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Trailers or stick-construction not the answer for hurried winter housing

I have family in New York City that were immediately affected by Hurricane Sandy, and I know people living in trailer and modular housing in petroleum rich parts of the country.  None of them are looking forward to a warm and cozy winter.  Most trailer manufacturers build the cheapest unit they can sell in volume, and these are often carted all around the country in response to a housing boom here or a disaster there.  Winter is fast approaching and the vast majority of trailers I have seen on the market are not intended for long term winter weather.

Please take a look at the videos on our website homepage.  We show how rapidly our panels can be assembled into temporary or permanent housing for disaster relief or man-camps.  From small super-insulated, net-zero or passive house type cottages to large homes, there is no better insulated and rapidly erected building system on the market today.  Eco-Panels participated in the reconstruction of the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and we can assist after Hurricane Sandy.  Further, our unique single piece corner panel will create a significantly stronger and warmer building envelope than traditional construction - where two walls come together is one of the weakest parts of a home's structure, and also one of the toughest to insulate.  We simply eliminate that problem.  Of course we can also provide products like standard insulation (nailbase) panels or high R value trailer skirting where needed.

From small house plans to large, please contact us today for your warm and rapidly erected housing needs!

 
New Time-Lapse Video Featuring Wide Variety of Panel Types

Please take a look at our latest posted video titled "Western NC Home - First Floor" featured in the video section on the left side of our home page.  This time-lapse video shows a nice wide variety of panel types and an ease of construction simply not possible with traditional construction or other structural insulated panels.  This home was erected recently, in the summer of 2012, and the homeowner was kind enough to provide us with these photographs taken from a camera positioned on a pole (that unfortunately was hit by lightening soon after these panels were erected).

When we estimate how long a structure will take to erect, we can generally target one minute per lineal foot around the building envelope.  All the photos in this time-lapse video are taken on a 5 minute interval and occasionally you'll see a couple of panels go up in-between frames.  NO NAILING OF STUDS OR SPLINES IS REQUIRED as with other panel systems except at the end of a wall at the corner (this is how we adjust for variances in the foundation/floor system that often happen on jobsites by using our "panel-in-panel" non-thermal wicking spline).  Otherwise the panels simply lock together with our embedded cam-lock system - and panels align themselves in three-dimensions ensuring you do not have significant "creep" as panels go up as is often seen with other panel systems.

Eco-Panels manufactures the most advanced line of SIPs - structural insulated panels - on the market today allowing you to create a stronger, safer and significantly more energy efficient structure than traditional methods allow.  Contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions you may have.  We'd love to hear from you.

 
Start with the Building Envelope

I was talking with a LEED professional the other day and was glad to hear him say that when speaking with builders that talk about wanting to put PV panels on the roof, or digging up the front yard for a geo-thermal heating system, or solar thermal water heating, he always tries to "reset" expectations by reminding them that when you START with the building envelope, trying to get the most perfectly insulated building envelope you can, there is no greater return on investment for a new homeowner.  You can put solar panels on the roof and a traditionally built stick-home can actually leak every bit of those energy savings out the walls of a home.

By offering the most advanced structural insulated panelized building system on the market today - a claim that has been seconded by building scientists working for the US Dept of Energy - Eco-Panels can offer a building envelope that is stronger, safer and significantly more energy efficient than traditional construction or even EPS sips.  Yes, we cost a little more, but we've often seen that the premium associated with our product - when ammortized into a mortgage - is actually less than the monthly energy savings a homeowner can realize in the very first full month of occupancy.

Whether you are pursuing a Net Zero Home, a Passive House, or Energy Star, or LEED Residential, or any other countless "green" home programs in this country, or whether you are just simply trying to build a good strong home, if you aren't starting with the building envelope you may have a very difficult time recovering a positive return on investment for other energy saving investments.

Build it right, build it tight, the first time.  With Eco-Panels.

 
More Extreme Weather - Tornadoes in NYC

This weekend we saw more extreme weather, this time spawning multiple tornadoes in New York City.  As this article states, tornadoes used to be a very rare event in the NYC area, but now not uncommon.

Because of our superior strength building envelope, Eco-Panels has assisted reconstruction efforts in rebuilding after both hurricanes and tornadoes.  By building structures with Eco-Panels, a structure is much better able to withstand the shear wind forces of high wind weather events when compared to traditional construction.  One of the weakest parts of a structure (and one of the toughest to insulate) is where two walls come together.  By virtue of our patented and patent pending single piece corner panel, Eco-Panels can eliminate this weak joint in a building's structure.

As energy costs will rise, there is little doubt that weather events are becoming more extreme.  To help protect your self, your family, and perhaps the largest investment you will ever make, make sure you build using Eco-Panels for a stronger, safer, significantly more energy efficient structure.

 
Affordable Housing? NO! Affordable Living!

I cringe when I see affordable housing developments going up using virtually the same building materials used in the 1960s.  We see the same cheap stick-built (wood or steel) methods of construction used in almost all parts of our country.  The builders have a pretty good formula worked out to build using the least expensive materials available and the least amount of insulation required by law (i.e. "built to code").  And the sad thing is we know that some clients of affordable housing - while given a low cost mortgage - are often run out of their home by high energy bills.

Eco-Panels can provide a significantly more energy efficient structure with energy savings possibly exceeding 70% when compared to traditional construction (we have the data).  We believe that "affordable housing" is often synonomous with cheap housing - and that will cost a homeowner in the long run.  By providing a homeowner with a stronger, safer and significantly more energy efficient home than traditional construction, Eco-Panels can offer what we like to call "Affordable Living" - allowing that homeowner a greater amount of discretionary income to provide for the benefit of their family.

Our panels can be used for single story or high rise housing developments.  And where we know that the durability of affordable housing developments has been an issue in the past, Eco-Panels will GUARANTEE that no one will ever put a foot or a fist or a door knob through one of our wall panels.  Sound attenuation is also a benefit that our panels can bring to the table through lack of traditional framing members, creating a quieter living environment.

Yes, it may cost a little more up front in materials, but you should save money in labor (potentially lots of money depending on where you are).  And after all the real client in affordable housing projects is NOT the builder, it is the person and families who will live in the home - and they will be the one to see the greatest benefit.  And that's what subsidized housing is all about - right?

Of course we've seen the same benefits for schools, etc., but that's for another posting....

 
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