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Articles by Lane Burt

Lane Burt is the Manager of Building Energy Policy with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. He is an engineer and works on federal efficiency policies and green building issues. Lane writes about energy policy on NRDC's Switchboard blog.

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Have you ever stopped to think about the energy efficiency of a doublewide?  DOE is about to do just that, having initiated a rulemaking to develop mandatory standards for manufactured homes (basically a building code) under order from Congress to finish by 2011.  I just drafted and submitted NRDC’s comments to the docket.

Most people haven’t given the issue any thought, but the inefficiency of manufactured housing is something that really sets me off.  Like pound my head into a desk, scream into a pillow frustrated.

Why?  Well, basically these homes can be terribly inefficient (and in some cases just terrible, remember the toxic FEMA trailers?).  They commit the owner (who generally is low or fixed income and can least afford it) to higher energy bills and – this is the really frustrating part for this engineer – they have the potential to be more energy efficient than traditional homes!  Manufactured homes could be (and should be) the frontier for efficient design! 

If that doesn’t quite get you going then consider this – a manufactured home can come off the assembly line t... Read more

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