Habitat goes "green'

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean
The "green" building practices that went into the last Habitat for Humanity house have helped that family save money on their utility bills.
Now Habitat is going green again, using environmentally sound practices to build its newest home on Lovelace Avenue in Brewton.
Among the changes: a tougher, longer-lasting exterior covering than vinyl siding; thicker insulation made from recycled materials; and deeper overhangs on the eaves to help with energy efficiency.
Habitat will begin its latest building project this weekend, with volunteers welcome at the site Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Brewton Habitat director Alecia Glaize said several groups have already signed up to volunteer, including 47 students involved in the Upward Bound program, some out-of-town volunteers and groups from local businesses.
One of the energy-efficient building practices may make it easier for younger volunteers to participate in the project. Children under 16 are not allowed at the construction site, but a painting station will be set up at nearby St. Maurice Catholic Church.
There, volunteers will paint the exterior "HardiePlank" siding, which is made of concrete fiber to give it more stability and make it last longer.
The new house will also have stained and scored concrete flooring, and insulation made from recycled phonebooks and newspapers.
While some of the materials are more expensive than traditional building materials, Glaize said the cost has not been a problem.
And in the long run, the environmentally-friendly materials can help save homeowners money because they are energy efficient, Miller said. The White family, living in the 14th Habitat house built earlier this year, has reported much lower energy bills as a result of some of the new building materials, Glaize and Miller said.
The 15th Habitat house will be home to Qualamina Drakeford and family.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call Habitat at 867-0095 to register, but volunteers are also welcome on site next weekend. Registration will help Habitat determine how many T-shirts, meals and snacks are needed.
This year's Habitat T-shirt was designed by a T.R Miller junior, Bryce Wilcox. His design was chosen in a contest by the Habitat for Humanity building committee.

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