Making a Habit of Habitat

September/October 2003
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2003 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Energy Star Homes
September 01, 2003
There might have been some bumps along the way, but a collaboration between a nonprofit, a builders association, and a major building supply company yielded some efficient, comfortable, and affordable results.
        Habitat for Humanity has successfully built affordable homes across several continents, largely because it uses donated materials and labor. In Phoenix, Arizona, those donations are helping Habitat to make homes that are also highly energy efficient. Operating under a tight budget and with volunteers behind the hammers, Habitat is building Villas Esperanza—one of the largest single communities of Energy Star homes that the nonprofit has ever built. In the words of Scott Balk, former construction manager for the Phoenix area Habitat affiliate Habitat Valley of the Sun,“Energy Star was more than a good idea. Although the extra costs were not insignificant, the good will demonstrated by Habitat and return for the family in particular,was just too good to pass up.” Improving Quality and Energy Efficiency         Planning for Villas Esperanza may have begun in 2001, but its origins can be traced back to 1996.That’s when Home Depot in Phoenix sponsored its first Habitat home at the South Ranch community in south Phoenix.Although this and subsequent homes built through Home Depot sponsorship were built to Habitat’s standard design, Home Depot ...

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