Tulsa's Habitat For Humanity Building First 'Green' Home

Monday, October 4th 2010, 3:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa started construction Monday on new "green" Habitat for Humanity Home - which they plan to have completed by Thursday night.

The plans for the home minimize waste in construction and maximize energy savings in utilities.

The volunteers on the Habitat home are professional home builders who are donating both the labor and materials.

Sixty companies are working on the project.

"It's a traditional Habitat for Humanity house, it's a little over 1,100 square feet," said Jeff Smith, Project Coordinator. "The Home Builders Association, to be more efficient, gave Habitat a new floor plan so we could cut down on waste lumber, sheet rock, waste material like that.

Home Builders Association CEO Paul Kane said his group modified the standard Habitat building plan slightly to allow for a more efficient use of materials.

"But we're also trying to develop models that Habitat for Humanity can use on all houses in the future, new systems and new efficiencies," Kane said.

Besides the energy efficiencies going into the construction of the home, the Home Builders are also installing high efficiency appliances, so long term, the energy used at this home, should be very low.

It started with computer aided design of the walls to minimize wasted lumber. Even though there's a big dumpster at the site, they don't expect to fill it.

"And they use the computers to size up the lumber and just from that, even before we start the project, the waste from this whole house, probably wouldn't even fill a 55 gallon drum," Kane said.

The new habitat house will have a geo-thermal heat pump and better insulation. Some of the materials are recycled, and what's leftover will be recycled. It's not just green, it's one of the fastest building projects Habitat has undertaken.

The HBA plans to complete the home Thursday night and it will be turned over to the new homeowner Friday afternoon.

To learn more about "green" building, check out the National Green Building Program.