Hudson business volunteers are builders for a day
Individuals and volunteers from a dozen downtown Hudson businesses spent last Thursday helping build the Habitat for Humanity Eco Village in River Falls.
Sarah Bruch of The Purple Tree organized the "Downtown Build Day."
"The main thing about this project is that as a business community we wanted to give back to River Falls residents," Bruch said. "As businesses, we all have a solid customer base from River Falls and feel strongly that we like to show our appreciation for their on-going support of our business community."
The volunteers hung Sheetrock, installed air vents and laid radon barriers in basements, among other things.
"It's hands across the interstate," Art Doyle of Art Doyle's Spokes & Pedals quipped as he and a group of fellow volunteers worked in a basement putting in the plastic radon barrier.
"We've all learned these great life skills. We were hanging drywall earlier. It's pretty cool," added Angela Bruch, Sarah's sister.
Work on the Eco Village began last July.
The plan for the first phase is to build 18 houses varying in size from two-bedroom to four-bedroom, in a mix of twin- and single-family homes.
Eco Village's sustainable features make it unprecedented. Organizers expect the project to achieve certification in green home building and for its homes to achieve nearly net-zero energy usage.
Some of the homes' earth-friendly features include, or will include, super insulation, window placement to maximize solar gain, large solar photovoltaic and solar hot-water arrays on the roofs, a "solar farm" of ground-mounted panels, rain barrel and cisterns to collect rainwater from roofs and community gardens.
Much more information on the project is available online at www.scvhabitat.org/eco-village.
The Hudson businesses represented by volunteers at the build day were Hudson Flower Shop, Elan/Dilly Dally, Knoke's Chocolates, Art Doyle's Spokes & Pedals, Et Cetera, The Purple Tree, Barker's Bar & Grill, Pier 500, Chapter2Books, Sandeen Insurance Agency, Skinner Law Associates and A'la Mode Salonspa.