Meadowlark Energy, an Ann Arbor-based home-performance general contractor, will partner with the Michigan Suburbs Alliance in the Green Anchors project to manage the construction portion of the program.
A pilot project is underway in Southgate, Michigan, to rehab abandoned or foreclosed properties and make them as energy efficient as possible. The program involves an intensive rehab of several neighborhood homes to bring their energy and water usage to a minimum. The goal is to demonstrate that even homes built in the 1950’s can be models of sustainability – and of low energy bills.
The over-arching idea is to have the residents of these rehabbed homes trained as neighborhood “coaches” who can act as ambassadors of sustainability and connect their neighbors to resources that will help them undertake energy/water-saving measures in their own homes. These coaches will become part of the fabric of their local community, supporting community efforts such as establishing rain gardens and bike lanes.
“Meadowlark is a good partner for this program because we have been touting sustainability for years,” notes Meadowlark President Doug Selby. “Whether it’s building a super energy-efficient LEED® Platinum home or encouraging homeowners to change their light bulbs from incandescent to CFL’s or LED’s – and everything in-between, we try to educate our customers and get them to take sustainability in manageable steps – both for their lifestyles and their budgets. Even small steps can make big differences when done en masse.” adds Selby.
To date, two foreclosed homes have been purchased for this project and are currently under construction. One home has been vacant for more than three years and is in need of significant structural repair. “These homes need some work, but with a bit of imagination and a grant from Wayne County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the City of Southgate’s HOME funds, we are looking forward to transforming these vacant homes into strong anchors for this wonderful neighborhood,” notes Energy Programs Manager Jennifer Young of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance.
It is the hope of the project administrators that Green Anchors will be a model for neighborhoods that are sustainable anddesirable, and will not only build a sense of community, but will also draw people into the neighborhood – growing the community, helping to retain property values and having a significantly smaller carbon footprint.
About Michigan Suburbs Alliance
The Michigan Suburbs Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Ferndale, Michigan. We were founded in 2002 to address the shared challenges of metro Detroit’s inner ring suburbs, and have grown to engage more than 31 communities representing more than a million residents. The Suburbs Alliance works with cities and partners across a variety of issue areas, always bringing a regional perspective, unique solutions and a collaborative spirit.
About Meadowlark Energy
Meadowlark Energy helps buildings perform better while using less energy. Through quality workmanship and innovative techniques in building performance contracting, we strive to make the healthiest, most efficient buildings in America. We do this for the comfort of building occupants, the security of future generations and for the vitality of our local communities and the environment as a whole.
Source: Meadowlark Builders