SCOPE: BAE-Southern Tier Housing Corporation TVA Mitigation Project

Grants and Contracts Details


The Modular Research and Design Project seeks to reduce the cost while maximize the energy efficiency performance of modular structures. The project will start with the modular and pod and panel typologies developed by UK, called HBEERs or Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences. Through use of the iterative design process coupled with BeOpt and RESNET energy modeling software, our goal is to combine cost effective building designs with significant energy-savings. Our research has indicated this price point is at or under $75- $80/s.f. less foundation and land for residential structures. Our goal for non-residential structures is $100/s.f . The team will identify the optimum combination of sustainable operating costs (reflected in HERS ratings) and purchase price for factory built, readily deployed, energy efficient, low maintenance buildings. Energy monitoring instruments located in each building will monitor utility usage providing data for further refinements to successive models as well as verify energy efficiency performance characteristics. Weather stations at the home sites in southern Whitley County and Monticello will provide longitudinal information to help further design improvements. This project builds on Kentucky Highlands and Southern Tier Housing Corporation’s existing relationship with the University of Kentucky’s College of Design, School of Architecture (UK CoD), the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), and the College of Agriculture’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (UK BAE) and Stardust Ventures, LLC (Stardust). These partners recently completed two modular homes designed by graduate level architecture students at UK’s CoD. Students benefitted from CAER’s research in materials and energy modeling from UK BAE. The prototype modular home was built by Stardust Ventures, a houseboat manufacturer in Monticello, KY that sought to use excess production capacity to fill orders between houseboats. Southern Tier Housing Corporation, Kentucky Highlands’ affordable housing affiliate, qualified the families for housing financing, packaged the mortgage, built the foundation and managed the home’s construction through to completion. Kentucky Highlands provided initial product development funding and coordination. The focus of this TVA research is an integrated process to envision, strategize and scenario plan various approaches to evaluate and generate efficiencies throughout the entire design, fabrication and constriction processes, aligning them with real and simulated metrics. Ultimately, through this iterative research and design process, new catalytic modular structures will be produced to achieve the project’s cost and performance goals. This applied systems approach to design optimization and working drawing completion will yield two new residential and two non-residential prototype modules built and installed in the Kentucky TVA service area. At the project’s conclusion, four new modular buildings based in this comprehensive optimization process will be built and installed in Kentucky’ TVA service area. Unit types include residential, educational classrooms and professional/clinical buildings. As part of this project, three vacant, pre-1980 mobile homes will be removed and replaced with two new energy efficient residences. All units will be equipped with photovoltaic systems to participate in TVA’s Green Power Providers program. UK’s specific design recommendations for four modular units will maximize efficiency, improve utility and manufacturability as well as optimize energy efficiency with appropriate material choices and building methods. Ultimately, the partners aim to reach a price point that satisfies the market at purchase and a level of efficiency that minimizes each unit’s life-cycle costs through reduced maintenance, electricity use and water consumption. Compared to conventionally built homes, Kentucky’s 76,554 pre-1980 mobile homes are extremely energy inefficient, burdening rate payers and utilities alike. Their usual poor construction and installation make them expensive to operate and hazardous to humans. New modular units will reduce operating cost, emissions and improve occupant safety. They also have the potential to fill the need of new household starts, families or those desiring to downsize. These structures are not to be limited to replacements for substandard homes or other buildings, but a first choice consideration for the broader market.
Effective start/end date5/1/1312/31/16


  • Southern Tier Housing Corporation


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