Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Warren Buffett and the Greenneck Prairiebillies: "The Rise of ‘Green’ Modular Homes" (BRK.B; BRK.A)

We relayed DealBreaker's impressions of Clayton during our annual meeting blog-a-palooza last May in "Up Close And Personal With Berkshire Hathaway (BRK)", I'm re-posting more than just the relevant bit on Clayton, I really like Mrs. Mars' taste in rides. Mr. Andrews sold his company to Berkshire in 2007, I can't recall the purchase price but the company was doing about $1.2 Bil. in revs. The car might go for $10 million at auction, no idea what he paid for it.:
...The Tradeshow


The Berkshire tradeshow is another unique feature of the self proclaimed "Woodstock of Capitalism." On display as pure eye candy was a 1935 Duesenberg SJ553, a one of a kind land yacht belonging to Paul Andrews of the TTI subsidiary, but originally owned by Mrs. Forrest Mars, Sr., parent and grandparent to BRK's new partners in the Wrigley purchase.

Clayton Homes had a brand new model of modular housing dubbed "iHouse." Previously manufacturing only traditional style mobile homes, the iHouse offers a new style along with new materials that are less toxic to build and live with. Energy savings is part of the package too, with energy efficient windows and a solar roof option. It's something new, and might usher in a whole new class of greenneck prairiebillies. The 1 bed, 1 bath house can be expanded to 3 beds and two baths and is completely configurable through their website....
Warren and the Greenneck Prairiebillies, sounds like some sort of rockabilly/fusion thang.
From the New York Times' Green Inc. blog:

Kevin Clayton, the chief executive of Clayton Homes, a modular home manufacturer based in Maryville, Tenn., predicted last year that his company’s “i-house” — a solar modular home — would command 10 percent of its profits.

That prediction hasn’t quite panned out, but the manager of Clayton’s i-house division, Brandon O’Connor, says it is raising production of the energy-efficient model — even as other builders are cutting projects in the down economy.

The company also introduced its first green mobile home, the e-home, last December.

“Green and energy efficient homes are here to stay,” Mr. O’Connor said, having just returned from last month’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. “Practically every builder had products on display they were touting as green.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, only 2 to 3 percent of homes built in the United States today are modular — that is, prefabricated in sections, trucked to a building site, and, unlike mobile homes, mounted on a foundation.

But all four demonstration homes displayed at the builders’ show, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, were smaller, greener prefab structures....MORE

Here's some more Green Warren (GEICO has been a BRK company since 1996):