CNET News Video: See a completed green, prefab home
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CNET News Video: See a completed green, prefab home

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A few weeks back, CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos took a trip to Oroville, Calif., to visit a factory that specializes in creating prefab homes with green-conscious ideas behind them. Now, take a look at the finished product that was shown off to him by designer Michelle Kaufmann.

[ music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi, this is Michael Kinelis [assumed spelling] at news.com. Now a few weeks ago, remember we were in Orville, California, in a factory making a house. Well, here's the finished product. It's the MK Lotus home, it's here at West Coast Green. In about four weeks the house was completely finished, it was driven down by a semi truck, and put up on blocks for people to see at the show. So Rebecca, how long does it generally take to put a house together like this? >> Well, this home can be built in as little as four to six weeks in the factory. And while the site is being prepared, the home is being built at the same time. And so the idea is that there are time efficiencies with the construction process, because the home is complete in the factory, and then it's shipped out and set on the site-built foundation. >> Now all in, what would something like this cost if I was gonna buy it? >> Well, I refer to this as the Rolls Royce of MK Lotus, and this home would sell for two hundred and twenty five thousand dollars, and that's including everything that you see here, all of the finishes, the green roof, the solar, the tresses. It also includes all of the decking, we have a gray water system, and also a rainwater catchment system with this home. >> Would that also include transportation, sales tax, and putting it on the foundation? >> That's a little extra. >> Now generally do you decorate them, like this one here is all decked out with furnishing. Or is it pretty much that people want it plain and then they decorate it on their own? >> So what we do actually is, Michelle Kaufman Designs actually has developed this concept of providing pre-packaged solutions to our clients to go green. And with that, when they come in to work with us, on MK Lotus for example, we will send them a catalog of pre-selected finishes and materials to choose from. >> Now one thing I liked a lot in here were the closet doors in the business. >> Right, it serves a dual function. Not only does it serve to hide our belongings here, because we all have stuff that we want to hide, but it also offers privacy while you're in your bedroom. And this great eco-resin transparent material is also, it also has bear grass. >> Tell me about the space-age toilet here. [ laughter ] >> What we have here is this amazing toilet, it's a dual flush toilet by Kohler. >> Um hm. >> And the idea behind the toilet is regulating the water flow. And so to operate the toilet, you have two buttons here. >> Um hm. >> So if you want a little bit of water, then you press the larger button here, which you're probably gonna use most often. And then you have the smaller button in the back, which actually, it allows more water to flow through the toilet to flush. They actually recycle porcelain, so for that particular vanity they went to the junkyard and grabbed a toilet, and smashed it to bits to make that beautiful vanity, which is ironic, isn't it? >> Right. >> In the bathroom. >> Judging from the reaction at the show, there's a lot of interest in modular homes. They're clean, they're sort of chic, very modern, and all of the furnishings are put inside. Now Michelle Kaufman Designs has a deal to actually put up a development in the East Bay, and one in Las Vegas. We're gonna see the one in the East Bay first, later on this year. But it seems like this could be a movement that has legs. I've talked to a few VC's, and they're very interested in this space. I'm Michael Kinelis for news.com.

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