Millions of people in America live in manufactured structures—a range of units that includes manufactured homes, travel trailers, camping trailers, and park trailers. Manufactured structures are used for long-term residence; for temporary housing following disasters; for recreational and travel purposes; and also for classrooms, day care centers, and workplaces. Housing is a primary purpose of these structures, with manufactured homes accounting for 6.3% of the housing units in the U.S. and housing 17.2 million persons. Manufactured homes offer flexibility and affordability, and comprise an important part of the U.S. housing stock.
Whether used for long-term housing or for short-term shelter following a disaster, for classrooms or for offices, manufactured structures should be safe and healthy for the people who live, work, study, and play in them. With Americans spending the vast majority of their time indoors, it is vital that buildings protect occupants from the elements and provide privacy, comfort, and peace of mind. At the same time, these structures should not present risks to occupant’s health and safety due to design, construction, or maintenance problems.
This report identifies and summarizes safety and health issues in manufactured structures based on a wide expanse of research. The end result is a thorough characterization of health and safety hazards in manufactured structures, along with mitigation strategies and discussions of opportunities for health/ safety enhancements and at-risk populations.