Collaboration Creates a Sustainable, Affordable House

A collaboration of students, community leaders, a government agency and the nonprofit Habit for Humanity has resulted in one of the first sustainable but affordable houses in the US being built in the Washington DC area, reports Kathy Orton at the Washington Post. The home is a low-income duplex unit that is passive solar – that is, built with enough insulation so that little energy is required to maintain an ideal inside temperature.  The triple-pane windows and doors have multiple gaskets to create airtight seals. The pitch of the roof overhang was calibrated to allow plenty of light into the home while shading the house from the sun’s harsh glare. Solar panels help run the appliances, including one that recycles air. A heat pump uses the heat produced by the washer and dryer to make hot water. Hot water pipes run directly to each tap rather than through a main line to prevent wasted water. Although the house cost well above an average Habitat for Humanity home, the estimated $285,000 cost still makes it quite affordable, and a model for the nonprofit organization, which plans to build more.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. This is how YOU can make a difference.


 Collaborative brings affordable green home to Deanwood. Located in the Deanwood neighborhood of Ward 7, a new home is not only the District’s first “passive house” — a dwelling built to use substantially less energy — but also one of the few houses constructed in the United States that is both sustainable and affordable. Washington Post

About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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