another ecovillage

Proving the Affordability of Green Building With Eco Village

Eco Village is quickly becoming a national showcase for affordable sustainable building. The development is one of the first Habitat for Humanity communities to incorporate on-site renewable energy options commonly associated with more expensive communities. This includes features like photo-voltaic arrays, super-insulated walls, and existing energy efficient window technology using Andersen® 400 Series products.

Eco Village homes – single family and duplex units – are designed with sustainable building principles, including:

  • Using less water through rain/storm water harvest applications (barrels/cisterns), landscaping and gardening.
  • Achieving carbon negative, net-zero energy use, by mounting photo-voltaic panels and solar hot-water arrays on roofs, and using existing energy efficient high-performance window technology.

The project broke ground in 2012, and Andersen has been proud to support Eco Village by funding windows as well as employee volunteer support. Andersen volunteers have logged thousands of hours at Eco Village over the past three years.

Eco Village homes are ENERGY STAR 3.0 certified. The homes have Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores of 33 to 39 without photovoltaic arrays and HERS scores of -5 to 14 with photovoltaics.

In addition to reducing environmental impacts, this project promotes the social aspects of sustainable living. Drastically reduced utility bills resulting from energy efficient building envelopes provides additional discretionary funds available for groceries, education and other necessities. Walking trails and edible landscape promote the human and social aspects of a vibrant community.

While Net Zero homes have often been considered an option for those who have the financial means to absorb the up-front costs, Eco Village is fast proving that this is an affordable option that helps keep homeownership affordable year over year.

eco village window 2



Why Energy Star Matters: Innovating Environmental Change Since 1998

There’s no stronger supporter of the Energy Star program than Andersen Corporation. As the first Energy Star Partner of the Year in the window category, we understand why Energy Star matters.

The Energy Star brand offers a sense of awareness for the importance of energy efficiency and a sense of trust. The brand marks products as the gold standard so homeowners know it stands for trust, quality and integrity; when they see that blue logo, they see those qualities.


Sustainability is a core value here at Andersen. Our environmentally responsible manufacturing operations, sourcing practices, and products all showcase our commitment to energy efficiency, our consumers, and the world. We are constantly innovating our processes to reduce our impact on the environment, and we are proud of our long-standing partnership with a company that shares our values.

Beginning this month, we will be sharing helpful, informative facts and tips about Energy Star on this blog and our social media. Feature will include surprising ways to save money, spotlights on Energy Star certified products by Andersen, and tutorials on how to maximize energy efficiency in your home. This video offers a great overview of Andersen’s relationship with Energy Star.

Energy Star is a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program dedicated to improving energy efficiency and helping homeowners and businesses save money by doing so. Andersen has supported the Energy Star program and its mission since its inception in 1998, and we are excited to share all of the reasons using Energy Certified products can positively impact the environment, and your wallet!



Building Sustainability One Home at a Time

The City of Minneapolis is leading a mission to increase sustainability and revitalize North Minneapolis by building 100 new and sustainable homes on vacant, city-owned lots. The city partnered with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Family Housing Fund and Twin Cities Community Land Bank to fund this endeavor.

The project, Green Homes North, which began in 2012, is inspired by an affordable and energy-efficient housing development known as the Hawthorne Eco Village, also located in a Minneapolis neighborhood. With two homes completed so far, and majority of them in the final stages of construction, these homes are expected to hit the market in early 2014.

The homes use ENERGY STAR® appliances and lighting, Green Label carpet and durable exteriors as well as many other sustainable features. They are also constructed to meet either Minnesota Green Communities standards as developed by the State of Minnesota or certified as LEED for Homes.

The project is meant to provide families with well-constructed, beautiful homes at an affordable price. They are also conveniently located near downtown Minneapolis, making transportation easier and more affordable for those who work downtown.

Andersen Windows is one of many Minnesota companies to contribute to this project. The company’s 200-Series windows were installed in some of the homes, which help to increase energy-efficiency. Andersen considers several elements to determine the efficiency of its windows including:

  • U-Factor, which indicates how well a product prevents heat from escaping
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, which measures how well a product blocks heat caused by sunlight
  • Visible Transmittance, which refers to how much visible light comes through a product

Check out Green Home North’s video about the development and hear what current residents have to say about their experience.