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The last decade has brought a trend in all things “green.” Many people are concerned about saving the environment. Entrepreneur Steven Huff has said he’s embracing that cause. He feels that the modern-day construction industry does not use green-building technologies to their fullest advantage. To help transform the industry, Huff is working with a private company to construct a massive 72,000 square foot private home in between Springfield and Branson using all green resources. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has more.
“We can build structures that will keep people safe, number one. And number two, save tons of energy, and number three, reduce maintenance costs and last.”
Meet Kirk Brown. He’s a long-time business partner of Steven Huff and is working with Huff now on a project…a big project.
First, a little background. Kirk Brown is the CEO of TF Concrete Forming Systems, a manufacturing company out of Wisconsin that creates an energy efficient product that’s used in construction. Together, both men invested in the company’s revolutionized construction products back in the early 2000s. Brown says this technology gave Huff the idea to create a massive private home, called Pensmore, in the middle of the Ozarks.
“His goal was really to apply every creative idea he could to see if he could build a structure of that size and make it essentially as close to energy neutral as possible, using products that have a minimal impact on the environment.”
And what a size it is. This sprawling house is 48 times bigger than your average 1500 square foot home…Pensmore is equipped with 13 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, two elevators, a music room, billiard room, home theater, and a 4,000 square foot garage. However, Brown says it’s the green features of this enormous house that make it special, including the structure being made completely out of concrete.
“It is practical to build tornado proof, hurricane proof, earthquake proof structures that use up to ninety percent less energy than normal construction.”
According to its website, Pensmore will consume very little energy, despite its size and is low maintenance. It’s resistant to disasters, including tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, floods, and insect damage. Its creators talk about it lasting for centuries, not years. The concrete structure provides extreme insulation through thermal mass. Kirk Brown says Huff wanted to make sure that the construction industry could look at Pensmore as proof that green technology is not only smart, but practical.
“He just found that the industry really hadn’t evolved enough…or they were engineering really excessively expensive approaches to try to solve problems that he thought could be solved practically with the application of readily available materials.”
The project budget is $6.89 million total, with most of it financed by Huff himself. He plans to live there when it’s completed.
The estate sits on a 500 acre plot of land that can be seen from Hwy 65 near Highlandville, MO. When this house is finished in a year or two, it will be one of the largest estates in the U.S.
We have a link to more information about Pensmore at our website, KSMU.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark
Link to Pensmore: www.pensmore.com