Wisdom Way Solar Village

March/April 2009
A version of this article appears in the March/April 2009 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 09, 2009
It takes a village in this Massachusetts community to create sustainable, affordable housing.
In the western Massachusetts town of Greenfield, Rural Development, Incorporated (RDI) has completed the first affordable homes in the 20-unit Wisdom Way Solar Village. The solar-equipped homes will be certified through the Energy Star, DOE Builder’s Challenge, and LEED for Homes programs (LEED Platinum certification is expected). More important than the certifications to homeowners will be the homes’ performance; occupants are expected to save approximately $2,500 a year in energy costs. RDI has been a pioneer in developing and building affordable, efficient, sustainable homes in western Massachusetts. Building on the lessons learned from RDI’s home in Colrain, Massachusetts (see “Toward an Affordable Zero-Energy Home,” HE Sept/Oct ’08, p. 16), RDI began plans in 2007 for a community of near zero energy homes in Greenfield. Once again, RDI worked closely with engineers at Steven Winter Associates (SWA) and architects at Austin Design to plan the community. Located on Wisdom Way, the project was named Wisdom Way Solar Village. The Village consists of ten duplexes (20 dwelling units total), including two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes. Eighteen of the 20 homes are for sale; 2 will be fully accessible and will be rented to residents with disabilities. All of the homes ...

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