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Looking for the Best Bang for Your Homebuilding Buck? Consider Prefab.

WALPOLE, N.H., Nov. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bensonwood is reporting increased demand for panelized construction at its Tektoniks manufacturing facilities, as more architects and builders look for ways to decrease their carbon footprint and increase construction site efficiency without sacrificing style.

The Clinton Corners Porch House by Lake|Flato Architects was built using panelized construction. Bensonwood constructed the prefab timber frame and the thermally complete building shell off-site in the Tektoniks facilities. Photo: Chris Cooper

Tektoniks' rising popularity comes at a time when developers are being tasked with building more efficient structures, as cities around the world race to meet ambitious C02 reduction goals. Prefabrication has long been celebrated for its efficiency potential, and has recently gained attention for its integration into high design.

At the Tektoniks facility, materials are cut with precision robotics designed to maximize every piece of material, drastically reducing waste. Panels built on the factory floor are then assembled on site to create an air-tight structural "envelope," eliminating air escape and thus reducing the energy required for heating and cooling. Bensonwood ups the efficiency even further, utilizing high density cellulose insulation made from recycled newspaper, and building every frame with highly renewable, carbon-sequestering wood.

This process creates an ultra strong exterior shell, which the company says can easily stand for centuries. Of course interior components aren't meant to last that long, which has historically meant costly renovations or tear downs at the end of a utility's lifespan. By "disentangling" the electrical and plumbing from the exterior shell, Bensonwood ensures repairs and renovations can easily and affordably be made as utility technology improves, saving the exterior and effectively doubling the C02 savings.

Not all prefabricated homes are as environmentally friendly as those being produced by Bensonwood, but the company hopes to change that. In 2012 it launched Unity Homes, which aimed to bring the same level of quality to buyers in a lower price range. A new Tektoniks facility opened in Keene, NH last year, expanding the company's process even further by allowing unaffiliated builders – even its competitors – to utilize its advanced home building technology.

"You can't get anything inside your home that didn't come from a factory," Patrice Cappelletti told Green Maine Homes in a 2019 article about prefabricated building. "So why are we still stick-building? Why aren't we pushing building in this direction?"

While the cost of high-performance prefabricated panels may not be lower, the speed of construction tends to drive the overall home cost down – in some cases, shaving ⅓ off the total price. Proponents also say the assembly is quieter – with more homes being built in already established neighborhoods, this is a huge selling point for homebuyers who care about being good neighbors as well.

The construction industry's shift to prefabrication has been gradual, but with increasing awareness about climate change, the movement is gaining momentum. As more developers adopt this way of building, prices will continue to drop, spurring even greater adoption. Tektoniks is leading the way by giving access to others who want to utilize factory building – which Bensonwood believes will only serve to broaden its use and acceptance industry-wide.

To learn more about Tektoniks Advanced Building Components, visit www.tektoniks.com.

To learn more about Bensonwood, visit www.bensonwood.com.

CONTACT:

Sarah Kossayda


skossayda@bensonwood.com


1-603-756-3600

 

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