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Habitat group selected for green-building partnership

September 24, 2011
The Inter-Mountain

Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity, based in Franklin, has been selected to participate in a national green-building initiative of The Home Depot Foundation and Habitat for Humanity International, called Partners in Sustainable Building.

Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity is one of 125 Habitat affiliates across 38 states and the District of Columbia that was selected to participate in this year's program. The organization will be granted $5,000 for each home built to standards that address energy efficiency, water conservation, improved indoor air quality standards, and durability and bulk moisture management.

"The generosity of The Home Depot Foundation will help Habitat for Humanity sustain its energy efficient and green-building practices," Michelle Connor, executive director of Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity, said. "We are in the business of building and repairing homes with families in need and Home Depot is a great partner to have in this endeavour."

Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity has 23 years of service in partnership with low-income families in Eastern West Virginia. The group was organized in 1988 and incorporated on Aug. 1, 1989, to eliminate substandard and poverty housing in Pendleton County, and to make safe, decent, affordable housing a matter of conscience and action. On July 1, 2010, Habitat for Humanity Greenbrier merged with Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity, expanding the service area to Greenbrier County also to include Pocahontas County.

Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity has been committed to building energy efficient homes since 2000 when it abandoned traditional stick frame construction. In 2009, the organization made a commitment to build 100 percent of its homes to meet not only Energy Star standards, but also the advanced energy efficient certification of EarthCraft.

Since its creation in 2008, the Home Depot Foundation's Partners in Sustainable Building program has demonstrated that the initial costs of building to a green standard are modest and can be recovered by the homebuyers through savings on utility, repair and replacement costs over the course of a home's mortgage.

"The Home Depot Foundation has long believed that green building is smart building," Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation, said. "In today's economic climate, energy efficient building practices, including sealing windows and doors, insulating walls and ceilings, and installing ENERGY STAR appliances and systems, are more important than ever, because they can actually put money back into homeowners' wallets. Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity demonstrates that smart building ensures the long term financial and physical health of families."

"The Partners in Sustainable Building program has created excitement about the benefits of building to a recognized green standard within Habitat for Humanity," Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, said. "With the support of The Home Depot Foundation, we have a great opportunity to bring the economic benefits of sustainable building to our homeowners all across the country."



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