Energy solution: Company says its modular homes are 90% more energy efficient than traditional homes

Phillip Palmer Image
Friday, November 5, 2021
Energy solution: These prefabricated modular homes are self-powered
Dvele creates prefabricated modular homes that are self-powered by solar energy, allowing them to be independent of the power grid.

The Woolsey Fire in 2018 killed three people and destroyed over 1,600 structures.

Erin Mills owned one of the homes that were lost.

"It takes years and years to recover from a fire...for the land for the brush for everything," she said.

Mills has neighbors who are still trying to rebuild, but her choice of a pre-fabricated modular home from Dvele has allowed her to replace what she lost in the fire with a customized, self-powered smart home.

"It has a lot of appeal in terms of timing, control, things that are issues when you're building a traditional home," Mills said.

Built at a factory in Loma Linda, then assembled in Malibu, the Dvele home is also described as a "smart home." Solar powered batteries are built into a closet, allowing for the Mills' family to be independent of the power grid if necessary.

An air filtration system monitors carbon dioxide levels, making the home healthier for the residents.

MORE ABC7 SOLUTIONS | New technology battles climate change by using sand to absorb carbon

In the battle against climate change, a San Francisco nonprofit has developed a cutting-edge technology that uses olivine sand to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

"If the CO2 levels hit a certain level threshold, our ventilation system automatically kicks on. So now the home is actually taking care of you. Versus traditionally you got to take care of your house," said Kurt Goodjohn, Dvele's CEO and co-founder.

The homes are designed from the ground up to be energy efficient. Compared to a typical home, Dvele believes their homes are about 90% more efficient than what you could build on site.

Over 300 sensors are embedded into every home alerting the homeowner quickly to issues like an air or water leak.

"It's kind of like a car right? You've got your check engine light on, you got to go in and get get some maintenance done. Homes don't really have that -- until now," Goodjohn said.

Mills agrees.

"I think the efficiency of the home is going to be more prevalent for us over time, the efficiency of the appliances, the way everything sort of works together in the home, not just aesthetically but also technically," she said. "It just gives you peace of mind that everything is working for you."

Dvele has built and shipped homes to Colorado, Utah, Arizona and even Hawaii, but for now the focus is on Southern California before eventually replicating the facilities across North America, hoping to change the home building industry.

"We think that we can touch the lives of millions of people just by creating these amazing homes and hopefully be a driver for more positive future. I think our children depend on it," Goodjohn said.