Lead – Janet McIlvane (FSEC.)
Many of Habitat’s passionate
volunteers want to build the best houses possible.
However, the affiliate must balance enthusiasm with
fiscal responsibility. It is essential to engage
all of the decision makers in the systems engineering
process to develop sustainable solutions.
We have observed that when the
BA systems engineering goals support the builder
partner’s basic mission
and business model, any identified improvement needs
become imperative to the builder because it supports
their organizational mission. Conversely, when the
builder’s mission and philosophy are either loosely
defined or counter to the BA goals, no amount of thinking,
talking, or training will transform their product into
Building America homes.
Building America partners with Habitat for Humanity International
(HFHI) to improve affordability, durability, and energy efficiency
of the homes built by HFHI’s 1600+ domestic affiliates. The
BAIHP team has partnered with Habitat since 1995 when HFHI
kicked off its Environmental Initiative providing technical assistance
in the design, specification, and construction of 420 Energy Star
Habitat homes and 260 near Energy Star homes.
The partnership has generated a rich body of collective experience
from “blitz” builds, as well as a cohesive set of web
based and hardcopy documents that give HFH affiliates practical guidance
on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, combustion safety, moisture
mitigation, and “green” building. In 2003, Habitat International
adopted Energy Star certification as one of only two “Construction
Best Practices;” an indicator of commitment from the highest
levels of Habitat International.
Building America researchers also provide training to Habitat volunteers
and construction staff at Habitat conferences and fast paced “blitz” builds
including the 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2005 Jimmy Carter Work Projects.
|Habitat volunteers at the 2003 Jimmy
Carter Work Project in LaGrange, GA.
BAIHP energy efficiency recommendations for Habitat homes need to
meet four criteria to be successfully integrated into Habitat's construction
process. They must be:
Cost effective and proven
- Volunteer friendly
- Readily available in current market
- Easily maintained and repaired
50 Habitat for Humanity Affiliates in: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and West Virginia.
Summary of Building America activity with Habitat for Humanity International and its domestic affiliates: http://www.baihp.org/partners/BuilderPartners/hfh.htm
Support of Habitat for Humanity International’s Congress Building America program: http://www.baihp.org/casestud/hfh_partner/index.htm
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