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
Daniel Wallach
Daniel Wallach is the executive director and founder of Greensburg GreenTown. This photo was taken inside the nearly completed Silo Eco Home.
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.
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 tornado damage 2
The tornado was 1.7 miles wide. Greensburg itself is only 1.5 square miles.
Greensburg tornado damage
The Greensburg Tornado destroyed 95 percent of the town’s homes and buildings and took 11 lives.
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.
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.
Greensburg geothermal
Part of the geothermal heating system in the basement of the arts center.
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.
Greensburg City Hall
Building integrated PV panels are visible on the new Greensburg city hall.
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.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.