Area getting 89 green homes – Chris Rhatigan • Iowa City Press-Citizen • June 10, 2008
Dan Dolan is an Energy Star builder, meaning that his homes are constructed to meet a set of guidelines on energy efficiency.
And he thinks Iowa City is the perfect place to construct an environmentally friendly product because of its highly educated citizenry.
That’s the impetus behind his new project, Heritage Village, which will include 89 new homes on the southeast side of the city.
The first phase of 29 homes is being constructed, and Dolan said three have sold.
The first phase will take two years, Dolan said. Two more phases of 30 units will be constructed after that.
Dolan said he’s chosen to build so-called green homes because of consumer demand combined with government-financed rebates. He added that with the continual rise of energy prices, more people are aware that the initial investment for an energy-efficient home is worth it in the long term.
“In my mind, the wild card right now is energy,” he said. “The more we can conserve energy, the better off we’ll be.”
The development includes high-efficiency water heaters, high-performance windows and high-efficiency appliances.
According to Energy Star’s Web site, homes built to their standards are 20 percent to 30 percent more efficient than standard housing.
Local environmental advocate Mike Carberry praised Dolan for building to the Energy Star standard.
He said more than one-third of all energy is used by homes.
“Historically, we’re pretty inefficient. Building green is definitely the way to go,” he said.
Dolan said creating accessible homes also was important. There are no stairs going into the homes, a feature Dolan said is important to attract both senior citizens and parents with young children.
The homes sell for $190,000 to $230,000. The development is on Sherman Drive, which is off Gable Street.
Dan Dolan Homes, which is based near the Quad Cities, also is constructing residential developments in Clinton, Muscatine, Davenport and Blue Grass.
Dolan said that despite problems in the national real estate economy, his company is doing well.
“The rest of the nation is having more of a housing problem,” he said, “but I’m as busy as I’ve ever been. I’m really bullish on Iowa.”
He said a strong ethanol and soybean market could only mean positive economic flow for the state.
Lepic-Kroeger Realtor Jeff Dill said green building isn’t just for the high-end market anymore.
He added that he’s seeing more builders across the board using environmentally friendly techniques.