St. Croix Valley Eco-Village Project: Solar-Powered Homes and Neighborhoods (2014) | wisconsinacademy.org
Your shopping cart is empty.

 

St. Croix Valley Eco-Village Project: Solar-Powered Homes and Neighborhoods (2014)

Location

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity
116 East Elm Street River Falls, WI 54022
United States
US

The St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity Eco-Village Project is a great example of what low- to moderate-income housing can become in the rapidly emerging solar economy.

In partnership with the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, the Eco-Village Project takes a holistic approach to carbon negative solar-powered neighborhoods that produce more renewable energy than the energy (fossil or other) they consume. The St. Croix Valley project is distinguished from other sustainability projects by a quadruple-bottom-line that encompasses design and performance across four metrics: environmental, social, economic, and community.

Comprising 18 LEED Platinum houses with both solar hot water and five to six kilowatts (kW) of grid-tied photovoltaics on each (besides an additional 75 kW solar farm), the eco-village is capable of renewable energy-positive and carbon-negative performance. Rainwater harvest, edible landscaping, community gardens, permeable driveway and trails, rain gardens, a community center, and many other permaculture-inspired features elevate the standard of living for eco-village residents while offering a long-term return on investment.

The sustainability-driven concept for the Eco-Village Project originated in 2007, with formal planning, design, and partnerships underway in 2010, and ground breaking for the first six homes in July 2012. The anticipated five-year build out for Eco-Village 1 is being fast-tracked to completion within three years. Eco-Village 2 is already in discussion and conceptual planning in a neighboring community, and will be roughly twice the scale as the first. According to Kelly Cain, director of the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, all Eco-Village 1 homes will be completed in 2015 and construction on Eco-Village 2 is expected to begin in 2016.

Thanks to this collaboration between corporate sponsors, community partners, and Habitat for Humanity International, the solar-powered potential of the future is already becoming a reality for those most in need but typically least able to afford it. The Eco-Village Project models moving “beyond sustainability” to “re-localization of community economics” based on a solar economy.

Subject Tags: 

Contact Us
contact@wisconsinacademy.org

Follow Us
FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusInstagram

Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608-263-1692

James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-265-2500