“Last winter, the heat kicked in every 10 minutes and we never felt warm. This year is completely different,” according to Stephanie Moore, LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity’s homeowner #21. Moore credits her home’s “green status” for this improvement.
Completed in August 2011, the Moore family home was awarded Gold Level “Green Home” status in January 2012. Provided by the National Association of Home Builders, this award is a first for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Besides the obvious long-term energy-saving benefit to the homeowner, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation Grant included an additional $5,000 because of LCHFH’s commitment to construction of a “green home,”
Qualifying for this recognition was a rigorous procedure. LCHFH became a member of Builders Association of Northeast Indiana and worked with Energy Diagnostics of Valparaiso, Ind., before submitting the home information to the National Green Building research center in Maryland.
LCHFH Executive Director Mont Arnold noted that several of features in this home are different from those used in preceding homes and “should result in less water usage.” In addition, “the ventilation and filtration system on the heating and air-conditioning unit, the heat pump, is a change from those used previously.”
In all, 45 energy-saving features were incorporated into the home and landscape design and the construction process.
Home design features included, for instance, utilizing precut/preassembled components, specifications for roof overhang and gutters, a basement sump pump, carbon monoxide detectors, and water-reducing fixtures.
“Green” materials were utilized. Roofing shingles, the HVAC system, kitchen and bathroom vents, a heat pump for heating/cooling and for hot water heating, energy-star-rated appliances, windows, and doors, and CFL light bulbs all contributed to making this home energy efficient.
On the outside, storm water drainage, trees, topsoil reclamation, and rainwater collection and distribution were some of the factors that contributed to receiving the award.
During the building process, an onsite recycling area was used to collect cardboard, metal, wood, and other recyclables.
Finally, education for the homeowner was part of the plan. Moore was provided with a “green” and “energy star” manual along personal instruction to familiarize her with each manual.
Arnoldreflected on the impact that this event will have on future homebuilding projects. “We will continue to pursue the current design features and be open to any additional features,” he stated.