The ecoMOD South initiative is a two-year effort funded by a grant from the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia (TIC) to develop a commercially viable affordable housing design that will meet the Passive House Standard. The ecoMOD South design team adapted the design for ecoMOD4, a home completed in 2009 for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, and now occupied by an Afghani refugee couple. The ecoMOD4 design was redesigned and adapted to a four bedroom home. Two of these homes were sited in South Boston, VA in the spring of 2013 – one built as Passive House Standard, and for comparison sake, one unit that looks the same, but built to the standard building code. Another Passive House home of the exact same design was also sited in Abingdon, VA, a slightly different climate zone. After occupation in the fall of 2013, the units will be monitored and evaluated to assess the return on investment for the use of the Passive House Standard in affordable housing.
The ecoMOD South design team partnered with Southside Outreach in South Boston, People Incorporated in Abingdon, and Cardinal Homes, a modular homebuilder, in Wylliesburg, VA. The team was able to achieve a very high performance standard for a very reasonable cost per square foot: $105 per square foot for everything above the foundation.