Not far from the playground at Alameda Park, inside a National Rent-a-Fence, construction workers have been diligently sawing, hammering, plastering, and drilling as they build an eco-friendly, highly fire-resistant, 600-square-foot house within one week.

The model house will be ready in time for the Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 19, when attendees can amble through it at their leisure. More than 40 signs will explain all of its green and fire-resistant features, with information on the companies who provided the materials and services.

Not only is the model home project educating the public, but it is also helping out one family who lost their home in the November Tea Fire. At the conclusion of Earth Day, the house will be moved to its permanent location on Coyote Road, at the property of Lisa Camarillo, a Tea Fire survivor. After the addition of a bedroom, Camarillo and her daughter, Bryana, a sixth-grader at Cold Spring Elementary School, will move into their new green home.

Bamboo flooring is among the environmentally friendly features. So are salvaged countertops, efficient appliances, and high-performing spray foam insulation that is soy based. Outdoor features include a rainwater harvesting system and a photovoltaic inverter. Fire-resistant features include: fiber-cement siding, enclosed eaves, and native and drought-and-fire resistant landscaping.

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) partnered with Allen Associates, a construction company with more than 25 years experience in green building, to make the model eco-friendly home as a way to promote its Fossil Free by ’33 campaign.

“We wanted people in Santa Barbara to see a green home for themselves, and see that it’s doable, and that they can incorporate some of the features into their own homes,” said Lindsey Taggart, CEC’s building energy specialist. Taggert and other experts will be there on Earth Day to answer questions.


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