"Dennis Reynolds, 29, his wife, Billie Reynolds, 28, and their 3-year-old son, Grabrille Reynolds, will soon move into the second prototype of an energy-efficient manufactured house called Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER)," from The Times-Tribune, Corbin, KY. The Corbin News Journal also ran a feature about the family's new home.
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 designing and building 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 effects 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.
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, former 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."