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Five Suggestions for Businesses Confronted with Green Fatigue and Green Noise

You may have noticed an article by Alex Williams in the NY Times yesterday entitled "The Era of Green Noise."  The article hits on some trends we're seeing, especially in the green lifestyle area, with people worn out by the green barrage of choices and information.  Green advertising and/or pitches might get a roll of the eyes, or worse, some backlash.  People may just repel and fight against the message.  So businesses are starting to get concerned about the proper way to move forward given this "green fatigue" from the "green noise."

I've been thinking about this and have a few suggestions for businesses that want to keep a quality connection to their customers. 

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Santa Barbara Green Prefab on Display

Santa Barbara Sunset Breezehouse

Starting at 10:00 am this Saturday, June 14, a custom-made Sunset Breezehouse designed by MKD will be open to the public in Santa Barbara, California.  The open house will happen in conjunction with the Built Green Santa Barbara Expo, Conference, & Tour, but if you’re not able to attend, Michelle Kaufmann has been posting photos and details of the home for the past couple weeks.  The home, in addition to having all the various green materials and products typically used in MKD homes, has a PV solar array and sustainable landscape design that fits the home just perfectly. 

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Checking Out the 99k House Competition

Hybrid

Back in September 2007, Rice Design Alliance and the Houston Chapter of the AIA announced the 99k House Competition.  The general goal of the competition was to create an innovative design for a small house that is affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient.  More specifically, the competition called for a single family house with up to 1,400 sf of space, including 3 bedrooms, 1.5-2 bathrooms, on a 50′ x 100′ site in a historic neighborhood of Houston.  The construction budget for each home had to be under $99,000, too.

And recently, Hybrid / ORA out of Seattle was declared the winner of the competition (pictured above).  In addition, four other finalists each took $5k in prize money and had their home designs published for all to see.  Make sure to check out their ideas and download their designs below. 

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Envision Solar Trees as Energy Stations?

Envision Solar

As you can see above and below, Envision Solar plans to make parking lots into beautiful power plants with their Solar Groves and Solar Trees.  Envision Solar takes the hassle out of designing structures for solar with their turn-key solutions.  Although the company is working on a next generation design for the Solar Tree, the current iteration includes 64 Kyocera solar modules laid out in total measuring 30' x 40'.  The panels sit at a five degree angle and provide shading for six vehicles, too.  Envision Solar has found success installing these parking canopies near commercial buildings and retail parking lots because the energy can be sold to businesses through power purchase agreements. 

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HOM Draws a Crowd at Dwell on Design

HOM

HOM Escape in Style made its debut at Dwell on Design this weekend and drew a considerable crowd.  Apartment Therapy said HOM was their favorite home on display, and Curbed liked its interior design.  Of the three models that HOM plans for production, the (smaller) 1000 sf design was exhibited throughout the weekend in LA.  HOM designs cost in the $200 psf range, which calculates to approximately $200,000 for a 1000 sf house.

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A Stunning Flatpak House in Aspen, CO

Flatpak Night

This is a Flatpak house in Aspen, Colorado.  I stumbled upon these shots in Flickr, so I don’t have much background on the project.  But we’ve featured a modern Flatpak home before in the Goodwin-Wise Flatpak.  Flatpak houses each have their own particular and interesting features, but the Flatpak system is the same.  It’s a menu of components for living that includes walls, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchen, and various built-ins.  The components are fabricated and designed to meet the needs of the site and owner.

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