What Is A Building System?
Who Uses Building Systems?
What Is the Difference Between a Modular Home and a Panelized Home?
How Are Modular and Panelized Homes Built?
How Long Does It Take To Build a Modular Home?
Does Using a Building Systems Affect The Quality Of A Home?
Is A Modular Home the Same As A Manufactured Home?
How Much Design Flexibility Comes With Systems-Built Homes?
Who Will Finance A Systems-Built Home?
What Are The Cost Benefits of Systems Building?
Simply put, a building system is a highly engineered
construction method that produces buildings or building components
in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The manufacturers
of building systems seek to build the highest-quality product
in a carefully controlled setting limiting exposure to adverse
elements. The Building Systems Councils of the NAHB represent
the interests of the builders, manufacturers and suppliers
of concrete, log, modular, and panelized homes.
Systems-building techniques are prevalent in residential
and commercial construction. From one-story homes to high-rise
apartment buildings and offices, more and more builders are
implementing building systems technology into their structures.
While both employ similar construction technology,
the main difference between a modular home and a panelized
home is that modular homes are shipped to a home site nearly
complete, while panelized homes may take more assembly. Most
individual “modules” are finished rooms, complete
with walls, flooring, ceiling, doors, windows, closets, stairs,
and carpeting already assembled. Depending on the type of
panelized home you choose, your manufacturer might pre-assemble
the walls, floors, and other components, but leave the assembly
of the panels to your builder.
Modular and panelized homes begin as components that
are designed, engineered and assembled in the controlled environment
of a modern factory. Once assembled in the factory, the modules
and panels are shipped via ground transport to the intended
home site where a local builder takes over. Your local homebuilder
will arrange and assemble the home’s components on a
foundation. After the components are set and assembled, the
builder can add customizations to the home, including decks,
patios, masonry, and more.
Because of the manufacturing process and ease of
assembly, modular homes can be finished in a short amount
of time. Once all the materials for construction are received,
some manufacturers can turn-around a 2,500 square foot home
in just days. To assemble the modules, themselves, takes only
a day or two with use of a crane. And, since a majority of
the interior work is complete, including carpeting and wall
finish, an experienced systems builder can complete a home
in only a few weeks, typically.
Yes, for the better! Not only are concrete, log,
modular, and panelized homes built to the same local building
code as “stick-built” homes, these types of building
systems often exceed the building codes. Log, modular, and
panelized homes must withstand the rigors of ground transportation,
so manufacturers routinely reinforce the walls, ceilings,
and other components to ensure the highest-quality product
reaches its destination. Concrete homes are rising in popularity
due to the highly durable and sustainable properties of the
building material. Another benefit of using building systems
is that the components are inspected before leaving the factory,
virtually ensuring that there will be no unpleasant “surprises”
during your walk-through.
No. Manufactured homes, sometimes called “mobile”
or “trailer” homes, are a different type of building
system than log, modular, or panelized homes. Manufactured
homes are constructed to a different building standard. This
standard, the Federal Construction Safety Standards Act (HUD/CODE),
unlike conventional building codes, requires manufactured
homes to be constructed on a non-removable steel chassis.
Many communities have restrictions on where manufactured homes
can be located.
Concrete, log, modular, panelized, and site-built homes on
the other hand, are constructed to the same building code
required by your state, county and specific locality and therefore
are not restricted by building or zoning regulations. Your
new systems-built home is inspected at the assembly plant
during each phase of construction. Evidence of this inspection
is normally shown by the application of a State or inspection
agency label of approval.
A great deal. Most manufacturers have a portfolio
of standard floor plans with a variety of personalization
options. If you want to custom design your own home, many
manufactures can be accommodating. With the advent of Computer
Assisted Design (CAD) programs, homebuyers can work closely
with their manufacturer to design their dream home. All manufacturers
are unique, however, and engineering capabilities and product
specifications will vary from company to company.
Just about anyone! Since these homes are built to
the same codes as stick-built homes, most banks and lending
institutions treat both types of construction the same. In
fact, some financiers have established departments specifically
for systems-built homes. Similarly, there is no difference
in insuring a systems-built property.
Owners of modular and panelized homes will see savings upfront and throughout the life of the home. Most manufacturers use state-of-the-art equipment and an efficient construction process to see that their homes are built with a minimum of excess waste and labor. When homes are delivered to a home site, they are assembled in less time than a stick-built home, greatly reducing the potential danger of inclement weather, theft, and workplace vandalism.
Over the life of the home, systems-built homes save money because they are incredibly efficient. Homeowners will realize savings on heating and air conditioning bills each year they live in a modular or panelized home. The Building Systems Councils and many members have detailed information on the cost savings affiliated with building systems technology.