For Mike McKechnie it was the sense of place and the sustainable business opportunities West Virginia has to offer that attracted him to the state. When he moved to West Virginia 15 years ago he says didn’t know a soul. “I took a leap of faith,” said McKechnie. “I didn’t have a job or anything lined up. All I knew was I wanted to move to West Virginia. And that’s what I did.”
In 1995, McKechnie and his brother Pete set out on a mission to do their part in helping solve the nation’s energy crisis by starting Mountain View Builders, a “green” construction company. The company encourages people to build energy-efficient homes and helps them make energy-saving choices.
McKechnie is so committed to the environment and the state that he has taken his “green” philosophy one step further. While attending the 2005 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., the brothers purchased a solar house that was part of a demonstration, took it apart and moved it to Berkeley Springs. Today, McKechnie and his family call the solar house home.
“My brother and I bought the house from the University of Massachusetts; it took three years to put together,” said McKechnie. In addition to serving as his home, McKechnie uses the solar house as an educational component of Mountain View Solar and Wind, the renewable, alternative energy division of Mountain View Builders. “We are big advocates for West Virginia, and we are doing our part to make sure it’s still on the map for future generations,” said McKechnie.