Home     The LEED Standard     FAQs     Contact

Leaf Symbol for Our Vision Section

Our Story

Cypress Villages is a 144-acre eco-community being built just a little north of Fairfield, Iowa in Jefferson County. Our project began as a seed idea back in the early 1990s, when founder Dan Walker decided he wanted to develop a self-sufficient neighborhood of affordable, quality green homes built in harmony with the land.

Crops, our field and hot water heaters

After a few years of thought, followed by months of serious planning and research, Dan found just the right land—and team—to make his vision a reality. In 2006, Dan purchased the plot of land and, with the help of our group of sustainability specialists and land developers, began creating Cypress Villages.

Our newly formed Cypress Villages team got right to work, plowing down the old corn and bean stubble fields and starting the three-year Organic Certification process. We planted high-grade oats and alfalfa crops and left them for several years, allowing the land to rest and go through a purification cycle that meets Our Blazingstar homethe U.S. Government’s criteria for organic agriculture.

Meanwhile, Cypress Villages was also going through the county subdivision process, during which we subdivided approximately a third of the land into residential and commercial plots. Green neighborhoods aren’t run of the mill to begin with, but we decided we wanted to go a step beyond what other green neighborhoods were doing - particularly those that claimed to be green without any real grounding. We realized we wanted to build a community of homes and buildings that were LEED-certified with the highest ratings possible from the U.S. Green Building Council. Moreover, we wanted our homes to be built in harmony with nature, according to the ancient architectural principles of Maharishi Sthapatya Veda.

We spent over a year researching non-toxic LEED-quality construction materials and created 11 different Maharishi Sthapatya Veda house designs. We also developed a neighborhood plan, with a Community Center, a farmer’s market, a fueling station, and an eco-mall offering green building materials, childcare, office space and much more.  By 2007, we started planning our first LEED home and by fall of 2008 we started building.  In early 2009, we completed our premiere LEED Platinum-certified (anticipated) home (and Iowa’s first!) and began planting fruit and nut trees.

Today, Cypress Villages is well-poised as a national leader and innovator in sustainable living. The value-added in our project is that we’re not only working the land and developing a green community, we’re creating jobs, a sense of community and a sustainable model that we hope will draw more people into the Midwest.

From day one, we’ve always emphasized that we’re Cypress Villages, plural, because we’re striving to build a model for a small-scale sustainable subdivision that could be used multiple times throughout Jefferson County—or anywhere in the world.