Consumers Now Want Smaller, More Efficient, Less Expensive Homes

Small-green-homes

Experts from the NAHB and Better Homes & Gardens Magazine released some interesting research at the International Builder's Show in Las Vegas last week.  They found that Americans aren't interested in McMansions or large homes anymore, they're looking for something more practical.  They're looking for economic and cozy spaces with neat organization.  What's interesting, however, is that the same group that presented this research, the NAHB, is also the group behind IBS and The New American Home.  So despite the fact that consumers want smaller homes, the NAHB brings out a New American Home of 8721 square feet — it's a veritable Temple of Opulence.  I guess you could file this news in the ironic category. 

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Green Roof Trends, Smart Buildings, Passive Houses, + Green Stimulus

Week in Review

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With Nature at Hidden Creek Eco-Village

Crabapple

This is Hidden Creek Eco-Village.  It's a little bit different kind of suburban development that attempts to reconcile the demands of single-family home buyers with the problems of sprawling housing developments.  First, Hidden Creek is full of communal features, such as neighborhood trails, car parks, front porches, central mailboxes, and shared streetscapes.  Plus the homes are densely sited to maintain open, natural spaces.  Second, Hidden Creek is surrounded by the natural environment: there's a nature preserve on the north, a creek on the south, and natural grasses and trees everywhere else.  To maintain the integrity of the site, homes were placed around existing trees and landscaping.  Third, all the homes have been custom-designed for each site to allow views of the surrounding landscape and nature. 

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Adam Kalkin Maine Container House

Kalkin

This Brooklin, Maine home, designed by architect Adam Kalkin, may not be brand new to the green scene (it was built in 2003), but its unique design still looks so fresh today that I had to write about it.  The beautiful home stretches the boundaries of modern design and is truly a work of art.  It was created by stacking a dozen orange "reclaimed" shipping containers in a T-shape while replacing some of the steel pannels with large windows looking out over the rocky peninsula to Blue Hill Bay. 

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Alter Eco LEED Platinum Luxury Home

Dundee Exterior

Alter Eco, an eco-lifestyle and makeover show hosted by Entourage's Adrian Grenier on Planet Green, features the green makeover of a 1926 Spanish-style home in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.  The build was done in only fourteen weeks to keep up with the show's aggressive shooting schedule.  This is particularly impressive because an extra week was needed just to properly divert the construction waste from the initial demo.  The finished project received a Platinum rating through LEED for Homes and is now available for $3.5 million.

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Green Home Prefab Cottage in a Day

Cottage

We've been watching the prefab scene as close as anyone, and it seems the recreational variety is honestly taking hold.  This company, Cottage in a Day, provides factory-built, energy-efficient, green homes.  They currently provide roughly four models, which, not counting the included decks, range in size from 182 – 375 square feet or more.  The homes are made in Traverse City, Michigan and built with locally sourced materials (except the bamboo).  And the idea is that they can be put up quite quickly, assuming the concrete pier foundation is ready to go.

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