The population of the world is growing, and it is projected that the growth trend will continue. According to a new report by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), the world’s population could swell to 9.9 billion by 2050 (Population Reference Bureau, 2018). The population increase has augmented the demand for housing. The trend has led to the destruction of forest cover to create room for building houses and in turn the scarcity of wood. Farms are also becoming scarce as people continue to build over areas that had the potential for growing food. A large percentage of the population cannot afford proper housing or pay for their houses, with the low-income earners being the most affected. Low-income individuals carry the burden of unpaid mortgages, taxes and insurance debts that they cannot afford to pay (CNBC, 2018). With a low salary, it is hard for such people to save money, access mortgages, or rent a convenient and comfortable house for them and their families. Indeed, there is a need for affordable and eco-friendly houses.
The Green Modular House project is an excellent solution to the mentioned issues. The structures are movable and designed in a factory. Additionally, they are easily assembled and can be expanded by just adding another fully made room to it. These features reduce construction expenses and even the cost of housing insurance due to
their ease of assembly and disassembly.
Environmental Impact on Life Cycle
These houses are built in factories. Therefore, waste, such as discarded blocks, bricks, concrete, glass, plastics, steel, wood and soil generated during the conventional construction processes, does not accumulate during their construction (Business Dictionary, 2018). Such structures also reduce resource wastefulness and the cost of construction since the necessary materials can be identified and the surplus used to build other structures. Additionally, they solve the noise pollution problem that traditional modes of construction pose because their building process does not involve noisy activities, such as drilling and technology such as drilling machines
A module is designed for one or two people and consumes about 7% of a house’s kWh as it only uses an average of 914kwh annually. Heating an average house produces about 8,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year while a module emits 558 pounds of the gas yearly. Cooling the average home leads to the production of about 4,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, but a module only discharges 286 pounds of CO2 animally (Efficiency, 2017). Therefore, modular housing does not contribute to global warming as much as traditional houses do and reduce energy wastage.
Effect on the Quality of Life
One of the effects of the mentioned project is a significant reduction in the cost of housing. Constructing a standard, the non-luxury traditional structure typically costs between $150 and $250 per square foot (Taylor, 2017). Modular construction, on the contrary, may cost a fraction of that thanks to assembly line efficiency. As such, the new houses will enable the Middle and low-income earners to afford housing.
This type of housing is also advantageous in times of natural disasters, such as fires and earthquakes. Even when natural disasters destroy such buildings, the houses can be used as temporary shelters due to their ease of assembly. They take about a day to assemble, which is quite convenient in periods of great need. The modules can also be easily disassembled and assembled at another location thus they reduce the stress of moving to a new location and finding a house. The project is also an excellent investment opportunity because it may be the future of construction.
As much as these modules have advantages over traditional modes of building, they also have cons.one of these is their cost of transport from the factory to their destination. Transportation can be quite costly since it involves moving a whole building. Therefore, the only way to cut cost is to live near a factory, which may not be practical. The structures are not easily customized as they are built in a certain shape and or structure that can be restrictive.
Wide-Scale Result of Project on Equality and Social Justice
Since the modules are cheaper than the conventional houses, they are likely to reducing housing insecurity. The ability of even the low-income earners to afford houses will bring a sense of equality. Such individuals can then concentrate on developing other areas of their lives. An increase in the use of these modules as the go-to housing will promote the conservation of the environment and save energy.
The population is likely to continue growing thus the demand for housing will increase. If the dependency on traditional modes of construction persists, the environment is bound to be severely disadvantaged. However, the green and modular type of housing can solve both the housing as well as the environment degradation problems. Additionally, it will enable the middle and low-income earners to afford better housing albeit they will be unable to customize them. It also solves the insurance and mortgage issues.
Business Dictionary. (2018). What is Building and Demolition Waste? Definition and meaning. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/building-and-demolition-waste.html
CNBC. (2018, June 20). Harvard study: Almost 40 million Americans can’t afford to pay for housing. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/07/13/harvard-study-millions-of-americans-cant-afford-to-pay-for-housing.html
Efficiency, E. (2017, August 21). Energy secrets of the Tiny House Movement. Retrieved from https://blog.constellation.com/2017/08/21/what-is-tiny-house-living/
Population Reference Bureau. (2018). 2018 World Population Data Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.worldpopdata.org/
Taylor, D. (2017, August 31). The pros, cons, and cost of modular homes. Retrieved from https://blog.capterra.com/the-pros-cons-and-cost-of-modular-homes/