Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another green model from Clayton, the ehome


Here's some more photos from a dealer's site.

An article in BusinessTN, announces that Clayton is introducing another green home, the "ehome," which will be priced at between $50 to $60 a square foot. (The i-house is priced at $92 to $120/sq. ft.)

While I like the window placement, and transom windows, the insulation seems poor, even compared with a single-section model I toured, the Karsten SF-50

The Karsten single-wide had R-19 insulation in the 2 x 6 walls and R-50 in the ceiling. The 9 foot flat ceilings in the Karsten give it a stately, spacious look inside, and it has to be the best regular (non-i-house) single-wide interior I've ever seen, although I haven't seen them all.

One thing better the new ehome does better compared to the Karsten single-wide, is the exterior appearance.

It doesn't say on the site, the ehome appears to have 2 x 4 walls which is disappointing to say the least. The Karsten SF-50 has 2 x 6 walls, something which I think is well worth the money. Thicker wall structure means the wall will be less likely to warp, and also it allows for more insulation and more substantial feel to the interior. For example, window sills are thicker.

With this ehome, if you are considering it, get the drywall option. The panel with the seams...well, I hate it.

I think it is good they are offering a house for people on a very low budget, but this design is nothing to write home about. I was hoping for a small double shed-roof, double-wide, with clerestory windows, or at least a shed roof. That is, something different and a little bit exciting.

Now that I've seen more photos, it has a unique roof line. The gable side in the front is very short compared to the slope in the back. That's pretty cool, but will have to see it in person to tell you what I think of that. The other thing that is nice about it, is the deliberate placement of most windows one side of the house for solar gain in the winter.

Although conventional builders are doing it only in a few places, I would like to see a manufacturer do double 2 x 4 walls, with almost a foot of insulation, like about R-40 in the walls. Either that, or SIPS, which are structurally strong and can be insulated to about R-30 or more.

Clayton is still working with their existing factory setup, as are all manufacturers of homes, so it would cost a lot to change something like wall structure.
June 24, 2010 blogger's note:

This month, I saw the ehome, took video and photos, and review it in my blog post HERE. After seeing one with drywall, and touring the interior space, I love it.

Also, the sidewalls are upgradeable to 2 x 6" and better insulation. The website doesn't mention this upgrade but if you ask they can do the 2 x 6" upgrade for under $1000.

One comment below is from a person who says they work at an architectural firm and this ehome isn't green. I thought the same when I first looked at it to see the standard insulation. However, with good insulation, this is a green house, for this price range. Most people can't wait around in the rain or live in a cheap apartment until they have $600,000 for an architect to design them a zero energy home.

It is also green to select a home like this, that is HALF the size of the average new home. Green has to take place in small steps.