Valley Forward’s Crescordia (Grow in Harmony) Environmental Excellence Award, 2007

Valley Forward’s Crescordia (Grow in Harmony) Environmental Excellence Award, 2007

February 23, 2007


Since 2005, the ASU Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family has been actively working with Valley cities, non-profits, for-profit developers, and neighborhood organizations to foster livable and sustainable communities.

The Center’s design/build house is a high-quality multi-generational, affordable and environmentally sustainable home. It was designed to be culturally appropriate for the family that owns the house and for the community in which it is located, reflecting the Yaqui and Mexican cultures of Guadalupe.

The 1,500-square-foot home is built from a variety of materials produced in Arizona, including: Navajo FlexCrete, an aerated concrete block composed of fly ash, which is climatically responsive to the desert and provides strength, thermal, mass and insulation; Arizona Ponderosa Pine, small diameter pine logs culled from Arizona’s national forests by the U.S. Forest Service to reduce wildfire risk; high-efficiency cooling from Alter-Air Cooling System, which uses chilled water (no compressors or refrigerants); a photovoltaic system donated by ASU’s Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory; and kitchen cabinets made of recycled building materials from a Phoenix area home.

A variety of water harvesting, recycling and distribution techniques have been incorporated into the design. The house was selected as a LEED for Homes Pilot Project and is in the process of being certified. This impressive demonstration project was designed to address the issue of providing high-quality affordable and environmentally sustainable housing for families living at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income ($42,000 for a family of four in the Phoenix metropolitan area).