Making It a Point to Go Green
A version of this article appears in the March/April 2007 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
March 10, 2007
The San Francisco Bay Area is notorious for its high housing prices, and many families find themselves priced out of homeownership. Since 1988, East Bay Habitat for Humanity (EBHFH) has worked to reverse this trend by constructing over 100 affordable homes that families with limited incomes can buy. While building affordably is an important goal for Habitat for Humanity, building in an environmentally sustainable manner has also become important to the organization (see “The Little House That Could,” HE Nov/Dec ’06, p. 24). For the past five years, EBHFH has utilized green building practices in its affordable homes. At the end of last year, EBHFH took this commitment to green building one step further by working with Alameda County’s green rating program, as described below. In 2002, EBHFH tackled its first green building project, in the Fruitvale neighborhood of East Oakland. The organization constructed four two-story town houses that used sustainable and recycled building materials, and included both passive-solar features and PV. During construction, 90% of unused building materials were recycled. The homes’ modular framing used a layout based on 24-inch centers, which eliminated 30% of the framing material typically used. In addition, all of the framing ...
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