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Habitat for Humanity commits to LEED and Reduces Homeowner Utilities

Habitat for Humanity Kent County Chapter has been a leader and pioneer in the field when it comes to affordable and sustainable housing.  In 2006,  they built the nation’s first affordable LEED certified home under the LEED for Homes pilot project. Due the success of the first home, Habitat for Humanity Kent Co made an innovative commitment in 2007 – that future families would live in homes built to minimum LEED Silver Certification. Currently, they have surpassed the Silver level and have progressed to LEED Gold Certified Homes as their new standard house.


View/Download Complete project profile with LEED score and checklist here.

The Lee House was deconstructed and rebuilt after a fire had burned down the original home (see below).  Habitat partnered with GRCC Tassell M-TEC students and instructor Duane McIntyre to build this 5-bedroom two story “Gervais” plan. It is “ZeroStep Certified” to be accessible, and also achieved LEED for Homes Gold Certification. Its 52 Home Energy Rating System score makes this one of Habitat Kent County’s most energy efficient home to date.

To date Habitat for Humanity Kent County has achieved great strides with LEED certification. They have built over 300 homes since they started in Kent County and certified 68 of those homes under the LEED rating system. They have registered 83 as of March 31st 2011 (with more to come!).

LEED Gut Rehabs of existing homes:  19
Average HERS score:  62.1
New Construction LEED Homes:  49
Average HERS score:  61.7
Average Square foot of Conditioned floor area:  1,750

This Habitat affiliate has built to the LEED standard in cities such as Sparta, Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Allendale, Cutlerville, Wayland all in Kent County, Michigan.

The latest home was a total gut-rehab project, made possible by the City of Grand Rapids and HUD via the Neighborhood Stabilization Project (NSP). It has achieved the coveted LEED for Homes Gold certification and will offer the hard-working Lee family a very energy efficient home.

A unique post and beam Generations timber frame porch made from reclaimed power poles will grace the front of this home– easily the most challenging rehab project HFHKC has undertaken.

View/Download Complete project profile with LEED score and checklist here.

Due to Habitat for Humanity of Kent Counties commitment to LEED certification, they have been able to attract many more sponsors, donors and volunteers. They have also been able to achieve some great accomplishments.

Deconstruction of homes literally saves tons of usable materials and items from heading to the landfill. These materials are re-sold at the Habitat ReStore for a profit to build other homes.

Thirty young construction students were educated in current green building practices and upon graduation, will bring those skills onto the local construction scene.

Habitat discovered that it costs approximately $8000 more to incorporate green building and zero-step entry into a Habitat home building per house, and that the long-term benefits to the family and the environment easily justify the expense.

It is estimated (based on their earliest LEED Homes) that annual savings costs for electric, water, and heating will be at least $1,000 per home per year.  The extra money available every month eases the hard decision “food or heat?” for families who live close to the poverty line.

Over the life of each homebuyer’s 25 year mortgage, the savings equates to $25,000 at minimum – money a family is able to invest into strengthening their future.

The future looks bright for Habitat for Humanity and Green Building. They now have LEED Platinum and Zero Energy / Net Zero homes under-construction. They are partnering with over a dozen organizations to continue revitalization efforts in the Wealthy Heights Neighborhood of Grand Rapids. They may be looking towards LEED ND certification for their neighborhood redevelopment plans.

Indianaoplis Habitat for Humanity - LEED Platinum

Indy Habitat for Humanity LEED Platinum Home!

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman at Habitat for Humanity LEED Platinum Open House

It’s Official! Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis achieved it’s first LEED PLATINUM rating on an affordable home. How great is that?!

Residential Green Builders, USGBC’s local LEED For Homes advocacy group in Indianapolis, is currently working with Habitat again for another LEED home to start construction in July. If you are interested in getting some project experience in LEED for Homes please contact Christin Kappel or William Wagnon– the planning phase is going on now, so the sooner you join in the more you’ll learn.

Thank you to Habitat for Humanity for allowing us to be involved in this milestone and for all of their hard work and dedication to this project. Congratulations to you all!

For more information about this and other projects check out the USGBC Indiana’s 2010 Annual Report.

We look forward to working with Habitat for more affordable green homes in the future!

Greenbuild Affordable Homes Tour: 11/20

Affordable and Green: Greenbuild Legacy Home Project
November 20, 2010
8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Early: Member $45/Non-Member $45
Regular: Member $65/Non-Member $65

Organizations like Habitat for Humanity have been successful in providing affordable housing to families they determine can handle the financial and maintenance obligations of the new homes they build. The anticipated energy and maintenance costs of ownership figure prominently in qualifying potential future homeowners. This project is designed to Read more

Bridge St Place. LEED Platinum

The land and building was purchased from the Diocese of Grand Rapids. The building was renovated into approximately 16 efficiency apartments with individual bathrooms and kitchenettes for homeless survivors of domestic violence. The name for the project is Bridge Street Place. It is permanent supportive housing project, serving single persons at 60% AMI The project has 16 project based housing vouchers provided by the Supportive Housing Division of MSHDA. Referrals and support services are provided by the YWCA West Central Michigan.

The building was renovated from a high content of recycled and reused materials, products that are within a 500 mile radius of the project site, rainwater falling on the roof is harvested to irrigate the landscape, plant materials are drought resistant and the irrigation system is high efficiency. All plumbing fixtures have water conserving fixtures, kitchen appliances are energy star rated, light bulbs are compact fluorescent, roof and patio

materials are highly reflective and reduce urban island effect. The building envelope has been improved, reducing on-going energy
consumption through reduced air infiltration.

Rockford Construction –
General contractors and construction
managers building new and restoring
old projects across 41 States.
Dwelling Place – is all about providing
affordable housing, supportive
services and revitalizing
neighborhoods.
Financed with low income housing tax
credit equity.

View & Download LEED for Homes Project Profile

Net-Zero Affordable Homes Come to Illinois

32 three-bedroom homes to lease for $590/month in Jerseyville, IL
Solar panels, wind turbines to cut utility bill to $0; LEED Platinum preliminary rating

The long-awaited promise of affordable, net-zero, green living will finally become reality in a St. Louis suburban cornfield in southern Illinois, where 32 single-family homes will be rented for $590 per month. Solar panels, wind turbines and other technology will reduce the utility bills to $0. The homes are expected to be LEED Platinum certified at completion, with as the LEED for Homes Provider.

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GreenBuild registration discounted until Sept 7

We’re fortunate this year to have the world’s premiere conference and expo on green building coming to our backyard from November 17-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.  Here are some of the residential highlights:

Note: Early bird registration discounts will end Sept 7! Read more

HUD to use LEED ND for Grant Selections

Reminder: A LEED for Homes development located in a LEED ND project area will receive full points for the “Locations and Linkages (LL)” category (learn more).  This also pertains to the new Sustainable Communities regional planning grant NOFA announced June 24.

Federal agency encourages smart growth, location efficiency and green communities

The federal government took a major step toward its mission to advance sustainability practices among buildings and communities when U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that LEED® for Neighborhood Development will be used to score the location efficiency of grant applications. HUD will apply this criteria to grant submissions to the upcoming Sustainable Communities Planning Grants and others, totaling $3.25 billion in available grant funds. Read more

Free USGBC Education on Greening Affordable Housing

Join USGBC for an important, free educational program – bringing you the tools you need to understand the intersection between green building and affordable housing. And then leverage the local incentives supporting sustainable affordable housing. Read more

Affordable LEED Home to be Built in Rockford

The first residential LEED project within the City of Rockford, Illinois is now underway and being constructed by Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc. (CCS).

Rockford's Affordable LEED Home

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USGBC Affordable Housing Webinar

Join USGBC for an important, free educational program – bringing you the tools you need to understand the intersection between green building and affordable housing. Read more