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Green Building


Mason County Habitat began a project of upgrading our building techniques in 2006 in an effort to lower utility bills and make it easier for partner families to make both the house payment and the utility bills. Each year, we tried different techniques to determine those that resulted in positive energy savings and proved to be affordable. As a result, we have lowered the average utility bill by 50-80%.  This year (2014) we install a 3.5kw Solar PV system on the roof top of on the house we just constructed.  We are collecting data now, but the design and sizing should allow this years' partner family to have a $0 average electric bill at the end of each year.

The reduction of energy usage not only benefits the partner family, but also reduces the carbon footprint. The homes vuild in the last 7 years are considered to be "solar ready", so we could addsolar panels tor the homes and make them  "net-Zero". 

The additional cost of each home to accomplish the energy efficient is approximately $2000 per house.   With the savings in utility expenses, the payback for the investemnt is approx. 1 1/2 years (just under 6 years with the addition of solar panels).  This is an investment that we cannot afford to pass up!

The building techniques used by this affiliate to accomplish the efficiencies are not revolutionary and are all building practices covered by the latest residential building code IRC-2012) and building practices common to all green building programs.

Below, are some of the major things we address to make our homes very efficient.  Click on the links to read the details...

Advanced Framing - We use 2012 IRC code compliant Advanced framing throughout the house.  Saves 20% in framing material

Building Envelope External shell is sealed as tightly as possible against air and moisture infiltration.

Insulation Wall Cavities fully insulated and rigid foam utilized on walls and roof deck to achieve IRC-2012 R-values

High Efficiency HVAC - Highest efficient and affordable Heat Pump istalled to Energy Star standards.

Energy Efficient Appliances - All appliances are Energy Star Rated. 

Energy Efficient Lighting - Lighting is 100% CFL and LED. 

Ventilation - Continuous ventilation is used to improve indoor air quality. 

Hot Water - Solar Hot Water system and efficient distribution system is utilized. 

Landscaping - Drought tolerant and Xeriscaping techniques are used.