Habitat for Humanity Builds a LEED Platinum Home

At $175,000, this extremely energy-efficient house, built by Habitat for Humanity and designed by Building Science Corporation, may be the most affordable LEED Platinum home in the country. in this video Architect Betsy Pettit gives an overview of the important features that make this home durable, healthy, and economical.

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Comment by Robert Haverlock on April 10, 2012 at 1:22pm

There's a Passive House, Habitat for Humanity going up in Tacoma Washington soon. Stay tuned. By the Way, @ Greg..They are easy to make, less wood, (they call advanced framing) using HRV or ERV's instead of clunky HVAC systems (scale it back) or by using Ductless heat pump!


I'll admit, a little shaky at first, but easy learning curve! If you locate the house on a angle that uses the local wind directions and sun into account, then you can cool in the summer and passive heat in the Winter! With almost  Passive House, its all considered in the Architects renderings. Yes, this house will only take a fart and a candle...


PS: All habitat homes are designed to require the duct inside the envelope! And they do it better than anyone else!

Comment by Thomas Price on March 13, 2012 at 11:12am

I like this a lot. But I must say that I wouldn't want to be in that house with a gun battle going on outside. We are in America, remember.

Comment by Jan Green on March 12, 2012 at 2:33pm

Wow - such high R values!  I would challenge the affordability and would love to get our local Habitat for Humanity feedback as we have 8 LEED Platinum, 46 LEED Silver, and two Net Zero Energy Homes built for Habitat for Humanity Homes in the Phoenix metro area.

Comment by tedkidd on March 12, 2012 at 11:23am

Awesome house.  Too bad they insulated the inside of the basement.  I think she was confused when he asked about insulating INside the basement.

Not sure why they need ductwork or a separate radon mitigation strategy.  That building will heat with a fart and a candle.  

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a heating and cooling erv system gently and continuously providing fresh conditioned air rather than standard HVAC that is undoubtedly going to be grossly oversized, requiring large cfm requirements?  

There is a development in Mass that uses inverter driven mini-splits, one per floor.  That seems a really smart approach. 

Comment by Greg La Vardera on March 12, 2012 at 10:47am

Have to dissent here. 4" of foam? Threaded rods in the stud space for tie down? "Advanced" framing? 

It seems if you want to create a one of a kind house that has very good performance - great. If we want to come up with a standard model that average builders can follow, then no, to me it does not seem very good at all. This does not look easy to build, easy to learn how to build, nor easily repeatable on an industry wide basis.

The most disturbing thing to me is that experts seem to rally around these very impractical and difficult to build solutions with no concern about how likely the industry will be to adopt or reject it. What is there take away from this house if builders will not follow these techniques?

Comment by Tom DelConte on March 5, 2012 at 8:53am

This is, indeed, an important development, Diane! Affordable warmth needs to be provided to those people who are in need. Thank you for posting this video

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