‘Green’ partners|Local Habitat earns Home Depot grant

Published 11:05 pm Monday, August 10, 2009

By Staff
from staff reports
Escambia County Habitat for Humanity has been selected to participate in a national green building initiative of The Home Depot Foundation and Habitat for Humanity International, Partners in Sustainable Building. The $30 million green building program will provide funds and resources over a five-year period to help Habitat affiliates build 5,000 homes that meet Energy Star guidelines or a nationally recognized green building standard. These features incorporate the use of energy-efficient equipment and water-conserving fixtures and help ensure good indoor air quality.
Escambia County Habitat for Humanity is one of 123 Habitat affiliates across 45 states that was selected to participate in the first year of the national rollout that begins at the end of August. Escambia County Habitat will be granted $3,000 for each home built to Energy Star standards and up to $5,000 for each home built to a higher green standard. Escambia County Habitat and the other 122 affiliates were chosen through a grant process and, combined, will build nearly 1,500 sustainable homes in 2009 and 2010 alone. The grant process is annual, which gives other Habitat affiliates the opportunity to participate in the program as well.
Partners in Sustainable Building was established last year through a pilot program with 30 Habitat affiliates across a variety of climates in rural and urban areas throughout the United States. Habitat built more than 260 sustainable homes that met a green building standard during the pilot. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, benefits or features of homes built to this standard include:
The pilot program demonstrated that the upfront costs of building green are modest and can be recouped through savings on utility and energy costs over the course of a home’s mortgage. For instance, during the pilot phase of the program, an additional $2,000 in energy saving features was added to Habitat houses. Early results show energy savings between 15 to 30 percent. In fact, in some of the PSB homes already built to LEED Platinum standards, energy savings of almost 50 percent are being seen.
To inspire and educate additional affiliate participation, eight Habitat State Support Organizations, which provide services to 440 affiliates, will also receive grant money to add staff and host training sessions for Habitat affiliates to learn how to build to nationally recognized green standards.
Partners in Sustainable Building is the first partnership between The Home Depot Foundation and Habitat for Humanity at the national level in the United States.
Anyone interested in volunteering during the Fall Build that is kicking off October 16-18 in Brewton is asked to call the Escambia County Habitat office at 251-867-0095 or email .