The Homes at Easthampton Meadow
Zero Energy Attainable Community
Easthampton, Massachusetts

In January of 2010, Pam Goodman, president of Beacon Communities Development LLC, phoned the Transformations office. Beacon is a multi-family home developer/manager that has developed more than 9,000 units of housing. Pam was interested in doing something different on a project of 33 single-family homes. She had heard about our cost-effective construction techniques for high-performance homes and wanted to see what Transformations could do for her company at this site.

Basics

  • Located in Easthampton, MA
  • 31 Home Zero Energy Attainable Community

Status

Keeping the homes affordable was essential to making the project work.  The project had been permitted and originally priced out at an Energy Star level of efficiency only.  It was all set to move forward when the housing market collapsed.  The project was put on hold for several years until the market began turning around.

The challenge was to build to a more energy efficient platform while keeping an eye on the cost per square foot for construction.  Transformations proposed building the shell to a super insulated standard and having the solar electric systems be optional.  This proved to be a cost effective solution and a contract for building a model home was drawn up.

The model home was constructed using our Farmhouse plan with revisions by Beacon's in house designer, Mercedes Fernando.  We installed a leased solar electric system on the roof and achieved a HERS 2 index and made the Energy Star Tier 3 level. 

For a more complete description of the project to this point, please read "Making NET-ZERO Affordable" in the November/December 2011 issue of SOLAR TODAY magazine (Click Here for the full article).

In the summer of 2011, Transformations signed a 6.8 million dollar contract to build out all 33 homes.  Construction started in the fall on the first 6 homes---2 custom, 3 affordable and 1 on speculation.  By early 2012, homes were being completed at the rate of about one per month.  These homes were coming in with HERS Indexes in the 38-42 range without solar electric systems around HERS 0 with solar systems.

The project was completed in early 2014.

In addition to building out projects for other developers, Transformations offers consulting to help other builders and developers get up to speed on building Zero Energy Homes.  We offer a special builder program for installing solar electric systems. For information, click here to send us email.