Ecovillage at Ithaca expanding with third neighborhood

Ecovillage at Ithaca expanding with third neighborhood

Imagine a house so energy efficient that it needs no central heating, even in Ithaca.

It’s what’s called a passive home–they have caught on in Europe and are just now popping up in North America–and they are part of the Ecovillage at Ithaca’s third neighborhood.

The houses are being built using solar panels that work in the winter to provide essentially free heat.

Ecovillage Executive Director Liz Walker says the homes conserves 90 percent of the energy needed for heating and cooling a house.

“Rather than pay big bills to the energy companies, we’ll be generating our own power both through these energy-efficient homes, and through use of solar panels, which will provide electricity for the homes,” Walker said.

Walker says solar thermal energy will provide hot water for the homes.

Passive house construction is commonly used in Europe but is new to North America. It’s considered the highest building standard in the world.

Walker says construction of the passive homes in Ecovillage’s third neighborhood is expected to be completed by summer of 2014.

More Local Headlines

in Local

New York, Facebook team up to fight sex trafficking

state leg

Officials say the partnership opens up "a new front" in the fight to combat online sex trafficking.

in Local

Business leaders oppose $15 minimum wage hike


Members of the Business Council of New York say they're against raising minimum wage to $15 an hour for many reasons.

in Local

Health Department seeks information after dog bite


Health officials say the dog bit a man on Sunday, and needs to be found and checked for rabies.

in Local

Reed speaks in Washington on education, college tuition


Congressman Tom Reed says he has a new plan for education to lower tuition costs using endowment money.

in Local

Mistrial declared in Charles Tan murder case


After eight days of deliberations, judge in Charles Tan murder case declared mistrial Thursday morning; Charles Tan will remain free on bail