Habitat houses given environmental honors

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 2:29pm
Staff reports

Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity officials announced Tuesday that the agency’s 2010-built homes have been certified Silver LEED by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

“This is an incredible accomplishment on the part of our construction team,” Danny Herron, Nashville Area Habitat president, said in a release. “These are very rigorous standards that make a tremendous difference for the quality and value of these affordable homes.”

For Nashville-area owners of Habitat for Humanity-built homes, LEED Silver certification means their houses were designed to minimize carbon dioxide emissions and to conserve resources. A home that achieves basic LEED certification maximizes fresh air indoors, minimizes exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants, and has the potential to consume 20 to 30 percent less energy (and, in some cases, up to 60 percent less) than a home built to the International Energy Code Council’s 2006 code. There are four certification tiers: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Of note, all Nashville Area Habitat homes constructed since 2008 are Energy Star certified. The agency began building to LEED standards in 2009.

Nashville Area Habitat CEO Chris McCarthy said home affordability isn’t limited to a mortgage payment but also includes “the cost of living in and maintaining a home for the long run.”

“The more we can do to lower ongoing costs to our homeowners, the more successful they will be in retaining and enjoying the benefits of homeownership,” McCarthy said.