Echo Ridge is a 66 unit “Green Community” built by the Topeka Housing Authority using funds provided by the Midwest Housing Equity Group, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, THA, and HUD. Its Development Plan uses an integrated design approach to demonstrate the abilities of the entire design and development team in creating a neighborhood with the greatest use of passive solar heating and cooling as possible.
Echo Ridge has the following eco-friendly, sustainable features.
Walkability—The site has sidewalks and pathways linking it to the neighborhood and community resources.
Smart Siting—Site selection and the orientation of homes on the site create the greatest possible passive solar heating and cooling benefits. All duplexes have Energy Star, high-emissive roofing. Plantings will shade more than half of all sidewalks, patios, and driveways.
Low Maintenance, Sustainable Landscape—The grounds feature low-maintenance grasses and vegetation. The community center and four of the homes have planted roofs, and nut trees, berry bushes, flowering trees, and hardwoods are planted throughout the site.
Surface Water Management—The site has been graded and planted in ways that will capture, retain, and utilize the first half inch of rainfall in any 24 hour period. Each home has its own rain barrel that will capture rainwater that can be used in the homes raised garden plot.
Energy Efficient Fixtures and Appliances—Washers, dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators in every home meet Energy Star standards as do the low-flow toilets, showerheads, kitchen, and bathroom faucets.
Energy Efficiency Lighting—Each home have advanced indoor and outdoor Energy Star lighting packages, and there are daylight sensors for the lights installed on front and back porches, in outdoor common areas, and inside and outside the community center.
Renewable Energy—There are photovoltaic panels throughout the complex providing power for outdoor lighting. There are two well fields that provide 58 degree water that is pumped throughout the complex to heat and cool the homes and community center. Ground source heat pumps with super-heaters will supply 85% of all hot water.
Sustainable Materials—More than 25% of all wood products are certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council, and more than 5% of all materials are recycled. More than half of all walkways and parking areas are water permeable.