The Field of Dreams Eco-Community is a case study pilot project for 20 low-income housing units on an abandoned baseball field in Kearns, Utah, to extensively redesign the characteristic Habitat home into superefficient, two-story pilots, giving them a contemporary architectural expression and lowering their energy-consumption to an average of $1.50 / day at the Salt Lake location, to be achieved through strict passive design and employment of an innovative Active Building Compact Core as the system core for each building. On the educational side, the project will be used as a Pilot for UofU School of Architecture and other students, to demonstrate how to design, develop and construct efficient and cost-effective housing in a low-income demographic.

The units will utilize low VOC components throughout; Energy Star certification for each unit will be acquired. The project strives for a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating lower than 40, which means energy consumption will be 60% less than the comparable code-standard building, with the buildings designed as close to the very strict Passive House standard as budget will allow, to offer very high thermal comfort and indoor air quality. With construction cost goal per unit at $150,000 (including land and fees), each unit will be well within affordable housing measures (Utah maximum limit for affordable housing is $250,000).

Upon completion, this new Habitat housing typology will be made available to other Habitat organizations in the US, to be adapted to their respective climatic region. The successful development of this pilot project will put the Field of Dreams Eco-Community at the forefront of sustainable and affordable construction, with findings expected to influence the construction market along the Wasatch Front and far beyond.


Development and Design: Atelier Jörg Rügemer

Client: Habitat for Humanity, Salt Lake Valley

Contractor: Habitat for Humanity, Salt Lake Valley

Photo credits: Atelier Jörg Rügemer