Columbia Community Development Commission chooses design entry for eco-friendly home

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | 10:55 p.m. CDT; updated 8:10 a.m. CDT, Thursday, March 14, 2013

COLUMBIA — Standing before the commission, architect Daniel Karlov rotated the white cardboard and plastic model house in his hands, pointing to areas of interest with his yellow No. 2 pencil.

Karlov, working with the Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity and Peoples' Visioning, designed the proposal for a "net-zero home" that was chosen from two entries by the Columbia Community Development Commission on Wednesday night.

The city will donate the property for the home, acquired through the neighborhood stabilization program, and will also provide $66,300 to use toward the house's development.

The competing design was presented by Central Missouri Community Action.  

"A net-zero home, year-round, produces as much energy as it consumes," said Randall Cole, community development coordinator.

Each proposal was required to meet certain criteria and will be sold to a low-income family, Cole said. 

Prior to the meeting, the city's community development department did analysis on the proposals and outlined the strengths and weaknesses of both for the commission.

"As a community, we want to move forward," commission member Michael Fletcher said. "It's a visionary move." 

"We set out to meet the requests of the city and solar panels seemed to be the best approach," said Bill View, the executive director of the Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity.

The proposed design features eight-kilowatt solar panels, sod roofing, underslab insulation, mini-split heat pumps and other features meant to reduce the energy costs.

The six committee members in attendance all voted in favor of the Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity and Peoples' Visioning proposal. 

"Both proposals have a lot of merit but selling the (Central Missouri Community Action proposal) at $120,000 sticks in my mind as a potential issue," said Terence Crouch, member of the community development commission. "At $107,000, the Habitat house seems like the right opportunity for this project." 

The property, purchased in 2010, is located at 413 West Ash St. If the Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity and Peoples' Visioning proposal is approved by the City Council, construction would be likely to begin early this summer, Cole said.

"The reason I'm so juiced about this design is because we have a lot of work to get America on an environmentally friendly path," Karlov said. "We're trying to show this can be done."

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.

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