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What is the Eco Village?
In the Summer of 2012, we broke ground on the first 6 units of the “Eco Village” in River Falls. Now with nearly a year under our belts and the first families ready to move in to their net-zero homes, we are proving that sustainable housing can and should be beautiful and affordable for all. Join with us as we build out the rest of this 18 home model neighborhood of sustainable, integrated community design. The Eco Village is a catalytic example of what's possible in the green building industry, beautifully demonstrating that efficient, ecological building practices can ensure lasting affordability for our hardworking partner families. Through numerous community meetings, design charrettes and homeowner input sessions, we have honed our plans for the site and its structures, creating an inviting community that sits lightly on the land.
Read on to learn more about our efforts, and download a copy of our Eco Village Brochure, browse through the Project at a Glance and explore our Partners Page to learn more about this exciting project and the incredible industry supporters who are helping make it all possible. See what's happening on site right now on our Construction Update page, with links to the latest Eco Village news, and learn how you can get involved on our volunteer page.
Why Go Green?
We believe that we have a responsibility to our community and to our partner families to build houses that are eco-friendly, sustainable and that demonstrate sincere stewardship for our natural resources. We recently received a 5+ acre donation of land from the City of River Falls, the site of our “Eco-Village” neighborhood. Working closely with Frisbie Architects and the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, along with myriad local, national and international partners, the Eco-Village project will be one of the first sustainable neighborhood developments in the country to receive the LEED for Homes Platinum designations - recognized as one of the highest sustainability standards in the building industry.
“The Eco Village project that St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity and its community partners are pursuing represents a growing number of progressive and innovative community building projects within Habitat for Humanity. The project is an impressive model of sustainable community development that has the potential to greatly benefit families economically and socially.”
— Larry Gluth, Senior Vice President for US & Canada, Habitat for Humanity International
Eco Village homes are built beyond typical code standards, and offer a super-insulated design that drastically reduce the demand on heating and cooling systems, thereby conserving vital energy resources. These homes will approach (if not exceed) net-zero energy consumption, thanks to roof mounted photovoltaic panels and integrated solar hot water systems, LED lighting, energy efficient windows and mechanical systems, and a lot more. Check out our Partners Page to see the latest contributions to this historic effort.
The neighborhood is also judicious in its stewardship of our water resources and will contribute to homeowners’ bottom lines (and pantry shelves) with shared community gardening space, edible landscaping around homes, innovative storm water mitigation and rainwater collection systems.
Front Row Seats to the Eco Village!
Check in on the progress - watch Eco Village grow, thanks to the birds-eye view supplied by EarthCam. EarthCam's high resolution camera is continually snapping shots of the Eco Village - and the player below will let you interact with those images like never before! Check them out in full screen - then click and hold to drag, double click to zoom - get up close and personal with the goings on at our bustling volunteer site. Click on the calendar to run back and forth in time - and see every stage of construction! Have fun exploring!
Nestled into and connected to the wider River Falls community, which boasts a LEED-certified City Hall, impressively energy and resource efficient buildings on the University of Wisconsin campus, and a world class trout stream – the Eco Village, as one of our partners astutely put it, “will be another great addition to the ‘Awesomeness Portfolio’ of River Falls.”
Help us build it!
When you Volunteer with Habitat on the Eco Village project, you gain hands-on experience, valuable skills and techniques. Build your sustainable IQ - Volunteer with us today! Want to really get an education? Chippewa Valley Technical College's Residential Construction program is the ultimate in construction training. Students at CVTC will build 2 twin homes in the Eco Village, 2012. Learn More...