I'd have to say that my new obsession would be the process of prefabrication and modular design. It's definately becoming a new trend that people are beginning to realize is more important than it sounds. Pre-fabricated and modular homes are the "new" up-and-coming thing in home building which is surprising since they've been around a little over a century. A little history lesson is in order here...
Pre-fabricated homes came about mostly because of the housing boom in the early 1900's. Because Ford was manufacturing hundreds of cars in a matter of days, homes were about to be mass produced thanks to assembly lines and conveyor belts. If you can believe it, Sears used to sell house kits in which the home was constructed at another location and was transported in about 30,000 different pieces. This allowed more Americans to purchase and build homes without a long wait or costing a pretty penny.Today we have a similar system but now we're leaning more towards a "green" advantage to these lovely, piece-able abodes. Many companies, such as New World Home, are focusing the design and construction in a way that will save the consumer mega bucks in the long run. Between energy-star appliances and Hardiplank that doesn't have to be painted for fifty years you're sure to love the idea. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in Louisiana, thousands of people were left homeless and without any hope of rebuilding their lives. Brad Pitt is a perfect example as an angel of hope for those thousands of people. He is one of the many that are encouraging non-profit organizations and various companies to invest in designing and building pre-fab(ulous) and mod(ular) homes.
My co-worker, SarahwithStyle, also pointed out that modular homes are being built from old shipping containers. You know, the ones that are on the back of 18-wheelers, trains, or stacked upon thousands of each other in the Port of Houston--yeah, those! How awesome is that!?
I've come in contact with various individuals who don't think that the idea of pre-fabrication is a result of the green movement and cannot be aesthetically pleasing or practical when in which I completely disagree. For example, MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art in New York City) recently had an exhibition called Home Delivery. This exhibition focuses on exactly this topic but not without the creators of these homes proving to be extradinary artists and designers. Even IKEA is into this pre-fab thing. Can you imagine purchasing one of these babies and having it completely furnished? Too cool of an idea. Let's just hope that you have a Home Owner's Association that thinks the same thing!