Are Prefab Homes Safe? Why Dvele Prefab Homes Are the Healthier and Safer Option
At Dvele, we’ve designed our homes to have a positive impact on the health and well-being of our clients. Since human beings spend most of their time indoors—and because many traditional stick-built houses can be toxic due to cheap and aging materials—understanding how our prefab homes are safe and why they can make a healthier option to live in is important, especially if you're thinking about building a new home.
What Do We Mean by Safer and Healthier?
From the manufacturer's perspective, the immediate benefit of constructing a modular home vs a stick-built home is the ability to exercise control, more specifically, during the home’s production in a factory. With stick built homes, the wood framing is completely exposed to the elements throughout construction. This can create critical compromises to the integrity of the build because exposure to moisture and temperature swings between hot and cold can allow mold to take hold inside the walls of the home. Exposure to these elements can also cause the wood to swell and contract once it’s put in place, ultimately creating gaps through which air can travel, leading to additional mold growth.
At Dvele, we take these issues very seriously by incorporating heath-sustaining and health-improving features into all of our homes.
Some of the features we include that lead to a safer, healthier homes include:
- A building envelope that strengthens air and water barriers in addition to the thermal boundary that controls the exchange of heat between the interior and exterior of the house. Not only does this help to keep the indoor temperature regulated and electric bills low, it reduces the introduction of allergens, mold, and outdoor pollution into the home.
- High-end acoustic controls to reduce noise pollution, mitigating the fight-or-flight response of the autonomic nervous system and the production of stress hormones.
- Dedicated hospital-grade ventilation systems that supply clean, fresh air in every room of the house while simultaneously expelling moisture, carbon dioxide (CO2), and particulate matter such as dust, smoke, and soot.
- Whole-home water filtration systems that decrease the presence of common contaminants found in local water supplies (fluoride, fertilizer, chlorine, and pharmaceuticals).
- Passive mitigation system that extends from beneath the house up through the roof to direct harmful gasses, like radon, from the soil into the air instead of into the home.
- Sustainably sourced materials free of chemicals, like formaldehyde and most adhesives, whether for use in building the frame, insulating the walls, or decorating the kitchen.
In addition to these features, we incorporate the principles of biophilic design into our standard modern home architecture designs. With both the physiological and psychological benefits of staying connected to nature being regularly backed by scientific data, biophilic designs aim to bring the outdoors into the home. The result tends to be a reduction in overall stress, improved cognitive function and performance, and an innate sense of safety and refuge—aspects that everyone's home should ideally possess.
Houses built with these principles in mind might include:
- Large, expansive windows that flood the home with natural light
- Indoor lighting and home automation systems that mimic the outdoors and syncs with lighting and temperature in order to prompt the body's circadian rhythm
- Multiple vantage points for taking in sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, connecting the viewer with nature
- The presence of water, whether a nearby lake that's easily viewed from within the house, an elegant fountain or irrigation system built into the garden's decor
But the above design elements, while aesthetically pleasing, don’t address why prefab homes are the healthiest option. So, to ensure that the prefab homes are safe and healthy, we'll work towards earning certain certifications from organizations like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the International Living Future Institute (ILF), that require meeting higher standards of construction than those set by most cities. They'll also seek third-party testing for the more than 600 possible contaminants found in most homes—like radon, mold, formaldehyde, and dust.
Since traditional stick-built homes are usually constructed to only meet minimum health and safety standards, the likelihood that one of these houses is a truly healthy house is slim. The fact is, high-quality, healthy homes that can improve your living environment, as well as your life, are typically made by collaborative teams who are committed to bringing these values to fruition. And, there is at least one team that's redefined the construction of safe and healthy homes by building in elements of stunning beauty, too.
Improve Your Health with a Quality Prefab Home
With the growing body of evidence pointing towards the importance of comfort and connection to our overall well-being, every builder should make the inclusion of beauty a priority. After all, it's when your house feels like a high-end sanctuary that coming home reduces anxiety—and further boosts a sense of safety and wellbeing. Breathing easy is as critical to maintaining good health as having fresh, filtered air to breathe.
Unfortunately, few builders of stick-built homes incorporate multiple elements of modern elegance into their designs. As with health and safety features, they may do the bare minimum just to meet deadlines and streamline costs. Manufacturers of high design prefabricated houses, like Dvele, have the ability to prioritize beauty in addition to safety because they manage the entire process, from "hello" to "welcome home," in a quality controlled setting.
Since they don't have to sacrifice having the best of both worlds, neither do you. There is really no question that prefab homes are safe and healthy. There is only the question of which team you should choose to build yours beautifully.