The St. Louis Park Place development near the future western base of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA West) broke ground earlier this year. The homes utilize structural insulated panels (SIPs) to create an extremely well-insulated building envelope, and are designed to incorporate rooftop solar to enable the all-electric buildings to be near net zero energy.

Net Zero LLC developer Dwight Arant learned about the Urban EcoBlock concept, and immediately saw alignment with his development and the EcoBlock vision. While the St. Louis Park Place development is designed to be all single-family homes, plans could be reshaped to incorporate mixed-use zoning on the block. Arant is already planning to use a land trust to maintain ownership of the lots, making the properties more affordable.

As the development grows, the same SIP panels can be used to create a structurally- sound insulated structure inside a historical brick building to upgrade existing homes and buildings to the same levels of energy efficiency as the new buildings. “The Urban EcoBlock concept is a great way to achieve social balance in a part of the City that has been long overdue for economic investment,” said Arant. “We are looking forward to working with the Urban EcoBlock board to help create the first of many EcoBlocks in St. Louis.”