My recent visit to Hope Valley RV Resort in Salem, Oregon was to see how a community of Park Models was planned and constructed. I was told to go see in its early development. Originally Hope Valley was an old KOA campground for travel trailers. The owners decided to rebuild this campground and transformed it into streets of Tiny House for Village concept. It is advertised as “Simplify your lifestyles in our upscale “tiny home” community. The lots are Land Leased, with specific footprints for a Tiny Home owner to choose one of their the different floor plans. A Tiny House size is 12’ x 36’ front porch model size with a loft. The Homes all have long-lasting metal roofs and are built by Palm Harbor factory which is a few miles down the I-5 freeway in Millersburg, OR. The Tiny House is becoming more prevalent in its acceptance. More and more communities of Tiny houses appears to have a future for affordable housing solutions to meet citizens expectations for alternative housing.

If one were to try and build a better house. One must start with the building envelope for all residential housing to achieve Zero Net Energy (ZNE). It is financial risk for an architect, builder to prove the home performance prior to living in the home to the homeowner. Traditional construction has a history of failure for energy efficiency and high cost to operate house. A high performance house requires new design and construction techniques, a tighter building envelope, new types of insulations with little historical data performance history. A tighter building envelope and will result in lower cost to operate the home buyer or for a remodel of an existing home. The other added benefits are to create a more comfortable home living environment in multiple different climates zones with good indoor air quality.

The factory type of (ZNE) construction can make a real difference for proven energy efficiency houses. A factory uses a protected environment to construct its houses from inclement weather. The factory uses computer operated machines (CNC) to close the tolerances of construction connection points for the body of the building envelope on the assembly line. The factory finished units is pre-tested using test equipment prior to its delivery. The actual travel for delivery of the unit moves over highways (vibration testing) and 60 miles an hour (wind tests) to its destination job home site. In the book, “Zero Net Energy Case Study Homes – Volume 1” by Edward Dean one of Modular Lifestyles factory built houses was one of five selected to be a Case Study. Our affordable factory built house has the same equal footing in this (5) unit Case Study comparison for (ZNE) home performance to other site builder’s homes.

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I feel this article describes the type of home most people are demanding today. The article’s checklist is useful for those considering buying a new or used home.

Nov 13, 2014

Speaking engagement on:

The New Normal in Action: Energy Efficiency on the Ground

72014 Mod Ad and Article Caravilla

As presented to MHI National Congress Workshop held April 28th, 2014

Comparison Study of a Santa Clarita, CA HUD homes. Santa Clarita is located in the Ca. Energy Commissions rank of 14 (16 being the harshest climate). It is a dry arid desert climate.

The 2012/2013 Modular Lifestyles brand of proven high performance energy efficient homes versus a 2001 Fleetwood brand of HUD home. The chart clearly shows the annual electrical cost each owner paid during the entire year. The savings from Modular Lifestyles highly insulated solar powered homes were substantial to the 2001 Fleetwood. The community owner received the extra kWh back into their master meter community. The 2001 Fleetwood HUD insulation standard for this home was based on HUD 1994 standards and it was R-11 (Blown cellulose) in attic, R- 11 Fiberglass in the 2”x 4” walls and R-20 Fiberglass in the raised floor. This home does not have A/C. The one exception Space 63 Modular Lifestyles home did not have Solar due to a 300 year Oak tree shadow cast across the roof however it does have A/C. Its cost was 1/2 as much as the 2001 Fleetwood home.



  1. Reduced Community Electrical Park Load
  2. Tenant  savings remarkable
  3. The existing electrical infrastructure reduced impact
  4. A/C now available where none existed in a Dry Arid Climate
  5. Waiting list occur when new homes come into the community
  6. Electrical savings like this not offered in other housing choices.

South Exposure appears to operate less efficiently as Western Exposure has produced better results and improved production numbers

Read Study

Our experience in California home building has had similar results as well in Climate Zone 10 with 285 days of SUN.

I found this post interesting with regards to how homes are built. The idea of a tree truck turning into a wood stud for framing. The processing and transportation from the Mill to a pallet to the job site or factory. It makes one wonder if the contractor is measuring their moisture content. It makes one wonder if the climate (where the home is built) and exposure to the elements impacts the wood stud’s moisture on the pallet during the framing. The idea of the stud in the wall with moisture does it evaporate and condensate within the walls to create mold?

What would be the moisture content of the studs in Rain? 100%? Probably!

2013 WMA Apr article