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Eco-friendly home built by Ball State students wins first place in international competition

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A newly built eco-friendly home on the east side won Ball State students a first-place prize at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Build Challenge.

The international challenge had Ball State student, Alejandra Lagunas, on the project for two years.

“The home is called Alley House. Some of the elements that we have here in the house, like the cabinets and the stairs, the material was selected by the students,” she said. “And it was also built by the students.”

Lagunas says the goal of Alley House was to create an affordable two-family house that is net zero energy and sustainable.

“The home was paid for by grants and fundraising,” said Pam Harwood, a professor of architecture at Ball State. “The total cost to make it was $746,000 for two duplexes. That’s basically a home at 2,786 square feet with six bedrooms and four baths. It’s efficient and ends up being about $266 a square foot.”

Applications to live in this eco-friendly home will be accepted through the Englewood Community Development Corporation.

“Rent is between 30 percent and 60 percent of the average medium income,” said Harwood. “Rent range will be between $490 to $900.”

The home will be rent-to-own for 15 years before the tenant will be able to purchase it.