The Summit House Tool Lending Library was constructed as an opening event for the 2010 Plain Green Conference in Sioux Falls, SD. The small building was a community service project, integrating hands-on learning, sustainable building concepts, and community stewardship for over 40 local volunteers. The project was designed and organized by the Sioux Falls Chapter of Architecture for Humanity in partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary and Chartreuse Research. All construction materials were donated by local builders and material suppliers.
Sioux Falls Seminary’s Summit House, located near downtown Sioux Falls in the Pettigrew Height’s Neighborhood, is the site for the new straw bale shed. Straw bale construction was used to encourage sustainable building techniques in the neighborhood. Sioux Falls Seminary students serving at Summit House hope to eventually use the structure as a Tool Lending Library for the residents of the Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood for simple home maintenance and repair.
The shed has become a gateway project that has lead to creative thinking about development in Pettigrew Heights and other low-income neighborhoods in the city. The first annual Sioux Falls Affordable Housing Competition was a spin-off project from the construction of the Tool Lending Library. Construction of the winning home will be completed in the fall of 2011.