ecoREHAB has a unique and vital role in improving our community, with its focus on partnership, education, and sustainability. The organization works alongside community partners and residents to transform houses into inviting, energy-efficient homes in addition to providing educational and energy-auditing services to help individuals and businesses improve the conditions in which they live and work. These efforts empower our neighbors, advance community, and promote sustainability.
what we do
As the “eco” in our name suggests, employing ecologically sound construction practices in the rehabilitation of existing homes is at the core of our mission. Since 2009, we have invested in more than almost 20 abandoned homes, transforming these abandoned structures into inviting, sustainable homes.
We’ve watched one house after another inspire neighbors to reinvest in the look and feel of the neighborhood. This revitalization reflects the positive, lasting outcomes of these collaborations, our work.
The greenest building is the one that already exists. Many of the homes in need are historic, dating back more than 50 years. They were once charming, proud structures that embodied the personality of our community. And our projects demonstrate that with a little nip-tuck, these pillars of our neighborhoods can once again exude character and class. Rehabilitating the home also ensures the aesthetics match with other houses in the neighborhood.
The green building movement, which emerged in the 1990s, was focused on new construction. We apply that building science to existing structures—merging sustainability and preservation. New construction is costly and wasteful. Innovative uses of existing buildings and materials is key to climate change, and revitalizing historic homes only adds to the benefits of our approach.
First-hand exposure to poverty and hands-on experience with sustainable building is not often something students experience in college. Students who engage in ecoREHAB studios come away with a deeper understanding of community and a lasting connection with Muncie (many students come back to visit properties and keep in touch for updates about the organization’s efforts).
Students gain practical building skills and rehabilitation expertise in addition to opportunities to flex their problem solving and critical thinking muscles. They also gain perspective and experience in navigating relationships with community leaders, industry professionals, and neighbors. Many have said they have relied on the planning resources and organizational expertise they acquired during the ecoREHAB project.
Our Educational Partners
- ecoREHAB collaborates with students in Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning to rehabilitate and build homes.
- Since 2014, we have partnered with Muncie Area Career Center Building Trades Program to provided high school students with energy-efficient design concepts they have then used to build three homes.
- In 2017, the organization began a partnership with Ball State’s Department of Journalism to develop a sound marketing and communications plan to capture the compelling stories of impact.
Hover to see what these properties looked like before ecoREHAB