This just in from our good friend and Chelsea Green author Dan Chiras  and the efforts to rebuild Greensburg, Kansas as a sustainable community from the ground up. The community was nearly wiped off the face of the Earth by a tornado last year, and Chelsea Green has donated green building books to help the community develop a sustainable library—and has urged other book publishers to join us.
“Businesses are showing an outpouring of generosity,” notes Chiras, who’s leading a team of architects and builders to build two of the “greenest homes on the planet” in Greensburg.
Chiras’s team, EverGreen Design-Build Partnership, consists of green architect, James Plagmann of HumaNature Architecture in Arvada, Colorado; designer-builder, David Parker of Denver Colorado; and Brandon Dardanis, a builder and manufacturer of Tech Block, arguably the greenest insulating concrete form on the market today. The team plans to build two homes, one from Tech Block and another from straw bale.
“Our homes are two of dozen planned eco-lodges, places people can stay in when they come to visit and view the green building efforts of Greensburg,” says Chiras. “The two-bedroom 1,200-square foot state-of-the-art guest homes, powered entirely by wind and solar energy, will cost about $250,000 each.”
“These homes are models that will demonstrate what individuals in Greensburg and throughout the world can do — how green they can build their homes and how much this will save them—all the while helping combat global climate change that spawns vicious storms like the one that devastated their town in 2007,” Chiras adds. “My team members and I have donated a considerable portion of our time and energy to the project, worth an estimated $20,000 to $25,000 on each home.”
A number of businesses have either donated cash or products and services—or offered generous discounts on them—to help make the green dream homes a reality.
Here’s a rundown of who’s joined Dan’s team effort:
Eco-Structure magazine was first to join our team. As an official team partner, they are helping Ever Green Design-Build raise both awareness and money – efforts that have already begun to pay off.
Two of Chiras’ publishers Chelsea Green Publishers and New Society Publishers agreed to help publicize this work through their newsletters and blogs. Both publishers have donated numerous books on green building and sustainability to the citizens of the town and Chelsea Green has made a cash donation to our project.
Three wind turbine manufacturers, Entegrity, Endurance, and Abundant Renewable Energy, have offered discounts on their turbines. ICS, which manufactures a structural insulated panel that the team will use to build the roofs of their homes, is offering a discount on their product.
American Clay, which manufactures a natural earthen plaster, has donated 100% of the all-natural plaster and clay paints for the interior walls and ceilings of both homes.
Chiras’s long-time friend and associate, Gary Dillard of Red Pueblo Construction has volunteered to apply the interior plaster for both homes at a generous discount.
Hathmore Technologies, LLC, Blue Springs, MO has agreed to perform energy analysis, energy rating, and LEED certification at a discounted rate.
Harvest Solar Energy has volunteered to donate and install a solar electric system at a generous discount and, if necessary, help with wind turbine installations.
“The support extends beyond building trade,” notes Chiras. Linda Stuart who owns and operates Evergreen Candleworks, which makes all-natural, organic soy candles in Chiras’s hometown will donate cash to the project through candle sales.
The CU Continuing Education, through which Chiras offers workshops on green building and residential renewable energy, has donated two scholarships to residents or builders associated with Greensburg to attend three of Dan’s workshops on passive solar design, green building, and residential renewable energy.
Last but not least, Desiree Rengert, a students at SUNY Brockport, who heard about our efforts through a professor at her University, has volunteered to help raise money support our project.
For more information contact Dan Chiras, Ever Green Design-Build Partnership, at (303) 674-9688 or [email protected]