We are a woman-owned Minnesota public benefit corporation. 

Our mission is to provide durable, sustainable, expertly designed zero energy house plans to anyone who wants them, and to assist communities in a just transition to a resilient, clean-energy society. Our vision is an equitable transformation of the home building and home buying industries, where zero energy homes are the “new normal” for the next generation, in every community.
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Rachel Wagner

Creative and Technical Director

Rachel is a green building expert and social activist with 30 years experience in design, systems thinking, and community education. She began her career designing community-built playgrounds with a firm that engages stakeholders in the design, planning and construction. In private practice she designed custom resource-efficient homes that optimize use of the sun’s energy, during which she became what some call a “building energy geek.” Rachel now centers her work on democratizing sustainability and dismantling systems of injustice through community engagement and equity. 

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Leah Karmaker

Design and Project Coordinator

Leah is a designer, maker and rabble-rouser with a degree in architecture from Northeastern University.  She approaches design through an interdisciplinary lens; her experience includes design, drafting, carpentry and woodworking in the private sector, and affordable housing research and development in the public sector. At Green New Deal Homes she develops and supports solutions to local issues at the intersection of housing equity, environmental injustice and the green-collar workforce. Whether in the studio, the shop or the job site, Leah is excited and driven by her unanswered questions and (not-so) secretly hopes that they will never fully be answered. 

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Acknowledgments

It’s rare that something extraordinary happens in isolation. Green New Deal Homes SBC would like to acknowledge the people and organizations without whom we couldn’t succeed in our quest to develop and deliver something extraordinary.

 

Thank you to our allies, collaborators and supporters:

 

Greg Gilbert. As co-founder of Green New Deal Homes SBC (and our ally, the nonprofit organization Green New Deal Housing), Greg believed in the ideas and mission of Green New Deal Homes and threw his energy into its inception and start-up.

 

The Entrepreneur Fund, for providing an early loan and grants, and for ongoing encouragement. When Mike Lattery responded to our business plan with the words “I want one of these homes,” we knew we were on the right track.

 

Jonna Korpi and the UMD Office of Sustainability, for partnering with us to offer student interns the opportunity to participate in research and projects to support the advancement of zero net energy homes.

 

Jeff Curtes at Auer Steel, for his ongoing contributions as an industry ally.

 

The Minnesota Center for Energy and the Environment, for providing technical assistance to aid our “proof of concept.”

 

Tiersa Wodash of Brick and Mortar Design (BAM), who supported our start-up by offering contract drafting services at a discounted rate, and helped produce our first finished drawings.

 

Stacie Renné, for the most perfect logo and website design and construction.

 

The Northland Small Business Development Center, for assistance with our business plan.