As the recent wind chills crank up furnaces and wood stoves in Maine.
There are a half dozen homes planned for Bangor that hope to eliminate the money going up the chimney in heating costs.
“My eventual goal with the house is to design a house that doesn’t need any auxiliary heating, at any point in the year.”
The first of a new six house development is under construction on Fern Street in Bangor. David Kelly, the project manager for Bangor Eco Homes, knows times have changed when it comes to home construction, heating and the economy.
” In the 1800’s and the early 1900’s, people never had to think about fuel, wood heat, oil was cheap, but fuel prices are going up, so a lot of new considerations make it so the priorities of building today are much different than they were yesterday.”
At the site of the old brick building that was home to New Franklin Laundry, house lots have been made, with the focus on homes that create as much energy as they use, and are easy and efficient to heat. There are other developments like this in the US and similar ones in Belfast and Portland, but nothing in Penobscot County, which creates another obstacle for Kelly.
“Whereas they can spend $350,000 for a super insulated home down in Portland area, we’d never want to build a home that would cost that much, so we have to do it really affordable as well, so that’s another thing that we’re trying to work through.”
This first home should be on the market in March, and Kelly expects it to cost 225 to 250 thousand dollars, but the heating bills should be minimal. And this could be the foundation for building in the future.
“Thinking about it not just in the terms of the structural properties of the building but how it performs in terms of heat, is something we really have to be thinking about in terms of builders, but I think we’re going to notice a lot more houses being built like this in the next five, ten years.”
To find out more about their project you can visit their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BangorEcohomes