WHAT WE DO
Community Rebuilds is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, whose mission is to build energy efficient housing, provide education on sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable program.
As a licensed general contractor in Utah and Colorado, Community Rebuilds constructs affordable and energy efficient straw bale homes, working with and training a dedicated group of student intern volunteers on each home project. These students are young emerging professionals with the desire to participate in an experiential program as they learn how to build low carbon, modern natural buildings.
THE COMMUNITY REBUILDS MODEL
AFFORDABILITY + SUSTAINABILITY
Community Rebuilds has created an innovative social enterprise, building affordable housing solution by taking several steps to reduce the cost of construction. Our Moab homes cost around $70 per square foot, half the standard costs of construction in a region where housing and land costs are high. Our innovative, low-tech methods include:
Recruiting volunteer student interns to complete the bulk of the construction labor
Utilizing simple architectural designs that reduce design costs and encourage replicability
Incorporating healthy natural materials that are “dirt cheap”—materials such as mud and straw
Using recycled, salvaged and donated building materials wherever possible
Our homes are not only affordable to build, but the affordability continues through the life cycle operation of our homes over the years to come. To combat high utility costs to our homeowners, we combine passive and active solar design—standard on every home—with highly insulating straw bale wall systems, significantly decreasing future heating and cooling costs. Learn more about how to get on the list for a Community Rebuilds home on our Homeownership Page.
Community Rebuilds constructs affordable housing for the community while providing valuable education and skills in natural building to every person involved: homeowners, interns, staff, and volunteers. Community Rebuilds interns build two to three homes from foundation-to-finish, learning and working under the direction of our expert natural building instructors. We are the only organization that offers this type of education free of cost to our interns, including unique hands-on learning, free housing and a food stipend in trade. Learn more about our education program on our Internship Page.
In addition to providing education opportunities to our interns and homeowners, we love engaging community volunteers and other service groups who are interested in getting involved. If you have a service group, or would like to volunteer with us, send us a message!
WATCH THE PROCESS
Below is a time-lapse video of a Community Rebuilds home being built in the Spring of 2015.
Community Rebuilds launched in Moab, building our pilot home in 2010.
After a few successful builds in Moab, the program expanded in 2013 to Gunnison County, CO, to assist more families struggling to find affordable housing in a tourism based economy.
In 2015 Community Rebuilds expanded our model again through a partnership with Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture, to support them in replicating the student education program on the Hopi Reservation and build homes for low and very-low income families.
In the fall of 2018 the program expanded yet again to build a home in Bluff, Utah and a new 2-story straw bale bunk house for interns in Moab. By the end of 2018, Community Rebuilds will have collaboratively built 36 homes, and educated over 250 young professionals!
With partners at Architectural Nexus, Community Rebuilds registered to build the first, fully certified, Living Buildings in Utah. The homes are in the design phase and slated to be built next year.
In these exciting ways, we work to improve the communities we serve and realize our mission to build energy-efficient housing, provide education in sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable residence program.