Green Building Project:
Solar Powered Home
Eco-Home at Hawk Ridge
Eco-Home at Hawk Ridge is a Solar Model Home demonstrating energy
efficiency, renewable energy and green building.
Location: 2809 Snowy Owl Circle Duluth MN 55804
Groundbreaking: September 14, 2006.
Opening: May 12, 2007
Builder: Women in Construction
Energy Systems Consultant: Conservation
Printable Brochure updated 5/07 (1.38Mb .pdf file)
We are proud to offer new homes that have earned the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR qualified new homes are substantially more energy efficient than homes built to the minimum code requirements. Our ENERGY STAR qualified new homes are independently verified by a third-party Home Energy Rater to ensure they meet ENERGY STAR energy efficiency guidelines. These homes are better for the environment and better for you.
Benefits of owning one of our ENERGY STAR qualified new homes include:
A Label Backed by the Government
All ENERGY STAR qualified new homes are certified to meet EPA's strict guidelines for energy efficiency. This exemplary performance is verified by an independent third party.
Lower Utility Costs
Compared with standard homes, ENERGY STAR qualified new homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and hot water heating. Homeowners can expect to save about $200–$400 annually on their utility bills.
More Comfortable/Quieter Homes
The energy-efficient features of ENERGY STAR qualified new homes keep out excessive heat, cold, and noise, and ensure consistent temperatures between and across rooms-making these homes more comfortable to live in.
Helping to Create a Better Future
By purchasing an ENERGY STAR qualified new home, you are joining millions of consumers who have changed to ENERGY STAR, helping our nation reduce our energy needs and building a cleaner environment for the future.
Features of our ENERGY STAR qualified new homes include:
- Effective Insulation — Properly installed insulation that meets or exceeds national code requirements helps achieve even temperatures throughout the house while using less energy. The result is lower utility costs and a quieter, more comfortable home.
- High-Performance Windows — Advanced window coatings help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. They also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furniture.
- Tight Construction and Tight Ducts — Attention to detail by sealing all holes, cracks, and seams in ducts and construction assemblies helps eliminate drafts, moisture, dust, pests, and pollen. This improves comfort and the quality of indoor air, while lowering maintenance costs.
- Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment — More efficient and properly sized heating and cooling systems use less energy, which reduces utility bills. These systems also turn on and off less frequently, removing more humidity and providing better comfort.
For more information on our ENERGY STAR qualified new homes, contact…[INSERT PARTNER CONTACT INFO]
Learn more about ENERGY STAR qualified new homes at http://www.energystar.gov/.
Messages from Our Eco-Home Partners....
How and why I got involved
in the Eco-Home [ Brian Ross ]
Planning is a consulting firm specializing in helping communities make
forward-looking decisions on community resources - through land use, natural
resource, sustainable development, and energy planning. CR Planning was
a co-founder of Minnesota's "Million Solar Roofs" partnership, Solar Minnesota, a partnership
of businesses, cities, state agencies, and utilities working to promote
solar energy applications as a way toward energy sustainability.
The Duluth Eco-Home project started as an
idea to test how to transform the market for residential solar energy systems.
The residential "solar
roof" market was niche market for solar enthusiasts and showed little
potential to become a more broad-based market. One of the primary barriers
to putting a solar roof on a home was the large up-front cost. People make
$10,000 - $20,000 decisions at only a few points in their lives, and few
people will choose to buy a solar system instead of, for instance, a car.
The Solar Minnesota partnership was discussing how to change that equation.
One point that came up was that the one point at which people routinely
make $10,000 decisions is when they are building a home. Could it be possible,
we all wondered, to make buying a solar system as easy as buying any other
component of a new home? Do you want to include the granite countertop?
Do you want the three bedroom or four bedroom model? Do you want the traditional
roof or the solar roof?
CR Planning, working with the Minnesota
Office of Environmental Assistance,
developed a conceptual program to test this theory. The program would work
with a builder in a new development to put a solar system on the model home,
offer it as an option to people considering buying a new home, and gage
the effectiveness of using this market "pressure point" to transforming
peoples' market-based choices. The
City of Duluth was already a partner
in Solar Minnesota, and in
discussing the project with the Duluth Energy Office, CR Planning came across
of Duluth and the Hawk Ridge development.
CR Planning organized the initial collaborators for the program (City of
Duluth, OEA, Minnesota Power, HRA of Duluth), wrote the grant application
to the OEA (to limit the up-front risk to the builder for installing a solar
system on the model home) and worked with the HRA to find a builder willing
to cooperate on the project. While the initial grant application was turned
down, OEA staff managed to find additional dollars to fund this project,
and worked with the other project partners to facilitate a cooperative project.
When the selected builder decided not to build a model home in the Hawk
Ridge development (for reasons not having to do with the solar project)
the HRA identified Women In Construction as a likely-to-be
How and why I got Involved
in the Eco-Home [Timothy Nolan]
In early 2005 Brian Ross of CR Planning approached me with a proposal to create a model home in Hawk Ridge development with a solar roof that would demonstrate this system to the general consumer at the “point of sale”. Such a home would also fit the profile of the proposed conservation design approach at Hawk Ridge. This resulted in a formal proposal to the Office of Environmental Assistance and the award of a small grant to the Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
The project was slow getting implemented do to development delays and lack of an interested builder waiting to take on the project. In the Spring of 2006 Women in Construction stepped up with their design team to put an innovative solar hot water system and PV system on a model home in the Hawk Ridge subdivision. The intent was to demonstrate the solar system and offer it as an option to consumers buying lots in the subdivision along with other home-building options available to them. The project partners also intended to market and track the interest in solar roofs as a value-added home option, and account for the performance of the system on the model home. This all was expected to help educate developers, builders, lenders, local officials and consumers about the benefits and that a shift in the local market would result.
During 2006, the project gained momentum and a number of other local partners joined in and provided various levels of support. This resulted in enough resources (beyond the original small solar grant) to apply a more comprehensive integrated design approach and build an Eco-Home with many more green features than the solar system. The model would then be open for a year or more as a showcase. In late 2006 it became apparent that the “innovation” in the process was hard to account for and that documenting lessons learned, results, features, etc. was outside the original scope and budget. Thus, I pursued a small contract (from my new agency the MPCA) to fund Wagner Zaun Architecture and the design team of Conservation Technologies, the building performance and energy consultant, and Women in Construction Co., the builder and developer, to “document the construction phase of an Eco-Home at Hawk Ridge and produce illustrative materials of the innovative design, construction, mechanical systems and renewable energy components of this model home. The result is the comprehensive educational and demonstration materials now being used to inform developers, builders, community organizations, and consumers on concrete methods and practices in green home building in the northland region.
and why I got involved
in the Eco-Home [ Rachel Wagner ]
I was contacted by the builder/developer
of the project, who asked if we might
be interested in designing a model "solar home" that would include a roof-mounted
solar photovoltaic (pv) system. I responded that we were very interested,
but that we
typically recommend pv as the "last step" in sustainable design, after first
structure to maximize energy efficiency and resourceful building principles.
exactly the route Women in Construction wished to take, and our firm happily
accepted the opportunity to employ our design approach to this demonstration
specialize in residential and community-based design with an ecological
focus, and we believe that good design happens with good communication.The Eco-Home offers
the chance to communicate to a large audience. There is much to share about
the design process and construction methods, and the reasons to design and
build in this manner. The Eco-Home is intended
not just to demonstrate, but to educate, and we were and are eager to participate
in aproject that has had such a commitment to communication and community.
and why I got involved in the Eco-Home
[ Mike LeBeau, Conservation
I was invited to participate
in the Eco
Home project, on a variety of
levels, fairly early in the process. My firm specializes in assisting in
the design of very low energy buildings as well as in renewable energy systems,
innovative mechanical system integration and building performance technical
assistance and verification. We feel that these areas represent some of
the deepest of the sustainability components over the life of a building
in this climate by providing some of the biggest reductions in energy use
and related emissions and environmental impact.
Besides the reductions in environmental impact this home demonstrates
a large step towards enhanced energy security. In this time of shrinking
natural gas and oil supplies reducing energy consumption to a third or a
fourth of what is common in new homes built today is a timely lesson in
appropriate responses to our coming energy challenges. I am happy to play
a role in this effort. [ Conservation
How and why I got involved
Eco-Home [ Robert W.H. Vokes ]
Investing in Green Building – energy efficient and environmentally
safe housing development – is a priority of Duluth
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Duluth
LISC). Duluth LISC is
part of National LISC, whose Green Development Center provides financial
resources, technical information, partnership opportunities, and education
to LISC programs and the community development field to support the use
of green design, construction, and management principles in low- and moderate-income
As the nation's largest community development support organization, LISC
believes that greener buildings are key components in achieving sustainable
communities of choice and opportunity – good places to work, do business
and raise children.
Energy-efficient and resource-efficient buildings with healthier indoor
- Preserve family income and wealth by lowering utility bills and increasing
- Connect neighborhoods to green-related job opportunities in the design
and building trades
- Provide schools with better learning environments, and stronger operating
- Support healthier lifestyles by exposing residents to fewer toxic substances,
lessening respiratory problems
Duluth LISC is committed to organizations such as the Women
in Construction Company (WiCC) and its Women
in Construction Training Program due to its
dual mission of creating affordable high quality housing and providing jobs
and training opportunities to low-income women and people of color. WiCC
is a part of the “At
Home in Duluth” collaborative of 20+ organizations
which was established by Duluth LISC to help revitalize neighborhoods and
provide affordable housing in four core neighborhoods. As an “At Home” partner,
Duluth LISC has provided grants and recoverable grant resources to WiCC
for a number of projects, including the Eco-Home.
How and why I got involved in the
Eco-Home [ Julie A. McDonnell]
(Environmentally Conscious Options)
was invited by Women in Construction Company to participate in the project
because I had just started a new, woman-owned business in Duluth to supply
and help select environmentally friendly interior and exterior finish products
to the Eco Home project. The business is named ECO and we have partnered
with Women in Construction to provide products that enhance the beauty
and fit the mission of an environmentally safe and sustainable home.
began in order to provide a resource for earth friendly and non-toxic finish
products for building and renovation. We provide an array of new and salvaged
goods as well as green design assistance for residential and commercial
building and renovation. The Eco Home is a natural fit for the variety
of products ECO has to offer: flooring, countertops, clay/earth plaster,
ceramic and glass tile, outdoor furniture, window treatments, toilets,
paint, rain gardens, rain chains, and rain barrels.
Home is a model for how to achieve a comfortable home environment and be
earth friendly at the same time. By having this home as a resource center,
thousands of people will be able to know their options for reducing our
energy demand and toxicity during building and renovation. This home will
show that in the long-run it is more affordable, safer and certainly more
comfortable to live in a home that does the right thing for the earth. If
it is good for the earth, it is good for us. ECO is pleased to support the goals
of the Eco Home and looks forward to its success in the community.