The Chameleon House: an Adaptive Sustainable Manufactured Home

EPA Grant Number: SU833190
Title: The Chameleon House: an Adaptive Sustainable Manufactured Home
Investigators: Mansy, Khaled , Bilbeisi, Mohammad
Current Investigators: Mansy, Khaled , Allen, Emily , Allen, Joshua , Bailey, Brad , Bilbeisi, Mohammad , Cassel, Darren , Chan, Augustus , Collins, Joe , Denning, John , Letzig, Brian , McGaughey, Adam , Munger, Joshua , Murray, Daniel , Nguyen, Tri , Obata, Takeshi , Parizek, James , Robertson, Jennifer , Round, Daryl , Sanchez, Winunpa , Stewart, Andrew , Sullivan, Michael , Testa, Kristina , Wolfe, Brian
Institution: Oklahoma State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through August 31, 2007
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


In the United States, 7.43% of occupied housing units are manufactured homes. Currently, 17.28 million Americans live in manufactured homes. Yet, manufactured housing is still an under-examined component of the domestic housing market. Manufactured homes are factory-built homes. A fact that makes them provide: cost efficiency, increased quality, and speed of site assembly. Although manufactured homes are affordable, and owned or occupied by low-income families, they fail the test of sustainability. In other words, American families that are in dire need for sustainability are denied access to sustainability!! Because manufactured homes should be portable, lightweight, and designed before site selection, they are not climate-specific, not site-responsive, and lose the benefit of thermal mass. That is why manufactured homes are not energy efficient, i.e., unsustainable.

The objective of this project is to design models for a new generation of manufactured homes that is energy efficient while still being affordable and portable. Students will design adaptive manufactured homes that can adapt to a range of climatic conditions and to possible site placements. With the use of adaptive forms and adjustable shading devices, manufactured homes can become adaptive to different climatic conditions and site placements. With the use of refillable water bags within the envelope, manufactured homes can enjoy the thermal flywheel effect of thermal mass while still being lightweight during shipping. The use of rigorous engineering methods to perform thermal load calculations and to design passive thermal systems will provide quantifiable measurable results that assure energy efficiency in all seasons in applicable building sites. Baseline for energy savings is considered to be the requirements for Energy Star homes (ES06). Energy efficiency will help people decrease energy bills, and will help the planet by reducing unnecessary pollution. Besides being a venue for implementation, partnership with Oklahoma Correctional Industries (OCI) maximizes the benefits to society. Finally, this project will enhance students’ awareness of sustainability and will highlight the crucial role of interdisciplinary research and design to achieve sustainability. Students will work on this project as a requirement in an elective course on sustainability, then as a directed study.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

engineering, energy, conservation, pollution prevention, innovative technology, sustainable development, population, socio-economic, public good, regionalization, industry, EPA region 6,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, sustainable development, environmentally conscious manufacturing, alternative building technology, climate control and illumination building, environmental conscious construction, green building design, manufactured homes, energy efficiency, architecture

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report