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Modular Apartments Provide Cheaper, "Green" Housing

Modular Apartments Provide Cheaper, "Green" Housing

In the future, your downtown dream pad could look like this.

October 15, 2007 —

With urban planners and architects striving to create more energy and space efficient housing, Seattle and Portland plan to host some of the first American modular apartment buildings. To tenants, the most attractive feature of the dwellings is that the cost of construction is significantly lower than that of a typical apartment building, which translates into cheaper rents. This also helps cities keep their more densely populated areas economically diverse, and alleviates sprawl.

But the long term attraction of modular housing extends beyond typical urban planning concerns; there are also environmental benefits. Unico, the company in charge of the developments in Seattle and Portland, plans to achieve LEED certification for its apartments. This means that they must meet or exceed standards of environmental sustainability in several areas. Here are some of the green features that UNICO trumpets on its website:

  • Eco-friendly construction materials including rubber flooring, recycled decking, paint and other durable components that contain little or no volatile organic compounds
  • Programmable ventilation systems that promote improved air quality and energy efficient heating and cooling
  • Efficient interior lighting and daylight-sensing exterior lighting that reduce energy consumption
  • Flat roof designs that allow for green roofs, enhanced energy efficiency and storm water recycling
  • Heat reflecting construction materials reduce cooling costs

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