Instant House: LEED Certified Pre-Fab in Benton Park West & Tower Grove East

Dawn Griffin Posted by
Local Developments May 2007

Delivery of 3140 Pennsylvania

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EcoUrban Homes is a budding development group in St. Louis focusing on pre-fab and offering LEED certified options. Below is a short interview with Jay Swoboda.

What inspired you to go GREEN in STL?

We approached this project with the goal of rebuilding neighborhoods and decided that infill development could be most effectively addressed using some form of prefab building technology. However, the majority of our inspiration came each month when an issue of Dwell Magazine would arrive in our mailbox. We realized that the prefab process and the minimalism we aspired to through our modern design already put us on our way to building green. For us, there was just something innately green about the modern style and process we were using. We decided if we were going to do this then we wanted to have something we’d be proud of – not just something that would make us money. So we made the decision to start green, build green, and finish green with our homes.

Building green not only makes financial sense for us as a builder, it also makes a lot of sense for marketing and sales. Ultimately, everyone wins – the buyer, the builder, the community, and the environment. We’ll be the first LEED-certified homes in Missouri. There aren’t a lot of people – maybe not anyone – doing the things we’re doing all at once: green, modern, prefab – all at a price within reach. It’s exciting, and we hope that we’ll really be able to kick off something big in St. Louis.

What projects are you currently working on?

Right now we’re in the first phase of our product rollout building our first development in the Tower Grove East and Benton Park West neighborhoods. Our first home was delivered on April 30th to 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in Benton Park West. It was pretty exciting. Our first tour group will be going through on May 12, with more to follow – just two weeks after the home was delivered.

What can we expect in the next year?

You can look forward to the rollout of EcoUrban homes to other neighborhoods in St. Louis. We’re also looking at expanding to other cities in the future (Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Pittsburgh) focusing on urban areas.

What is your past development experience?

EcoUrban is a year-old company, and our parent company’s past experience has been in the downtown loft and commercial redevelopment. We also have experience in owning and operating low-income apartments and SROs.

Front Elevation of Finished Home.

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