Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Brad Pitt and Method Homes Build First of Many Modular Homes for Fort Peck Tribes

The first five of 20 eco-friendly modular homes arrived on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana and are being set on their foundations this week.

Founded by actor Brad Pitt, the Make It Right foundation and the Fort Peck Tribes are hoping to have the first five families moved into their new homes by Aug. 1. Plans are to have the entire housing project filled by Dec. 1. Pitt’s New Orleans home is up for sale and his hands on work there is now completed.

The homes, built in Washington state by Method Homes, are being laid down in a sustainable village project on the old Poplar airport site. They are built from state-of-the art recycled materials and are LEED Platinum standard, foundation officials said.

The tribes are in the process of preselecting the tenants to live in the homes and conducted a lottery system among the 127 applicants.

“We’ve had a fantastic application run and are now working on certification (of residents),” said Deb Madison, a board member of the tribes’ company, Integrated Solutions. The company is the developer of the homes, which were designed by foundation architects with input from Assiniboine and Sioux tribal members.
Eighteen of the homes are being trucked in, and two octagon-shaped homes will be constructed on-site.

The foundation and the tribes have been working on the project for more than two years. Make It Right has also built homes in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the neighborhood in 2005.

The homes are 75 percent more energy efficient than a regular home, and owners will see a direct impact on their utility bills, which are expected to not exceed more than $60 a month in the winter.

“Each home has a fireplace. That’s what the community asked for,” said Brian Abramson, co-founder of Method Homes, the Ferndale, Wash., company that built and shipped the 18 modular homes. “They’re super-insulated and no toxic chemicals were used in the paint, adhesives and finishes.”

The Kohler Co. provided the plumbing supplies and Shaw Flooring chipped in with their products. The homes built with the materials far exceeds the standards of any low-income government home, foundation officials said.

The tribes are completing work on the water and sewer lines and Montana Dakota Utilities is hooking up the electricity and gas lines. MDU is also considering the construction of a solar farm in the area, which would be the only one in Montana if built, Madison said.

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