A recent article in the New York Times, "The Green House As Classroom" by Lisa Selin Davis takes a fascinating look at the way green homes are being used as show homes to teach energy efficiency and green-building concepts to students, construction professionals, and the general public.
According to the article, not only is this being used for high-end, expensive homes, but for homes that are more in reach for the general public as well:
Some green-building advocates hope that their practices will catch on at the lower end of the market as well. Omaha’s Concept House is called the “Toyota of green building,” by its builder, Fernando Pages. The house, which was completed in June, was designed according to what Mr. Pages called the three pillars of creating affordable green housing: flexibility (embodied, for example, by modular carpets and wireless light switches, which make remodeling and redecorating easier); construction efficiency (prebuilt window trim that takes minutes to install); and sustainability (long-lasting materials like stain- and scratch-resistant countertops or the standing-seam metal roof that can survive for decades).
Check out the whole article, and if you're interested in touring a green home in your area, let me know, and I'll try to direct you to one.