By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
The St. Louis – Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council is investing in a start-up company that is building ultra-energy-efficient homes on a tract adjacent to the future National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters in North St. Louis.
Al Bond, executive secretary-treasurer for the Carpenters, said the project is another visible example of efforts to reenergize property on the city’s north side. The homes are located at the corner of Montgomery and 20th Streets.
“We’re investing $1.2 million in this housing development with the potential of 250 homes to be built,” said Bond. “NetZero LLC, the start-up, is building three display homes within the footprint of the NGA site. The Carpenters have invested in the factory that is manufacturing the panels for these homes. We also underwrote three construction loans on the display homes to provide NetZero with the capital to build them. Without (NorthSide Regeneration developer) Paul McKee, this would not be happening,” Bond added.
Developer for the energy-efficient homes project is Dwight Arant, owner of NetZero. The neighborhood is entitled Saint Louis Park Place.
NetZero COO Jon Bish said ranch and two-story floorplans range from 1,400 to 2,600 square feet. The three spec homes, which are headed for completion in May, are being built with expanded polyurethane structural insulated panels that give the homes an extremely tight envelope and high R-Value, R-28 walls and an R-40 roof.
“These panels are the basis for building net-zero or zero-energy ready homes,” Bish said. “Beyond the SIPs, we used Superior Walls for our foundations which give the basements extra insulation and efficiency. Energy Star windows, doors, lighting and appliances will be used to further reduce the amount of energy required to power the homes. We’re outfitting these homes with highly efficient ERV (energy recovery ventilation) systems and high-end mechanical air ventilation. And we’re equipping each of these homes with a rooftop solar array and battery backup system. All of these features combined enable our houses to achieve net zero.”