And I was so excited I emailed the company for more info, introducing myself as local resident who wants more info, as well as a permaculture teacher who also may want to have field trips at one of their sites.
Here's from the response I got:
Well, we will have our first green modular home up in May, it looks like. We are probably the direct opposite of the backwoods dilemma in that we wanted to make green living ubiquitous by involving it in common, everyday design, whether small and cheap or large and expensive. We think that people will never adopt better living practices unless we make the use of the materials and processes much more transparent to their daily lives. If we can penetrate the common market with these concepts, the aggregate positive impact on the environment will be much larger than what the counter-culturalists can accomplish in smaller numbers.
We are just ordinary folk trying to learn more about this and make real change where change is needed. We do not profess to be experts, but rather people who can build and who sense the desire of people to live differently but do not know how in their infrastructure.
Thus, we chose to make our homes "hybrids" to introduce green in whatever degree made sense for the market as a step in the right direction. This first client has decided to add as many functional and marketable features as he can afford in the hopes that others will want to do this and maybe more. We also hope that by making green design more ordinary, it will bring the cost down and make it more useful to the masses. One thing we are doing for sure is turning all the gas appliances we can (heating, water heating, fireplaces, etc.---and working on cooking and clothes drying) into B100 biofuel appliances to use renewable resource and zero carbon footprint vs. natural gas in all our homes. A little step, but powerful impact and one which does not change the use at all for the occupant, other than having the fuel delivered vs. out of the ground.
I would like to hear more about the things you teach. While we have employed green "gurus" as consultants for us (Jon Alexander is one) I always like to hear things at a grass-roots level. I am sure we could learn things from you which may have impact on the lives of those less enlightened.
When we are a little further down the road, perhaps we can meet and you can see what we are trying to accomplish in our world.
Let us know whatever you would like us to know about what you teach and see if there is any commonalities which should be pursued.
Joseph Sanford, Director of Design and Marketing, Specialty Structures, Inc.
That's a big plus I saw too. In 'A Pattern Language' they talk quite a bit about being able to remodel your space to family needs, and thus not Have to use tremendous resources to have a small home and then bigger and then smaller. Or how important it is having it be easy to move walls, etc. for mother-in-law apartments. They also talk about how this type of structure, because its so malleable is so much more likely to be Loved, for the story of the house to be the story of who has lived there, and of course connection to place leads to all sorts of revolutionary things