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.
There’s a lot of positive stuff going on for Jetson Green these days and we’re sure having fun keeping up. Just this week, Stephanie from Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest gave me the grill on various green building topics and posted the “Green People” Q&A today. We talk about my biggest green inspiration, my biggest green frustration, promising green building products, my favorite green building project, and finish it up with some green advice. Don’t miss the advice part — you seriously need it! Thanks Re-Nest!
[+] Green People: Preston Koerner (aka Jetson Green) [Re-Nest]
The AIA has been publishing some interesting analysis of U.S. green building programs, which I wanted to share with all you enthusiasts. In their report, Local Leaders in Sustainability, the AIA looked at 661 communities, or cities with a population greater than 50,000 people, and conducted research of each communities’ green building programs. The AIA spoke with planners and other officials from 606 cities, getting a 92% response rate. They found that 92 of the 606 responding cities had green building programs — or to put that in perspective, over 42 million people live in cities with green building programs. The report also elaborated on program trends and includes case studies of programs in Portland, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Chicago, Austin, and Atlanta.
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!