R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) hosted a public groundbreaking event on July 13 that celebrated the future construction of an affordable, net-zero energy, sustainable duplex family home in Indianapolis’ Near Eastside designed by a team of CAP students and faculty.

The event included several educational stations about the duplex, yard games, and interactive activities for young children. Children also collected soil samples in Ball jars from different locations on the site. The soil will be evaluated to determine which vegetables and plants are suitable to grow there.

Kicking off the groundbreaking were speaker’s dean Ferguson, professors Pam Harwood and Tom Collins and students Emily Rheinheimer and Alejandra Lagunas from the college, along with a heart felt speech by Vop Osili, president of the Indianapolis City-County Council, and community  partner representative Abigail Lane, Director of Community and Development at Englewood Community Development Corporation.

A presentation of a $25,000 check, for the Alley House, was given by State Farm Insurance. The Alley House build concept successfully competed in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist® program and State Farm gave $25,000 to advance the Alley House build. CAP is working to raise the additional funding needed to build the duplex.

CAP students, with faculty leads, designed the Alley House for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2023 Build Challenge, and as part of the University’s immersive learning projects. The Alley House is to be an affordable and sustainable housing for two families and will be the only net-zero energy home in this development.

Read this Ball State blog post to learn more about The Alley House, the Solar Decathlon immersive learning project, and the CAP students’ commitment to keeping people at the forefront when planning and designing structures. CAP also maintains a Solar Decathlon site with more information on the Alley House.