SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Former Springfield City Councilman Dan Chiles is building an innovative house in western Greene County that he hopes will be an example for others. The home is designed to be energy efficient and storm resistant.
"It comes from limestone from nearby, and I think it's pretty," said Chiles, talking about his main building material: concrete.
"Our big challenge as architects is to try to have a home feel with all this technology," said Jennifer Wilson of nForm Architecture.
It's concrete construction with purpose. The concrete walls soak up the sun's heat and, in this experimental design, do more.
"Of course, when he first came to us, that's crazy talk," said Dave Robertson of Prestressed Casting Company.
Chiles wanted the insulated prestressed concrete walls used frequently in commercial construction, but with an additional feature. Tubing running through the walls lets water control the temperature.
"We have very small circulators that run off the photovoltaics," Chiles said.
"We liked the idea of it, because you're taking concrete, which stores energy so well, and, instead of just passively sitting there and holding that and releasing it, you capture it and do something else with it," said Robertson.
The home will be attached to the electric grid but most of the power will come from 39 solar panels on the garage.