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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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Zamore Homes Focuses on Stylish, Green Kit Homes

Zamore Homes

I’ve been noticing some chatter about Zamore Homes, an online company that provides ready-to-assemble kit-homes that are built with off-the-shelf components.  Zamore Homes is looking to capture the market that wants high design at a low price.  They do that by flat-packing and shipping components to a home site, all of which seem to come from various different places with the lowest possible transportation costs.  They also claim to provide simple instructions for contractors to put all the components together.  With simple designs and flat-packed parts, Zamore Homes estimates that their affordable, energy-efficient kit homes can be put together in under 20 weeks!

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Lotus Bleu puts a New Spin on Vintage Furniture

Lotus Bleu Lotus Bleu

Buying vintage furniture is super green, but it’s not always easy to find pieces in great shape, especially upholstered items.  Lotus Bleu has fixed that problem for us.  They offer vintage pieces redone in new, modern fabrics.  Lotus Bleu is located in San Fransisco, but if you’re not in the area, you can order right online.  Current items for sale are displayed in addition to items that have already been sold, to give you an idea of what might be available at any given time.

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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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