Habitat Takes Building Green Seriously
Habitat Receives LEED Gold Certification for 2 Homes
Two homes Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has built have achieved LEED GOLD certification. Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is the first affiliate to receive LEED GOLD status in the state.
Building energy-efficient homes is not only good for the environment but it means lower heating bills for our families.
LEED is an acronym for the phrase Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED green building certification program is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings.
Habitat’s Construction Manager Ben Delzer said Habitat defines sustainable building practices as “safe, affordable, quality-built and durable homes. Habitat’s focus is to construct homes to minimize natural resources and energy use. In Habitat’s 25-year history in Dane County, he said, nearly 100 of our homes are built under Energy Star certification.
Local Habitat Part of Home Depot’s Sustainable Building Program
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County was accepted into the Home Depot Foundation’s Partners in Sustainable Building program. Habitat will be eligible for anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 in grants when the local affiliate builds homes that are energy-efficient, healthy to live-in and affordable for families to maintain long term. Habitat has also received Focus on Energy and MG&E housing grants.
Greg Nettleton of Focus on Energy complimented Habitat on its energy efficient building techniques at the North Fair Oaks home. “It’s always a pleasure to see builders incorporating best practices in energy design to deliver an efficient home,” stated Nettleton. “I was impressed with the energy features that (Habitat) selected including extremely well insulated wall assembly and very low air infiltration rate.” Focus on Energy estimates the heating portion of the gas and electric bill for this home will be just over $200 a year.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building lifecycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fitout, and significant retrofit. And LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves.
LEED points are awarded on a 100-point scale, and credits are weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. Additionally, 10 bonus credits are available, four of which address regionally specific environmental issues. A project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points to be certified.
The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) assumes administration of LEED certification for all commercial and institutional projects registered under any LEED Rating System.
Think of it like the nutrition label on a box of crackers: LEED provides the same kind of important detail about the green aspects of a building that, taken together, deliver higher performance.
Visit the Green Building Certification Institute’s site to learn more about registering a project with LEED and the certification process.
LEED and the related logo is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used with permission.
Keeping Reusable Building Materials out of Landfill
In its 11 years, Habitat ReStore East and West have diverted more than 11,000 tons of building materials from Dane County landfills. By selling usable materials to the general public, the Habitat ReStores have saved valuable landfill space for all county residents.
Habitat ReStore East is located at 208 Cottage Grove Road and Habitat ReStore West is located at 5906 Odana Road. The Habitat ReStores sell building materials including wood flooring, tiles, lighting, cabinets, appliances, doors, plumbing and more.
“Many businesses and home remodelers have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars on their projects because of the Habitat ReStore,” said Jen Voichick, ReStore Director. “The ReStore is a great community resource.”
In addition, Habitat ReStore sales supports Habitat for Humanity of Dane County by funding about two homes in Dane County each year.