Clayton Homes, the largest manufacturer of modular homes in the U.S., officially introduced its i-house this past weekend at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting. Popular Mechanics says the i-house "looks like a house you'd order from IKEA, sounds like something designed by Apple and consists of amenities--solar panels, tankless water heaters and rainwater collectors--that one would expect to come from an offbeat green company out of California selling to a high-end market." But the much-anticipated house, which Clayton claims is at least 30% more energy-efficient than traditional homes, is perhaps the most affordable option for a low-carbon lifestyle, with monthly energy costs of under $70.
The house comes in two packages: the $74,900, 723-square-foot i-house I, and the $93,300, 1,023-square-foot i-house II. Both homes can be configured in at least seven different ways and come with a number of standard features, including galvanized metal roofing, corrugated steel siding, a butterfly roof with rainwater collection, and non-VOC paints. Customers can also tack on solar panels, tankless water heaters, and low-flow faucets for a price.
Clayton's i-house will likely be attractive to first-time home buyers due to its low price, but the modular home could also appeal to anyone searching for a cheap, energy-efficient vacation home. The company, which has sold 1.5 million homes since its start in 1934, expects to sell 2,000 i-houses per year within 18 months of its launch.