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  • Allison Stalker

Habitat for Humanity Joins EPA to Build Greener Homes

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Ground was broken in Golden, Colorado on September 14, 2011 for the first ENERGY STAR, WaterSense and Indoor airPLUS affordable home in the country. The home is being built by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver (HFHMD), who partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to meet the standards of three of EPA’s new homes programs.


The three programs create standards for energy efficiency, water efficiency and healthy indoor air quality on residential homes. Not only is this the first Habitat affiliate to partner with the EPA on these programs, they are the first affordable homes builder in the nation to do so. The organizations feel that the partnership will likely expand to all Habitat affiliates and hopefully have a positive influence on many homebuilders.


“With this and future building projects, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is setting the example that healthy and efficient homes are not a luxury – they’re a necessity in these tough economic times,” said Jim Martin, EPA’s Regional Administrator. “These homes will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, save thousands of gallons of precious water resources and keep toxic materials out of the environment.”


Habitat for Humanity provides the chance at homeownership for low-income families by building homes with the community and selling them to hard-working, qualified families. HFHMD has built 450 homes in 32 years and has been focusing on energy efficient, ENERGY STAR tested homes for the past 10 years.


The new home will meet the new ENERGY STAR Version 3 guidelines, which are 15% more efficient than the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. The WaterSense label on a home means the home is designed to use 20% less water in both indoor and outdoor areas. This design can save a family of four as much as 50,000 gallons of water a year and $600 a year.


Indoor airPLUS homes are designed to protect from the risk of pollutants. This is done by moisture and mold control, radon resistant construction, improved heating and air conditioning design and installation, advanced air filtration, fresh air ventilation, combustion safety, insect barriers and steps to reduce chemical levels in the home.

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