Building a Model Green Community in Greensburg, Kansas

Daniel Wallach, the founder of Greensburg GreenTown, answers questions about how this rural community is rebuilding green and tapping renewable energy.



Greensburg GreenTown organization
On May 4, 2007, an EF5 tornado leveled the town of Greensburg, Kan. Greensburg GreenTown is a grassroots, community-based organization that is helping to rebuild the town as a model green community. Find the organization online at www.greensburggreentown.org.
GREENSBURG GREENTOWN
Daniel Wallach
Daniel Wallach is the executive director and founder of Greensburg GreenTown. This photo was taken inside the nearly completed Silo Eco Home.
MEGAN PHELPS
GreenTown sign
Outside, near the Greensburg GreenTown office. In the background are several “demonstration cubes” built to explain and showcase different green building technologies. The cubes were designed and constructed by Kansas State University students from the College of Architecture, Planning and Design.
NATHAN POELL
Greensburg tornado damage 3
The Greensburg tornado was on the ground for 22 miles non-stop and 30 minutes. Maximum winds were estimated at 205 mph.
GREENSBURG GREENTOWN
Greensburg tornado damage 2
The tornado was 1.7 miles wide. Greensburg itself is only 1.5 square miles.
GREENSBURG GREENTOWN
Greensburg tornado damage
The Greensburg Tornado destroyed 95 percent of the town’s homes and buildings and took 11 lives.
GREENSBURG GREENTOWN
Greensburg Arts Center
The outside of the Greensburg arts center, which is used for art exhibitions, classes and meeting space for community organizations. It’s the first building in Kansas to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. Among its many green features are rooftop solar panels, wind turbines and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
NATHAN POELL
Greensburg silo house
The Silo Eco-Home is one of the planned “Chain of Eco Homes” in Greensburg. When it has been completed, it will be available as an information center, and for rental as an eco-lodging.
NATHAN POELL
Greensburg geothermal
Part of the geothermal heating system in the basement of the arts center.
NATHAN POELL
Greensburg Kansas tour
Greensburg GreenTown volunteers show examples of new green building products and technologies. This countertop material includes recycled materials. Other materials on display included samples of the materials for porous pavers, SIPs and insulated concrete forms.
NATHAN POELL
Greensburg City Hall
Building integrated PV panels are visible on the new Greensburg city hall.
NATHAN POELL
Greensburg ICF construction
This commercial building in Greensburg is one of many new structures in town being constructed with insulated concrete forms (ICFs). ICF construction is extremely durable, making these buildings highly resistant to storms. It also produces well-insulated buildings, which will lead to reductions in heating and cooling costs.
NATHAN POELL











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