Green Building, Habitat Style
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) believes in developing affordable housing that is also sustainable. In 2008, Habitat LA built 30 homes as a part of the Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP) employing Green Building practices. These homes were the first Habitat for Humanity homes in Southern California and the first JCWP homes to be awarded Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification by the US Green Building Council.
Green Building Defined
The term “green building” is used by many and in diverse ways. At Habitat LA we define it as providing housing for people with methods, products and processes that lessen the detrimental impacts on the health of the human and ecological environment. Economically, cost-benefit analyses show tremendous long-term savings to homeowners and society when we design and plan buildings and housing that is energy—and resource—efficient.
The Core Elements of Green Building
Habitat LA is among a growing number of Habitat for Humanity affiliates that is incorporating Green Building elements that improves the affordability and sustainability for homeowners and the communities in which they live. Green Building means addressing certain core elements during the stages of planning, design, development and construction.
Habitat LA Green building practices include:
- Energy-efficient design, lighting, heating and cooling systems, and Energy Star® appliances
- Active solar technology
- Recyclable building materials, energy friendly green siding, thermal pane windows and doors, recycled carpets
- Low emission finishes -paints and varnish with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Water-efficient toilets and shower heads
- Water filtration systems to minimize pollution from storm runoff
- Native drought – tolerant landscaping
- Recycled blown-in insulation and Dow foam insulation
Habitat LA’s green practices does not end with just construction, but are also demonstrated through our used material ReStores, which diverts millions of pounds of debris away from area landfills through deconstruction services and recycling of building and home products.