Product Review

Bringing Green, Modular, and Historical Together

January 1, 2010

Building a better house was always their goal: “We wanted to start by figuring out how to design a more efficient house, then form a company to sell it,” said Jupiter. The company has branded its product as a New Old Green Modular (NOGM) home, since it specializes in historically inspired designs with modern, green amenities. All NOGM homes meet LEED for Homes standards, and owners can choose whether to pursue certification in either program. The company’s homes are less expensive than many green modulars: between $105/ft2 and $185/ft2 ($1,100/m2 to $2,000/m2) including the foundation (but excluding design, land, site, and finishing costs, which can bring the total over $200/ft2 or $2,100/m2).

Unlike many modular companies, New World Home does not own a factory. Instead, the company works with existing manufacturers to build houses according to its specifications. According to construction director Howie Berman, finding manufacturers that can meet those specifications can be difficult, since the company’s homes use at least 50% less energy than those built to code and use green materials and techniques that may be unfamiliar. “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks,” he said. But manufacturers are coming around. “We do the research for them—all they have to do is build to our specs,” Berman noted, and that makes it easier for manufacturers to pursue green building.