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Rebuilding as the "Town of the Future"

After Greensburg, Kansas was nearly flattened by a tornado in 2007, rebuilding the town has taken an environmentally conscious road.
April 30, 2009, 12pm PDT | Judy Chang
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"The town's John Deere dealership also used the opportunity created by the tornado to start over. Its new state-of-the-art facility uses recycled oil to heat and cool its floors, wind turbines to create electrical power and lights that don't require electricity.

'There's a tube that comes down from the roof and it is mirrored inside, so it actually collects the light,' said Mike Estes, a fourth-generation owner of the dealership. Estes learned so much about building green that he started a separate wind turbine business.

'We thought our farmer customers could really benefit from this,' he said. 'If they are saving money on their energy, they have ... disposable income that they can spend anywhere on their farm.'

The John Deere dealership will save money as well. It cost Estes a lot more up front to build this way, but he estimated his business will save about $25,000 a year in energy costs."

"'This town is definitely an example for the rest of the world. We have people from around the world coming out of their way to come to Greensburg,' he said. 'So it's a great place for people to come and have an emerging experience with what a town of the future looks like and feels like.'"

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Published on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 in CNN
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