Architect Roy Mason plans to break ground Wednesday for a Columbia subdivision of 50 lots that he has dubbed Solar Village.

Mason who several years ago designed a [WORD ILLEGIBLE] for a [WORD ILLEGIBLE] who built an unusual dwelling near [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Circle, has formed Tri-Centannial Development Corp. with Alan P. McDonald to build houses on a 23-acre site in [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Contrivance area.

"Our [WORD ILLEGIBLE] houses will be contemporary and priced $100,000 to $120,000, with available solar options to suit the purchaser," said Mason. "In addition to energy saving insulation features, we will offer a back-up solar domestic hot water heating option. Windows will be oriented to the South to pick up the sun's rays and each house will have a greenhouse as an extra room."

Mason and partner McDonald stressed that the subdivision is not "experimental" but designed to interest buyers with a desire for moderate solar features. McDonald commented that full-scale solar heating, while available, is not considered practical for most households. All houses will be wired for installations of energy-use monitoring equipment at the owner's option in the future.

The Solar Village houses, which will have skylights and cathedral ceilings, will include a fire place with pipes to provide heat for domestic hot water use.

Three houses will be started on half-acre lots this spring. The site is on Gulford Road (Rte. 32) near I-05. A demonstration solar collector tower will be erected on the site as an identification of Solar Village, Mason said.