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Construction Begins On Serenade Development

By Steve Rensberry, Editor

Construction is beginning on a unique development project planned in Troy, to be located near Dorothy and Bradley Smith Blvd and within walking distance of Tri-Township Park and many other services.

Called Serenade, the development is described as an “active senior development,” and is spearheaded by area resident Merrill Ottwein, with LTS Building Systems owner Lynn Sill as a builder-partner in the project.

Area residents are invited to attend a “Preview and Meet the Builder” seminar at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, at the Troy United Methodist Church.

“We’ve long considered this land as the perfect setting for supporting an ideal lifestyle for active adults moving from the hustle of supporting a family, to a higher order of serenity and simplicity in their lives.” the developer’s website states. “It would cater to the trend of leaving large family homes for less responsibility (but still near the grandkids). It’s meant for those who view the next chapter as an an opportunity to embrace a new lifestyle like walking and talking with interesting people and seeing interesting things, but having a safe, cozy, economic retreat for downtime.”

While location is a big selling point – near a hub of interstates – the material and type of construction used to build the homes is an even bigger one.

Each “high-performance home” will be built using an “Insulated Concrete Formed” (ICF) process, using a type of styrofoam block stacked like Legos, then filled with concrete and rebar.

According to a note from construction advisor Don Deichmann of The Better Building Institute: “ICFs provide the strongest and most energy – efficient outer shell a house can have. Manufacturers claim an R40+ insulation rating, and wind resistance up  to 200 mph, plus it won’t burn, melt, mold, wash away, leak air or get eaten by termites! Siding, stucco, drywall etc. is easily attached to either side to form one solid wall.”

Homes will be arranged into courtyards, with “the emphasis on walking everywhere, like into the adjacent public park, or our private ‘nature preserve’ of 8 acres, and even to nearby businesses.”

The ICT homes are referred to as almost indestructible, with energy bills of 30-40 percent less than standard, and an automatic “Leeds-Green rating.” Homes will not have basements, with “storage” and “security” being taken upstairs, and will be arranged in clusters of 2-3 buildings around a courtyard.

“Two-unit homes are placed within a rectangular footprint. We’ll call them villas,’ a term accepted by the city, banks and general public. The common wall is soundproof and is energy neutral. The whole has the appearance of a large single family home,” a description on their website states.

More information is available at

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