Green homes planned for Lyndale

Construction of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified homes in Minnesota is scheduled to begin this month in the Lyndale neighborhood.

LEED is a national standard the U.S. Green Building Council developed for high-performance, sustainable, environment-friendly and cost-saving buildings. Other local LEED-certified projects, including the Portico apartment complex planned for Lagoon Ave. in Uptown, are in the works, but none is under construction.

Lyndale residents, project planners and City Councilmember Ralph Remington (10th Ward) attended an Aug. 3 groundbreaking ceremony for the Lyndale homes, which will be built at 3445 1 Ave. S. and named e2 City Homes. To save energy, the homes will feature geothermal heating and cooling, energy-saving lights that automatically turn on and off when someone enters or leaves a room, foam soybean-based insulation, insulated concrete walls and low-energy appliances.

The building will use no fossil fuels, 75 percent of the construction waste will be recycled, and rain gardens and native landscaping will be featured outdoors.

Project Manager Tom Menke, of The Urban Project, said the homes should offer reduced utility and maintenance costs, be healthier for their occupants and the neighborhood, and last longer than traditional homes.

“This is the wave of the future,” he said.

Melanie Majors, executive director of the Lyndale Neighborhood Development Corporation, said that since an old apartment building was torn down at the e2 site in 2000, the area has been a breeding ground for crimes including prostitution and drug dealing. The new project should reduce those activities, she said.

Two of the four e2 homes have been sold so far. Costs range from around $250,000-$264,000, Menke said.

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