meets International Residential Codes for structurally sound foundations, involves using better insulation.
It promotes the use of energy-efficient appliances, and creates interior spaces better suited for natural-day lighting and ventilation, Berk adds.
He has also included an option to install Tennessee Valley Authority solar photo-voltaic systems that convert energy from the sun into electricity, an option which is known as net-metering in the industry.
Berk says that energy savings from the home make it a smart choice for people looking for affordable housing and lower utility costs.
"It potentially could make money at the end of the month," the Environmental New Network quoted Berk as saying.
The GreenMobile are expected to cost about 50,000 dollars, he adds.
Since the GreenMobile have been designed to last longer than traditional mobile homes, Berk says, they can be financed through low-interest loans from lending institutions.
"Lenders have indicated they would consider 35- to 40-year mortgages. That means someone who in the past could afford only a single-wide trailer with a 15-year chattel mortgage would pay less money per month to own a really well-built product that will increase in value in the future," he said.
Berk came up with a blueprint to create the GreenMobile about five years ago, and then designed it with the Mississippi Delta in mind. He has included attached decks and porches in his model to expand outdoor living.
He says that the GreenMobile can function both as viable long-term housing and as short-term disaster housing. His concept recently earned first-place honours at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's inaugural Lifecycle Building Challenge competition, gaining distinction in the unbuilt housing category.
Berk is now looking for a company in collaboration with which he may mass-produce the GreenMobile, making the award-winning unit a new housing choice.
"It's waiting to go to the marketplace," Berk said.