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Published on March 28th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor

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Five Green Surprises From Habitat for Humanity

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Habitat for Humanity is a great organization that works to create simple, decent, and affordable to low-income families around the world. And better yet, whenever possible, they build sustainable, energy-efficient and healthy housing. Check out the list of awesome green initiatives that Habitat for Humanity has been undertaking!

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St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity’s Eco Village in River Falls, Wisc. — with its planned 18 homes and community center — is being constructed according to a sustainable and integrated community design. The village features Passive House principles, solar power and radiant heating, cisterns and rain barrels, edible landscapes and community gardens, all in close proximity to public transportation.

An Empower house in Washington, D.C., whose electrical system requires only roughly the energy it takes to power a small hair dryer— and can produce that amount on its own– was was built for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon and is the first Passive House in the District of Columbia. Today, Habitat homeowner Lakiya Culley calls it hers, and six more Habitat families have broken ground on homes that employ its technologies and design elements. These are just two examples of Habitat efforts that are green and growing in number.

Created by a former AmeriCorps VISTA with Flatirons Habitat for Humanity in Boulder, Colo., EverbuildPRO helps construction professionals earn LEED accreditation while helping Habitat affiliates build LEED-certified homes at a lower cost. Students in the program get required building hours on Habitat sites while handling administrative tasks for the home’s LEED certification. EverbuildPRO currently works in six states with eight Habitat affiliates, including Habitat Denver.

Designed by the Miller Hull Partnership and constructed by Habitat Seattle-King County volunteers, the house benefits from an emphasis on Habitat principles—affordability, size, replicable design— and uses recycled and reclaimed materials and incorporates design and construction techniques that minimize energy consumption and waste.

The ReStores diverted more than 200,000 tons of used building materials from U.S. landfills last year. The donated items, sold to the public at a fraction of retail price, generated more than $76 million, which was used in local communities to help build and renovate more affordable homes in partnership with families in need of decent shelter.

This is a sponsored post from Shala Carlson, who is the editor of Habitat World, the flagship print and online publication of Habitat for Humanity International. Green Living Ideas was compensated for this post.





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