Eatontown, NJ will be the site of a rare but emerging type of new residence: a net zero energy manufactured home. The home is being built as part of a U.S. Department of Energy-funded effort to develop ultra-efficient affordable home designs with support from the Manufactured Housing Institute and the Systems Building Research Alliance (SBRA). The multidisciplinary project team will be led by The Levy Partnership (TLP).

This team will use an “integrated design” or ID approach, strategically combining high insulation levels with an ultra-efficient heating and cooling system (incorporating a mini-split heat pump) and an innovative system for moving conditioned air throughout the home that does not rely on ducts. The home will also qualify for Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) designation. ZERH is a US Department of Energy program that “represents a whole new level of home performance, with rigorous requirements that ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability.”

Currently, there are only a few manufactured homes in the nation that qualify for ZERH designation. The first ZERH manufactured home was built in Alabama, also by the TLP/SBRA team. That home demonstrated the ZERH approach in a hot-humid climate. The home in New Jersey will showcase ZERH in a cold climate. New Jersey’s heating-dominated climate poses a different set of challenges and requires a unique approach to ZERH design.

The team specifically targeted factory homebuilders (manufactured and modular homes) as an ideal fit for the ID approach and ZERH concept. With their affordable housing focus, factory homebuilders are challenged to find methods of reducing energy use that are compatible with building in a production setting and have a modest impact on home cost. With first cost a driving consideration, the goal is to achieve superior energy performance with a design that is commercially-viable, cost effective and market acceptable. Factory building, in particular, is well-suited to the use of technologies like ID that require a high degree of quality control and coordination at every point in the construction process.

TLP will work with Champion Home Builders, Inc. to develop the design and manufacture the home, which will be built by the their Claysburg, PA facility and installed at the Pine Tree Manufactured Home Park in Eatontown, a community managed by the Affordable Housing Alliance of Neptune Township, NJ.

The home will be instrumented for data collection and monitored for 18 months (six months unoccupied and 12 months occupied). The evaluation will enable the team to track energy use and occupant comfort using the results to refine the design and reduce costs. Among the many technical challenges the team will face is how best to design the system for moving conditioned air throughout the home, effectively achieving thermal balance. The home will include a photovoltaic system, bringing the house to zero energy use on an annual basis. The ID approach is a next step in on the path to cutting the cord for all homeowners.

Key partners that are contributing products and expertise include:

  • Affordable Housing Alliance
  • Brentwood Industries, Inc. AccuVent®
  • Champion Home Builders, Inc.
  • Dimplex North America
  • Lippert Components, Inc.
  • Knauf Insulation
  • LaminaHeat
  • Manufactured Housing Institute
  • Owens Corning
  • Panasonic
  • Senco
  • State Industries
  • Systems Building Research Alliance
  • Whirlpool

For more information contact:

Emanuel Levy
Executive Director
Systems Building Research Alliance
212-496-0800 ext.140


About the Systems Building Research Alliance

The Systems Building Research Alliance, founded in 1995, is a non-profit organization with the mission of developing new technologies to enhance the value, quality and performance of the nation’s factory built structures, manufactured and modular, residential and commercial. SBRA’s research supports the industry by developing new methods for using factory built structures in a wide array of applications, by solving technical challenges, and by paving the way for innovations in design, construction and installation. SBRA develops, tests and promotes better methods and materials for designing, manufacturing and marketing factory built structures. These activities include research, new product development, training and educational programs, testing programs and demonstrations, commercialization efforts, workshops, conferences and other events.

About The Levy Partnership, Inc. (TLP) and ARIES

The Levy Partnership (TLP) is a multidisciplinary consulting firm, established in 1983 serving the building industry. The firm’s professional staff includes: architects, engineers, building scientists and diagnosticians, energy analysts, planners and building systems specialists. Since its inception, TLP has managed the Systems Building Research Alliance, the research arm of the factory building business.

TLP is also the team lead for the Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions (ARIES) consortium, one of the five interdisciplinary teams organized under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America program. ARIES was created to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative and cost-effective approaches for dramatically reducing energy use of the nation’s affordable housing, both existing and new. The team is broadly representative, including more than 50 organizations, drawing from stakeholders in the affordable housing and energy research communities.

About the Manufactured Housing Institute

MHI is the national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry. MHI serves its membership by providing industry research, promotion, education and government relations programs, and by building and facilitating consensus within the industry.

About Champion

Champion was founded over 60 years ago and today is one of the largest factory homebuilders in North America. Headquartered in Michigan, the company has 30 manufacturing facilities throughout the US, Canada and the United Kingdom, and over 4,400 dedicated employees. Its current offerings include manufactured homes, modular homes, townhouses, duplexes as well as wood and steel-framed modular buildings for commercial use. There are 13 brands within Champion including: Silvercrest®, Titan®, Redman Homes®, Homes of Merit™, Atlantic® Homes, Athens® Park Homes, Dutch® Housing, New Era Building Solutions™, Carolina Building Solutions™, Highland Manufacturing™, Fortune® Homes, North American Housing and New Image Homes®.

About Affordable Housing Alliance

The Affordable Housing Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation in the state of New Jersey formed in 1991. Our core services include the new construction of safe, energy efficient affordable housing, housing renovation and neighborhood stabilization, rental housing search assistance, providing HUD-certified new homeowner counseling and workshops, financial literacy training, foreclosure mediation and counseling, conversion mortgage counseling, and utility assistance. AHA also works as an administrative agent with municipalities and developers to manage affordable housing guidelines within specific communities. AHA often partners with other agencies to achieve our common goal of creating and strengthening communities and assisting low-to-middle income households to sustain their existing home ownership as well as create new homeowners through education, counseling and supportive services. AHA is the region’s leading affordable housing developer and we are proud to have become a member of the national NeighborWorks America network in 2011.