Energy Efficient Home on Ash

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COLUMBIA -  The city of Columbia is looking to go green by building a state of-the-art environmentally friendly home.

The home will be built on Ash Street near the University of Missouri campus. Randy Cole, the city's community development coordinator, says the home will serve an income eligible applicant. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the income limit for a single person home is $36,600. This limit jumps to $52,250 for a four-person home.

According to Cole, several agencies including Central Missouri Community Action and the local Habitat for Hummanity will submit proposals for the project by March 1. According to Habitat for Hummanity, the project is appealing because it's a good model for the city and because it gives the organization the chance to experiment with energy efficiency without worrying about cost. Dianna Moore for CMCA mentioned similar reasons, and went on to explain this project would demonstrate, "energy efficiency does not necessarily mean high costs for construction."

Tentative project details might include:

  • increasing the installation in the walls or ceilings to a level further than what an energy star rating calls for,
  • geothermal cooling and heating,
  • and universal design features, like wider doorways and hallways.

Cole explains these features will help the homeowner in the longrun.

"By increasing energy efficiency, we're hoping that this will make the home more affordable to a broader population. If we are decreasing the utility costs, they are gong to have less monthly costs for their housing," Cole said.

It appears much of the neighborhood is happy about the project.

"It's great to bring some more owner-occupied residents to the area too. I've seen the neighborhood change for the better fo the last 8 to 10 years and its becoming a desirable area to live," Columbia resident Chad Canfield said.

However, there are a few themes the community hopes the project addresses. For example, they feel it would be best if the home's driveway was built on Sanford, so it doesn't add more traffic to Ash Street. They also would like the house to blend in with the neighborhood. Many of the homes in the area are much older.

Cole said he hopes construction of the home will begin this summer and finish by the end of the year.