Green Homes for Greensburg

1 decade 1 year 1 month ago Friday, September 07 2007 Sep 7, 2007 Friday, September 07, 2007 12:06:03 AM CDT September 07, 2007 in News

It's more than 400 miles away and 4 months ago, but a small Kansas town flattened by a tornado is getting help from mid-Missouri.

Columbia architect Nick Peckham organized a national contest where students and professionals designed homes, all while going green. Tornadoes ripped through Greensburg, Kansas on May 6, leveling the town and leaving residents wondering what to do next. The answer came from people willing to help a town of people they didn't even know.

"To be able to help single families who have had everything taken away from them ... their homes, their belongings, we are giving them opportunity for rebuilding," contest participant Kate Devaney.

Groups of three submitted green home designs that include net-zero homes, which produce as much as energy as they consume. The homes must also meet other guidelines, including the ability to withstand tornadoes.  A majority of the buildings in Greensburg did not have a basement. A basement, which provides protection during tornadoes, is another requirement in the contest.  Participants saw it as an opportunity to do what they love, while giving back.

"I'm in school here and doing something I love and doing something you love and helping out somebody at the same time is an amazing feeling," contest participant Paul Ferguson said.

Twelve groups participated in the contest, including three from Columbia.

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