The Future of Green Homebuilding

Callie Little and Ali Ragsdale

Just three months ago, the Village Green “container home project” site was not much more than an idea on paper, now the home is nearing the end of construction and the beginning of green home innovation in North Mississippi.

The new home is entered in a contest for the Mississippi Home Corporation’s “Most Affordable Home in the State.” Contractor Bill Lilly is behind the project, building the home’s frame largely from shipping containers.

In addition to the affordability issue, Lilly said the real inspiration for the project lay within a simple question, “How can I apply what I know to help the planet?”

With 40,000 shipping containers taken out of commission each year, Lilly says the are plentiful and perfect for recycling as the frame for the house.  But that was just his first step toward enhancing the sustainability of the home.

Lilly explained that installing features like a geothermal heating and cooling systems are also ways for homebuilders to “go green.”

Geothermal” is about the greenest thing you can do for your home. It is 30 feet under the surface of the earth, and you are harvesting that power and transporting it to your home,” said Lilly.

Lilly said he sees the green movement gaining popularity, not only because of its environmental benefits, but also due to its pocketbook effect.

Utilizing energy star lighting packages, spray foam insulation, the original industrial container paint and even the original home slab are all ways Lilly has made the project more productive and cost effective.

The projected utility bill for the home is $13 dollars monthly, though Lilly suggests unplugging laptops, coffee pots and other household appliances to cut costs even further.

Lilly hopes that the novelty and innovation of the project will attract like-minded homebuilders who want to do more for the environment.

“We’ve got to shift gears and start thinking about our future generations. It’s just selfish. We were put here to take care of the earth, not to abuse it,” Lilly said.

Partnering your skills with your sphere of influence to positively change the environment is what this container project – and going green – are all about.


~ by aeragsda on October 28, 2009.

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