The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota has set a goal of building 100 energy-efficient homes during the next five years in an effort to revitalize neighborhoods in the northern region of the city that have been suffering the most during the economic downturn. Homes will be built on vacant, city-owned lots and will be priced between $150,000 and $200,000. Energy efficient and designed to complement surrounding structures, it is expected that the new homes will contribute to increases in property values, along with owner confidence.
Green features of the new homes will include low-flow plumbing fixtures and whole house air exchanger systems with continuous ventilation along with the use of low-VOC paint and Green Label-certified carpeting.
Twelve homes are currently under construction and will be completed in August 2013. An additional 15 homes, to be ready for occupants in October 2013, will be constructed after receiving city council approval in June.
One-third of the homes are to be built in Hawthorne EcoVillage, four square blocks of the region that have been designated for a multi-phase project that utilizes green building design and construction strategies and incorporates sustainable site planning, energy and water efficiencies, urban reforestation, indoor air quality improvements, and materials conservation. New construction goals for Hawthorne EcoVillage included the meeting of LEED-ND standards.
Since receiving a $500,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation in 2008, the Hawthorne EcoVillage project has made significant improvements to the area that include home repairs, rehab and renovation work, new construction, and the planting of a Tree Nursery. Efforts have succeeded in reducing drug crimes and prostitution and the project is on track to meet the objectives of economic and environmental renewal.