Michelle Kaufmann, award-winning green architect and sustainable living expert, today announced the release of the white paper,“Embracing Thoughtful, Walkable Neighborhoods,”  and with it, her firm’s 10 EcoPrinciples for Communities. In the white paper, Kaufmann looks toward the future--when the economy begins its inevitable recovery and credit flows again--and argues why we must resist the temptation to recommence our most unsustainable mode of developing new housing: suburban sprawl. By turning to sprawl’s alternative, smart growth, Kaufmann asserts we can open the door to a new era in housing development that helps secure the health of our communities and our planet.
The white paper, which is available for download at www.michellekaufmann.com , also introduces Kaufmann’s 10 EcoPrinciples for Communities. From Smart Design and Water Conservation to Smart Auto Strategies and Location, the 10 EcoPrinciples map out elements that can be incorporated into a community to make it even more sustainable.
“Now is the perfect time to reexamine the qualities we value in our neighborhoods and hopefully shift our focus onto those qualities that are conducive to financial, environmental, and sociocultural sustainability,” explained Kaufmann, founder and chairwoman of Michelle Kaufmann Companies. “Demand for mixed use, walkable communities in or near urban areas is growing, especially among the members of Generation X and Y. To meet that demand sustainably, more city planners, developers, architects, and builders will need to turn their focus toward green communities.”
At Kaufmann’s firm, which has built more homes for clients than any other in the modern modular architecture world, communities are becoming a growing portion of the scope of work, with projects under development in Denver, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Las Vegas. The innate green character of communities as well as their potential to open up new price points that make green living more accessible to more people ties in perfectly with the firm’s guiding mission: to make beautiful, thoughtful design accessible to more people by employing prefabricated modular building practices and prepackaging green solutions.
The following topics are explored in the white paper, “Embracing Thoughtful, Walkable Neighborhoods”:
US and world population growth and its impact on housing development
· A brief history of suburban sprawl, its economic drivers and adverse environmental and cultural impacts
· A comprehensive argument for the environmental, economic, health, and sociocultural benefits of smart growth through green community development
· 10 EcoPrinciples for Communities
“Americans, willingly or not, are beginning to turn their backs on the idea that a huge house atop a huge lot on the outskirts of town is a tenable dream,” concluded Kaufmann.
By reducing resource consumption, waste, costs, and building time by up to 50%-75% over conventional building methods, Michelle Kaufmann’s prefabricated, modular building techniques deliver benefits to individual homebuyers as well as builders/developers, who are interested in building green multi-family and community developments.
Michelle Kaufmann offers seven modular configurations—Glidehouse®, Sunset® BreezehouseTM, Sidebreeze™, mkLotus®, mkLoftTM, mkSolaire®, and mkHearth™—as well as custom homes and larger multi-family and community developments.
Michelle unveiled the first mkSolaire® home as part of the original Museum of Science and Industry exhibit Smart Home: Green + Wired. The exhibit opened in Chicago May 8, 2008 and ran through January 4, 2009.
About Michelle Kaufmann Companies
Michelle Kaufmann (AIA, LEED® AP) is a tireless advocate and knowledgeable source for eco-conscious living. Michelle founded Michelle Kaufmann Companies with the mission to make it easier for people to build green and live a more sustainable lifestyle. To that end, Michelle Kaufmann leads a full service design/build architectural firm that uses off-site modular technology and prepackaged green solutions as the means to create beautiful, eco-friendly homes and multi-family developments. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Oakland, CA, the company expanded to run its own factory delivering homes for clients on the West Coast. Michelle Kaufmann Companies also works with key factory partners to handle increasing volume and expanded territories.
Interested in connecting with people beyond traditional architecture, Michelle has launched a collection of lifestyle media properties, products, and events designed to inspire individuals, families, and communities to create and enjoy sustainable lifestyles. She is renowned as one of America’s leading green gurus.
Visit Michelle’s blog at www.blog.michellekaufmann.com . Learn more about Michelle by following her on Twitter @mkaufmann, or joining the Michelle Kaufmann group on Facebook.
Download the White Paper at: http://blog.michellekaufmann.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/green-communities.pdf