LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2011) − The University of Kentucky College of Design and its partners recently set the first prototype for the Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER) project. The prototype consisted of two modules that were hoisted into place with a crane. The future residence found a new home on the corner of Rankin and Ridgewood in Monticello, Ky.
As part of UK College of Design's challenge to its faculty and students to work on real world problems to help develop potential solutions, the college's HBEER project is helping to design and build energy efficient, low-income residences.
Partnering with the Center for Applied Energy Research at UK, and sponsored, in part, by the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and the Kentucky Housing Corporation, UK College of Design initiated the multi-year project HBEER in the fall of 2009. The initiative directly responds to the impact the recent economic downturn has had on the houseboat manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth.
The overall concept of HBEER was to design energy efficient, low-income housing units that could be manufactured in the Lake Cumberland area of the state. In partnership with Stardust Cruisers, the designs are now becoming a reality. The first of two thousand square foot manufactured housing units from redesigned and refitted former houseboats has found a home in the Monticello community last month.
In addition to offering a new low-income home option, HBEER is benefitting Kentucky in other ways by utilizing Kentucky products where possible and giving workers in the state's houseboat industry an opportunity to diversify their skills. The second prototype for HBEER should be completed later this year.
"The HBEER project is unique in that it has allowed us to share leading edge techniques in design, energy performance and construction with a region of our state that is well positioned to implement them in a way that will have a very positive and immediate impact on south eastern Kentucky," says Josh Ayoroa, HBEER Project Manager and UK graduate who started with the project at the studio level during his architecture graduate studies. "As manufacturers, tradespeople and codes officials become familiar with the technologies we used in this project, it is more likely the technology will become part of the culture in this part of the state."
To see an album of photos from the setting of HBEER's first prototype, visit the UK Flickr page at: www.flickr.com/photos/universityofkentucky/sets/72157627508591496/.