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Greensburg GreenTown is a charitable nonprofit organization working in Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild the town following the devastating tornado in May of 2007. The town has made a remarkable comeback, reinventing itself as a model for sustainable building and green living now recognized around the world. GreenTown works to make green building and living easily understood, appealing and accessible to all.

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« Sustainability and the Job Market | Main | Paying It Forward, Continued »

Joplin Media Feature 3 Sustainable Building Stories in 4 Days

image credit: walltowalltruckers.com

We are pleased to share with readers the recent flurry of media coverage related to local sustainable building projects and to the resources offered by GreenTown Joplin. Saturday's Joplin Globe featured a story by reporter Debby Woodin, Residents Use Green Building Techniques to Conserve Utilities, which showcases three families who lost their homes in the tornado who have chosen to rebuild very durable, high performance residences.

  • Good Will Builders is constructing a SIPs home with ICF foundation for Hugh and Ramona Shields. It's projected that heating and cooling their living space will run them about a dollar a day. Camdenton-based Alternative Real Estate has designed the home's energy efficient features. The pre-fabricated walls went up in under three hours!
  • Bob and Julie Sheldon are building a beautiful ICF home. Based on the great experience they have had with their detached ICF garage, they expect great things when the energy bills on their new home come due.
  • Frank and Erika Schaffer and their three young children will be living in a very energy efficient home that Frank, a builder, has designed. He owns F.E. Schaffer Construction, which rebuilt over a dozen homes immediately after the tornado; now he is turning his attention to the family home. Frank's dream is to demonstrate to other local builders how simple it is to incorporate energy efficiency features into new construction, and he will use his own home as a living laboratory, documenting every step of the way and offering training on-site.

GreenTown Joplin has provided support and assistance to both the Shields project and to Frank Schaffer, and we are eager to show the public the whole range of what's possible with various building systems. (In addition to the projects featured in the Globe, we helped publicize a local open house being built with ICF from Stitt Energy Systems, based in Rogers, Arkansas. And we've promoted the Convoy of Hope project constructed from the TF Forming System, an innovative concrete-based wall system.)

TF Forming Systems, Stitt Energy, and Alternative Real Estate are GreenTown sponsors, and Will Perkins, owner of Good Will Builders, and Frank Schaffer are part of our local committee.

In Sunday's Joplin Globe, editor Carol Stark characterizes green building and living as "common sense" and "a way of life that makes sense for our future". Carol is a wonderful, passionate writer and we encourage readers to check out her editorial, Green Makes Sense When It's Common Sense.

Monday found Will Perkins, home energy rater Willy Crane, and GreenTown's Catherine Hart on-site at the Shields home for an interview with Melanie Huonker from Joplin TV station KSN. Will described the many energy efficiency features of the home, Willy (our GreenTown committee's energy efficiency guru) demonstrated a blower door test, and Catherine described some of the free services and resources offered by GreenTown Joplin.

Awareness is rapidly growing in Joplin and elsewhere about the many benefits of incorporating energy-saving principles into homes and commercial buildings. If you are building a new structure, retrofitting an existing home, landscaping a yard, or looking to incorporate other sustainable features into your life and want someplace to start with your research, click on the RESOURCES tab at the top of this page.