One of my friends is obsessed with Portland, Oregon — according to him, Portland is a magical oasis of green living and public transportation. As an East Coast girl, I tend to tune out these starry-eyed speeches about the wonders of the mysterious world on the other side of the country.
However, be that as it may be, this story about affordable green housing in Oregon caught my eye. Minimalist+ is a group dedicated to supplying pre-fabricated green homes in the Portland area. The homes avoid the usual pitfalls of pre-fabricated houses: they’re designed by architects, and they’re assembled in local warehouses, so few fuels are wasted during transportation. They’re erected in a matter of days using a panel system, and they’re available in two varieties: “light green,” which costs $160 per square foot and comes with basic green features such as on-demand water heaters, and “dark green,” which costs $180 per square foot and boasts a 30% greater energy efficiency than a typical built-to-code home. According to Minimalist+, the “light green” home will cost $295,680, while the “dark green” home will cost $332,640. So basically, Minimalist+ is offering affordable, easily constructed homes with green features, but without the dubious design principles often associated with pre-fabricated houses.
Minimalist+ hasn’t yet started building its houses, but the group is talking with several potential buyers. What do you think? If you live in the Portland area, or if the Minimalist+ homes catch on and spread throughout the country, would you buy one? Or does the ultra-modern look not do it for you?