In the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, the houseboat industry sector in Southcentral Kentucky went from employing approximately 1,500 people to employing about 25 people. This precipitous decline hit three rural communities in KHIC’s service area particularly hard. In 2009, KHIC partnered with the University of Kentucky’s College of Design (UK/CoD, home to the School of Architecture) and Stardust Cruisers to design a modular home that could be assembled in a Monticello houseboat factory.

Ideally, these homes would:

• Meet state residential building codes;
• Operate on $1/day;
• Cost $100,000 to construct; and
• Purchase 75% of the materials, goods and services for the home from Kentucky businesses.

Over 80% of the materials, goods and services for the first prototypes were purchased in Kentucky, and they met both state building codes and EnergyStar standards. The homes are beautiful, and provided a critical learning experience for all of the participants. KHIC –
in collaboration with the UK/CoD and Wayne Manufactured Structures – has built 16 HBEER homes. KHIC is currently in the planning stage to develop a small multi-family project in Middlesboro, KY using HBEER units.

Unlike manufactured homes, which conform to a national HUD code and travel to a site on a permanent chassis which stays with the unit, modular homes are “stick-built” homes. The only difference is that instead of being assembled entirely on site, parts of modular homes are assembled in a factory and then put together on site.

For more information on HBEER homes, please visit Wayne Manufactured Structures.