Community Partners

TerraHaus represents a collaboration of local designers, builders, and energy-conscious organizations.

Our Design Professionals

Students, staff and faculty have very much enjoyed working with Matt O’Malia and Alan Gibson of G O Logic and Anne Kearsley of Anne Kearsley Design on the TerraHaus project.

 The Kendeda Fund

Unity College received $389,000 from the Kendeda Fund to build TerraHaus.

Bangor Savings Bank

Unity College received $25,000 towards solar technology for TerraHaus.

Energizing a Community

The Unity Passive House project has also worked in collaboration with Unity’s local Energizing a Community effort. A section of the Environmental Citizen class worked with the Unity Energy Committee to use the TerraHaus design specifications to promote green building principles and to encourage home weatherization.

According to the Energizing a Community website:

“Energizing A Community” is a local effort led by the Time & Tide RC&D, Unity College and the Unity Barn Raisers. This is an initiative involving eight Maine communities collaborating to lay out a vision of the communities’ desired energy future and the steps required to make it a reality. As an organized group, citizens compel that vision forward by working with other community members and civic leaders to set goals, plot a course, enact policies and create incentives to achieve that vision.

Energizing a Community is driven by the fact Maine has some of the oldest housing stock in the Nation of which a high proportion is under-insulated. 80% of Mainers depend on oil to heat their homes compared to 8% nationally.  In addition Maine has some of the highest electrical rates in the Nation.

Energizing a Community has two components,  an educational approach and a community action approach.  The Educational approach utilizes local public energy planning forums to identify energy related topics that are of interest to local citizens.  Since the winter of 2009 workshops have been held on 11 energy related topics including community owned wind, public transportation, weatherization training, interior storm window construction etc.  Currently a community energy plan is being completed for two of the focus communities in order to establish baselines for community energy use, emissions and to establish an action plan for energy saving priorities.

Since 2009 the action component of Energizing a Community has completed 46 home energy assessments, four business energy audits and six farm energy audits.  Over 100 volunteers have organized to weatherize 56 homes.  In addition training and bulk purchased weatherization materials have been provided to do it yourselfers who weatherized an additional 36 homes.  All materials are purchased at the local hardware store.  Through a United Way grant this effort has recently acquired a blower door which is not only useful as an assessment tool but can also provide a before and after snapshot of cold air entry into the home.

Since 2009 Energizing a Community has  raised more than $7,400 in local donations and $105,000 in state and federal funds which include ARRA funds.  The project to date has created two jobs, retained three and has logged more than 1100 volunteer hours.

Energizing a Community has involved  a growing number of local residents whom envision a future built upon a broad mix of energy solutions including local purchasing, better utilization of transportation alternatives, home and business energy conservation and development of renewable local energy sources. Energizing a Community plans, organizes and fully utilizes existing resources bringing these to the community so that citizens can begin to construct that clean energy future.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s