Six ponds will dot the landscape of The Bridges, a residential development underway near Lincoln, Nebraska. But the ponds will be more than scenic amenities and community fishing holes. Each body of water also will serve the water-source heat pumps that will heat and cool the 70 custom homes planned for the community.
Described by the energy-industry newsletter Energy Current as Nebraska’s first “all-geothermal neighborhood,” The Bridges is a project of Lincoln-based Rezac Construction, a longtime member of the Nebraska Home Builders State Association’s Green Build Program. (GBP members have three years to become certified by the National Association of Home Builders’ Certified Green Professional program.)
Rezac Construction owner Mike Rezac says eight of the lots on the 181-acre site have been sold, two homes are completed, and one is under construction. Most of the homes will feature three or more bedrooms and cost $400,000 or more. Conditioned space in each is likely to be 1,800 sq. ft. or more, although the homes won’t necessarily be oversized.
“We are looking for homes with true architectural style and not as concerned with square feet,” Rezac told GBA.
The aim is to build each house to a high standard of energy efficiency, which will help reduce the size and cost of its heating and cooling system. Each system will include a Slim Jim Geo Lake stainless-steel-plate heat exchanger and a ClimateMaster water source heat pump, which uses glycol as the heat transfer fluid. The pond water will be supplied by an irrigation pump, and the ponds will be stocked with game fish.
The Norris Public Power District, based in nearby Beatrice, estimates that homeowners at The Bridges will save between $500 and $1,500 per year on their utility bills, depending on the size of their home.