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C6 by LivingHomes

A new pre-fabricated dwelling addresses financial, aesthetic and ecological concerns

by Josh Rubin in Design on 28 February 2012

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The C6, a new low-cost abode by LivingHomes unveiled today at the TED conference in both Long Beach and Palm Springs, California, makes a substantial leap forward in green building. Designed with the hard-hit Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans in mind, the pre-fabricated structure fulfills the requirements for the LEED platinum-level environmental program with a $179,000 price point and two-day installation timetable.

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Non-profit organization Make It Right—the brainchild of Brad Pitt and architect William McDonough—collaborated with LivingHomes on the creation of the C6, producing an eco-friendly home that also complied with economic and spacial restraints. For the materials, LivingHome turned to McDonough's book "Cradle to Cradle", which condemns industrial manufacturing's wasteful methods and encourages the use of recyclable and non-toxic materials. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each C6 home will be donated to Make It Right.

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Beyond its stellar environmental concern, the C6 ranks as an enviable design object. Focused on natural light, the floor-to-ceiling windows extend around the courtyard-style, three-bedroom house, while transom windows and solar tubes bring light to interior spaces like closets and bathrooms. The wooden interior and cork flooring give the space a warm feel, and the external fiber cement cladding makes an affordable, durable material for prolonged use.

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Tech features inside the C6 include the Nest learning thermostat and the iPhone-controlled Verve lighting system. The house can be purchased at its basic level or upgraded with a number of features for extra cost. From there, general contractors must be reached to lay the foundation and erect the structure. Long thought to be the provenance of wealthy homeowners, green design has finally entered the affordable housing market with the C6.

Visit the LivingHomes website for C6 purchase and building information, or to design your own custom virtual C6 floorplan.

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