Charlottesville is getting into the business of making old homes new again. The city - along with the University of Virginia - has performed an eco-overhaul at a house on Ridge Street.
Some of the highlights include foam insulation between the walls and ceilings, a 550-gallon cistern to harvest rain water and a solar-thermal water heating system on the roof.
Cynthia Adams of the Local Energy Alliance Program stated, "There isn't really a good place to go to look at it. To understand what are the technologies involved. How does that work, how does that look like in my house and how do I make that happen in an older home?"
It cost $380,000 for the upgrades but that includes the value of donated items such as the washer and dryer. The improvements are estimated to cut down on energy use by 75 percent.
"It demonstrates the potential of energy from the sun to provide the needs of the house," said Paxton Marshall, a UVA professor.
An open house is going on until 7p.m. Thursday night. After that, anyone can tour the home during the week. There will also be a self-guided tour of the interactive home.