Since actor Brad Pitt founded the non-profit Make It Right in 2007 to build low-cost, sustainable homes for New Orleans' Hurricane Katrina victims, green building has exploded nationwide. On Friday, two builders are announcing plans to offer affordable homes designed to produce as much energy as they use -- one of which is a stylish modern prefab to benefit Pitt's charity.
California-based LivingHomes, a developer of high-end, ultra-green, factory-built homes, is debuting its lowest-cost model ever -- the C6 -- that will be available in most states. The 1,232 square-foot. $179,000 prefab, which is about half the size of the average new U.S. home, has three bedrooms and two baths as well as a courtyard that blends indoor and outdoor living. Part of the proceeds from each home's sale will be donated to Make It Right.
"This is by far the most energy-efficient home we've built," says LivingHomes' CEO Steve Glenn, noting it's designed to earn the top or platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. He says it's also the easiest and fastest one to build, since it's fully constructed by Cavco -- a manufactured housing company with factories nationwide -- in less than two months and installed on-site in one day.
Also late this week, Scottsdale-based Shea Homes, the developer of Trilogy resort communities and a builder in eight states, is announcing the launch of its "no-electric bill" home aimed at the age 55-plus, Baby Boomer set. The "SheaXero" will combine energy efficiency with solar panels to produce all the power the house is expected to need. READ MORE >>