St. Louis’ EcoUrban Homes Back For Second Round: A Better Recipe for Green Urban Infill?

EcoUrban Homes
hit the St. Louis urban housing scene in late 2005. At the end of April 2007 their first pre-fab green home was erected in just six days. Mayor Slay was on hand for the ribbon cutting and good press followed in St. Louis Magazine, St. Louis Business Journal and elsewhere. A couple more homes followed (3 total) and then they actually needed to sell the homes. The first sold in September 2007 and all three have been sold to-date. So where does that leave EcoUrban? Poised for a another round of building apparently.

The EcoUrban blog is active once more and Nate Forst has posted three single-story designs by architecture firm Ebersoldt + Underwood (E + U), stating:

One of our biggest challenges has been balancing forward-thinking architecture with demand (and a city) that leans towards a more traditional approach. It’s a tough row to hoe, because you need to push the design while still addressing context. No one’s really been able to pull it off here, and we all know brick facades with vinyl siding ain’t gonna cut it.

I toured the Pennsylvania home shortly after it was completed. As a first project it was fantastic and Nate readily admitted that they learned a ton on the project (they made a few mistakes). Overall, I loved the concept and the home and believe that quality infill is a gigantic hole in the city’s revitalization. I’ve spoken with several people who preferred to live in the City, but did not want a century-old home. A diversity of housing options is essential.

So what do you think? Which design do you prefer? Do they have something that will work in St. Louis? Will we see a dozen or more of these in the near future?


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