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The Cavco Elite park model - currently popular
Cavco "putting green elements into every park model and cabin we build"
anticipates growing market demand for its “green”
park models, which feature recycled materials, low
VOC paints, water and energy efficient appliances
and fixtures, insulated windows and enough solar
panels to make the units energy independent
NAPPANEE, Ind., April 7, 2009 – For 35 years, NTA Inc.
has provided design review and inspection services to
help RV and park model manufacturers comply with
national building and safety codes.
Now, the Nappanee-based consulting engineering firm has
taken its design expertise a step further by developing
national green building standards for recreational
vehicles and park models.
NTA is a product certification agency accredited by the
International Accreditation Service (IAS), a subsidiary
of the International Code Council (ICC).
“We are committed to helping manufacturers reduce
negative impacts on the environment through all phases
of construction,” said Andy Crisp, NTA’s director of
energy services, adding that Cavco Industries has become
the first company in the nation to achieve NTA’s green
certification for park models produced at its
manufacturing plant in Phoenix, Ariz.
“We believe everyone wants to build and buy ‘green’ as much as possible. That’s why we are putting green elements into every park model and cabin we build,” said Tim Gage, vice president of Cavco’s specialty division. He said some of the company’s solar-powered park models have already been delivered to campgrounds in California, including Sacred Rocks Reserve and RV Park, a 163-acre resort in the mountains east of San Diego.
A Cavco cabin loft
"Cabin or Cedar Loft style is very popular in that rural mountain, lake or ocean side setting"
most trailer products, which have to be hooked up to
electrical utilities, Cavco’s solar-powered park
models have enough panels to generate their own power.
The units come equipped with energy-efficient light
bulbs and kitchen appliances, including tankless water
heaters, as well as maintenance free batteries that are
designed to store enough power to last for two days.
Gasoline-powered generators are also provided as an
emergency backup system.
Also popular with RoTi readers - the destination trailer
but needs to be hooked up to electrical utilities
RoTi destination trailer section
Search RoTi RV reviews
Other green features in Cavco
park models include recycled tires and axles; an
I-beam made from recycled steel; formaldehyde-free
fiberglass insulation; water and drain pipes made
with recycled materials; recycled carpet padding;
water saving toilets, faucets and shower nozzles;
and Gypsum panels made from recycled paper.
Crisp said NTA developed its green standards based on
its own experience with green building practices, many
of which have been influenced by the US Green Building
Council, the American National Standards Institute
(ANSI), the federal Environmental Protection Agency and
the California Air Resources Board.
“These agencies have already established green building
standards, but they only apply to commercial and
residential buildings,” Crisp said, adding, “There are
no recognized green building codes for recreational
vehicles or park models. So that’s the void we are
trying to fill with our new green standard.”
Crisp said NTA’s green standards have been developed in
accordance with ISO Guide 65. He added that the
standards that NTA has developed are very strict, and
apply not only to RV and park model products, but to the
manufacturing processes and work environments of the
companies that produce these products.
“We look at VOCs in their materials. We look at their
manufacturing environment and their level of recycling.
We even look at carpooling policies and whether they
provide a smoke-free environment,” Crisp said.
Cavco, for its part, scored high marks for its use of
recycled materials in construction as well as the
high-energy standards of its park models. “Cavco is a
very clean and efficient manufacturer,” Crisp said.
“They recycle all of their materials. They even use a
lot of pre-cut wood to avoid scrap.”
Gage said Cavco was first introduced to the concept of
building green by one of its customers, El Capitan
Resort near Santa Barbara, Calif. “I remember first
meeting with them and thinking, ‘These guys are crazy,’
“ Gage recalled. “They mentioned wanting materials like
tankless water heaters, SIPS roofs and walls and
recycled barn wood flooring. These building materials
seemed so far out of the box for manufacturing park
models and cabins. However, we now recognize the need
and the reasoning behind building green.”
"Green" park models?
anticipates growing market
demand for its “green” park
models, which feature
recycled materials, low VOC
paints, water and energy
efficient appliances and
fixtures, insulated windows
and enough solar panels to
make the units energy
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