Habitat for Humanity has teamed up with Home Depot to offer grants to the affiliates of the former who are building affordable housing which is extremely energy efficient. This sustainable building program is the first national level partnership between the well established non profit and the national building materials retail chain.
The 2010-2011 Partners in Sustainable Building (PSB) program is offering more than 135 Habitat affiliates across 42 states $3,000 for each home built to Energy Star standards and up to $5,000 for each home built to a higher green standard. It is expected these affiliates will build 2,400 homes to the higher efficiency standards in 2010-2011 alone. 1,500 such sustainability built homes have already been put up as part of this five year program, which is a $30 million green building initiative launched in 2009 and having a target goal of sustainable building practices incorporated into 5,000 green homes.
A wide array of sustainable building practices are likely to be involved in construction of these Habitat homes in order for them to be certified as being green. These can include creating a tight building envelope; using efficient, durable materials in the construction process; landscaping projects that feature native plants, trees and other features that provide valuable shade and ground cover; water conserving plumbing fixtures; high-efficiency appliances; and low- and no-VOC paints and finishes.
“We believe that healthy homes are the building blocks for thriving, affordable and environmentally sound communities,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation, in a statement. “Through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity, we are focused on bringing the practical financial and health benefits of green building and maintenance to families of modest incomes. By showing that green building and efficient maintenance of a home can truly keep more money in a family’s wallet, we also hope this effort has a ripple effect on all homeowners nationwide. ”