Habitat Greater Boston is committed to building sustainable and energy-efficient homes, making them fully affordable – from the mortgage payments to the utility bills.
Building healthy, sustainable homes is central to our mission, and we recognize that incorporating green technology is an investment in the future of our partner families and our communities.
Why we do it
Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston builds long-lasting, healthy, and sustainable homes. Every project is designed with sustainability and green building in mind from the outset, allowing for thorough analysis and structural and mechanical system optimization. Early in the schematic design phase, the entire design team develops and implements green building standards. A thorough initial energy evaluation that includes the orientation of the buildings, daylighting potential, and passive design strategies helps ensure the use of highly efficient mechanical systems.
How we do it
Habitat Greater Boston collaborates with several partners to further raise the quality of our houses and the construction process. Even before using active energy conservation strategies in the design of the building systems, careful management of factors like massing, form, glass, and orientation early in the design process results in the possibility of passive energy consumption reductions. We work to develop an inclusive strategy to address carbon emissions, overall energy efficiency, and the impacts of climate change and other environmental factors.
The cost of green building methods and supplies is equivalent to that of their conventional counterparts. We acquire materials under the design and construction standards utilizing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards through a number of criteria that consider energy, water, and landscaping. We use sustainable materials that are recycled or reused, sustainably harvested, quickly renewable, non-toxic and non-allergenic, or locally sourced.
To create a tight, energy-efficient envelope system that will conserve as much energy as possible, the design team also incorporates Passive House methodology. The Habitat Greater Boston team thoroughly assesses each material’s suitability for use, making sure it meets the strict requirements of LEED and Passive House standards while reducing the project’s carbon footprint.
Habitat Greater Boston projects earned LEED Gold certification in 2010, 2011, and 2013, and in 2017 we took home the Greenovate Boston Award in the Building and Energy category.
Building homes with affordable utility bills
All of our homes have:
- ENERGY STAR thermo-paned windows
- ENERGY STAR exterior doors
- ENERGY STAR appliances and lighting fixtures
- Pre-finished bamboo flooring
- Low flow faucets meeting ENERGY STAR standards
- Dual flush toilets
- High efficiency condensing boilers (95.0 AFUE) with integral on-demand hot water
- Baseboard radiators supplying hydronic heat
- Open celled foam insulation in all exterior walls and the attic
- Two layers of rigid foam insulation applied to the exterior sheathing
- Exhaust fans vented to the exterior that meet ENERGY STAR standards for air flow and noise
And our newest homes have photo-voltaic (solar) panels and reduced electric bills.