Green Building, Green Neighborhoods
Habitat Charlottesville has been incorporating green building techniques since 2001. Local grant funding has supported our experimentation with green building as we’ve learned how to best incorporate it into our building model, which relies on volunteer labor.
We are committed to green building because of the benefits to the built environment, improved health for our partner families, savings for homeowners through reduced energy costs, and a strong desire to demonstrate that affordability and environmentally-friendly are not mutually exclusive. We have completed several LEED-certified homes and nearly every home we have built since 2010 is both Earthcraft and Energy Star certified.
Building Examples of construction techniques and materials that we’ve incorporated include:
- Low impact development strategies
- Maximized recycling of construction waste
- On-site stormwater management practices including rain gardens and native plantings
- High-efficiency HVAC systems
- Conditioned crawl spaces
- Insulated concrete forms
- HardiePlank siding
- Fresh air exchangers
- Blower door & duct leakage tests
- Galvalume metal & Energy Star roofing
- Low and no-VOC paints, adhesives, and flooring materials
- Low-e windows
- High-efficiency plumbing and lighting fixtures
Choosing Materials Green building also means avoiding materials that have the potential to cause indoor air pollution. We use paints with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOC), carpets and pads from natural materials with no off-gassing, and wood floors finished with low or zero VOC finishes or pre-finished.
Creating Green Infrastructure At Sunrise, Habitat has received support to incorporate numerous green features that will make the neighborhood a model for future developments. Sunrise features:
- Pervious sidewalks and parking spaces to enable rainwater to flow through.
- Underground cisterns to capture rainwater from structures and use it to water common areas.
- High-efficiency lighting in all Habitat homes.
Sustainable + Affordable = Attainable Habitat's New Paradigm incorporates sustainable principles in more than just housing construction. We have made purposeful decisions to focus our building in areas that are served by public transportation, so that families can forego the cost of an extra vehicle and reduce their carbon footprint. By focusing some of our building near jobs and commercial areas, we also hope to promote the further development of walkable neighborhoods.