Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to be a veteran to buy a home in these communities being created and built? No, there is no restriction to who can purchase them. They are being targeted to veterans, but open to anyone unless the community is age restricted.
Are these homes only available to purchase? No, there may be renting opportunities from owners of 4-plex homes who need to rent out the other 3 homes of their 4-plex. There may also be investors interested in building Energy Positive homes for renters, as they offer a better ROI (Return on investment) with no heat or electric bills. In the future we hope to build Energy Positive apartments for people renting low income apartments, so they can save on utility bills as well.
Where are these being built? We want to build the next model this Fall in Blair, WI. We also have a lot donated to us in Chetek, WI. to build an EPH for a veteran. We hope to also build a model around the Twin Cities area, and identify builders who would like to work with us to build developments of Energy Positive homes.
By leaving your contact e-mail and name at the bottom of this page, we can send you updates as we locate property to build on and builders to partner with.
What are the cost of these homes? They should cost about the same cost as typical stick construction in your area, just without the utility bills. We estimate about $100 per square foot for the homes, plus whatever the land and garage costs are. A 1,300 square foot 2-bedroom 2 bath home with a double garage should be around $160,000. There should be a selection of smaller and larger homes than this being built, and this will be coordinated with the Veterans who want to buy them based on the response in each area. We will also be building smaller homes (800-900 sq ft) so more people will be able to afford to build an EPH.
What is a "SIP" home? Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are a high performance building system for residential and light commercial construction. The panels consist of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two structural facings, typically oriented strand board (OSB). We have a building technique that takes SIP's to a whole new level of efficiency. By using SIP's, a particular kind of foundation, and some design improvements to traditional construction, the result is a model home so efficient, that it breaks the rating system.
How efficient are these homes? The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home's energy efficiency is measured. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance. The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index,
while a standard new home is awarded a rating of 100 (Lower is better, like golf). An efficient home can boast a score of 50. Our model home scored a projected 6 before construction, and has now proven a score of UNDER ZERO over the last year! The home created more energy than it used by design, proving it to be Energy Positive. It created 159% of actual energy used for heat and cooling, and all other electric needs for the year.
Another SIP test home in Iowa has been Energy Positive for 15 years straight as well, next to the model home.
Do you have any home designs? YES! Click on this link to see 15 home designs. (They might take a minute to load)
Nearly any home design can be made with SIP's, so if you have something else in mind, let us know.
How much money can I save owning an Energy Positive Home? For a similar sized home that you are living in now,
add up your heat and electric bills, and that's just the beginning. If you charge an electric or hybrid vehicle with the extra electricity produced, you can cut your fuel bill. Adding atomizers on your faucets and shower can cut your water bill.
Tell me more about the community center. We will design each new community with an eye on solving issues. One issue is that people don't get to know their neighbors like they used to. We can create opportunities for connecting with each other with a central Community Center with indoor and outdoor seating, and weekly events like "movie night", "Game night",
"Weekly community dinner"...., so residents stay engaged with each other.
How can I learn more? By leaving your name and e-mail address below, we can keep you updated with e-mails.
Please put any questions in the message box that your have. That way they can be asked and answered in the e-mails for everyone.
A unifying project like building a community center helps create neighborhood cohesion.
The idea is to get people in a new neighborhood working together as a group, veterans meeting each others' needs.
Serving each other makes unity possible.
If this is something you would like more information about, send us an e-mail. We will update you on our progress.