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Toyota Looking to Expand Stylish Prefab Homes Unit

Espacio_ef

Forget the fact that I lived in Japan and absolutely love its culture, I didn’t know that Toyota had a homes unit.  And they’ve been in the business of making homes for over twenty years!  The company adapts automobile manufacturing technology to build stylish, earthquake-resistant homes for sale within Japan.  The Toyota Homes unit accounts for only .5% of the company’s $262 billion in annual sales, and Toyota would like to beef that up a little bit.  Plus, with the roll-out of the plug-in hybrid beginning in 2010 (remember all that discussion here about solar homes and plug-in hybrids replacing gas stations?), Toyota would like to do more with their environmentally-friendly, prefabricated homes. 

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Top Green Picks from "How Green Are You?"

100khouse Project

There’s some stunning green work being featured on Dwell right now as a result of the "How Green Are You?" competition.  The basic idea of the competition, co-sponsored by Dwell and the AIA, is to find inspiring entries assessed on their sustainability, functionality, originality, cost effectiveness, and design.  Entrants can provide up to four images and a simple, 250-word description of the project — about all you need to find some incredible designs.  I understand 100kHouse (pictured above) just entered their project, but I didn’t see it on Dwell yet.  Below are a few of my favorite entries so far. 

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Modern Green 547 Arts Center

Greensburg 547

Just a little over a year ago, on May 4, 2007, Greensburg, Kansas was smashed by a tornado that pretty much decimated everything.  Since that time, the city has made news all over the world for its ambitions to rebuild everything in an environmentally-friendly way.  City buildings larger than about 4000 sf will be LEED Platinum, etc.  So this building, 547 Arts Center, is an example of the green reconstruction process going on in Greensburg.  547 Arts Center is the first building certified as LEED Platinum in Kansas and has some incredible green elements — not to mention three small wind turbines twirling away above the roof line. 

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DeFreitas Home Raises Bar for Modern Green Design

Sometimes the images just don’t tell the whole story and that’s where some quality video will do the trick.  I stumbled upon this video while doing research for a prior story and was blown away by the modern, green home.  It’s ridiculous — probably a dream residence for many of you out there.  The passive design, combined with good insulation, high performance glass, solar thermal panels, radiant flooring heating, and an efficient system, keeps this home operating very efficiently. 

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Stunning Eco Home To Be First Andalusian Zero Carbon Footprint House!

Eco Architecture

The team at Diseño Earle was kind enough to pass along some info and images of their stunning design of The Eco Home — a knockout that’s aiming to be the first ‘zero carbon’ footprint home in Andalucia, or even Southern Spain for that matter!  D Earle designed the home with two objectives in mind: (1) zero carbon footprint, and (2) reduce operating costs to almost a self-sufficiency level.  The 6995 sf home, which is absolutely enormous, will be built with 75% less waste than a traditional design and operate 80% more efficiently than a similar sized home.  And although the home design was constrained by the narrow, non-flat site, you can tell there was no restraint in creating the ultimate, luxury, green pad. 

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[Video] Prefab Built Module At A Time

Palms

[Update - video no longer available] Pardon the pre-roll on the video below, but the LA Times has some excellent interior / exterior footage of a Marmol Radziner Prefab being constructed in Venice, California.  As you can see, it was put together module-by-module with much of the interior already in place.  Regularly featured on the MR Blog, this house appears to be for Leo Marmol himself and has been referred to as the “Palms House.”  The Palms House is 2800 square feet, made with 13 modules, and includes 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a living room/dining room, kitchen, office, and a spacious deck/outdoor area.

It’s fun watching the video, because you can see Ron Radziner’s enthusiasm bubble inside as he explains one of his company’s newest creations.  These guys are having fun, you can just tell.

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