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County Habitat to build first Earthcraft home

By By Lydia Grimes
April Nicholson applied for a Habitat for Humanity home two years ago and has been working her “sweat equity” hours for the organization since she was chosen for a new home last year.
Now she and her two sons are gearing up to help build their own house — which will be the local Habitat chapter’s first “Earthcraft” home.
Earthcraft, created in Atlanta in 1999, is a residential green building program that provides a long-term pollution prevention impact. Buildings are healthier and more energy efficient, reducing effects on the environment.
That results in a home that is more economical for the homeowner, said Alecia Glaize, director of Escambia County’s Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Two Habitat members have trained in the specifics of building the Earthcraft home, she said.
This isn’t Habitat’s first foray into “green” building. A house on Brandenburg Street in East Brewton employed many environmentally friendly building materials and methods.
The new house, to be built on Hollinger Street in Brewton, will also be an Energy Star home. There will be effective insulation, high-performance windows, tight construction and ducts, and efficient heating and cooling equipment, Glaize said.
Nicholson has been preparing to help build the house by participating in other Habitat projects. The organization requires future homeowners to put in 400 “sweat equity” hours on other houses as well as their own.
Glaize said she hopes the house will be finished in time for the holiday season.
In addition to tackling some new building methods, Habitat will also be revamping its organization of volunteers with this build.
And for those who want to help but are not able to participate in construction, there will be an entire support crew, Glaize said.
Glaize said Habitat is also looking for some skilled construction workers to take charge of the volunteers, such as painters, roofing, plumbing, siding and landscaping.
For those who would like to donate, or volunteer, call the Habitat for Humanity at 867-0095.