Back in 2008 we featured both sides of what may be considered the green home improvement ścoinť: DIY retailers specializing in green renovation products, and service providers like London''s Green Homes Concierge. Now combining both approaches under a single roof is French Kbane, a Villeneuve d™Ascq retailer that offers education, consulting and green construction services in addition to a broad product line.

A subsidiary of Groupe Adeo, Kbane offers products and services focused on six major areas: gardening, energy efficiency, healthy home interiors, air quality and water, insulation and eco-construction, and solar and new energies. Beyond simply stocking the associated products, however, its flagship store serves as a living ślaboratoryť providing education and demonstration. Every DIY product on display includes a label indicating how far the product travelled to get to the store, among other features. Expert advisors, meanwhile, offer home energy audits and other services tapping the store''s team of building professionals certified in green-minded skills. Kbane also runs an online store for home improvement product purchases. A video on YouTube highlights the store in further detail.

As green home improvement becomes increasingly mainstream, an approach integrating both products and services could be the key to standing out among a growing sea of competitors. Kbane''s first store opened its doors last year, but the company aims to expand in the coming years. One to partner with in a venture near you... (Related: Manhattan retailer focuses on green home improvement ” Green Irene: green home makeovers for $99 ” Eco assessment for homes & businesses.)

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