Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Sustainability and Resiliency

Building Sustainability

Eight years ago we built our first Habitat Passive home. By using passive house techniques, we are able to combine the highest possible energy efficiency standards with easy-to-teach construction methods, such as triple pane windows, air to air heat exchange, and a highly insulated envelope. The result is a home that is 90% more efficient to heat, while staying true to our goal of building simple, affordable homes. And with energy bills that are less than $20 a month, our homes stay permanently affordable for our homebuyers.

Our Super Air-tight Bramble Home

One of our proudest 2020 accomplishments was scoring a 0.8 on a blower door test for the Bramble Way home in Sudden Valley. The blower door test uses a fan to measure the air exchange rate and determines how much air the home leaks. A score of 0.8 means that if you added up all of the holes in the home that were made by plumbers, electricians, and other contractors, those holes would add up to less than a quarter in diameter. We are incredibly proud of our Construction Manager Paul Stromdahl. Not only did he build a beautiful and incredibly energy efficient home, he did it with an all volunteer crew.

Our Net-Zero Ready Community

With our Habitat Passive design keeping the interior warm for our homebuyers at our Telegraph Townhome Community, the remaining energy needs will be met by solar power. Our partners at Kulshan Community Land Trust were awarded a $75,000 grant from Puget Sound Energy, that will provide individual power for the first two units at Telegraph Road. The first round of panels were installed on 1A by Western Solar, with more to come in 2021. 

Thanks to our partnership with Ecotech Solar, and individual donations made by their customers, Habitat for Humanity has enough panels for community power, including streetlights, walkways, signage and the bike storage area. 

Reusing, Recycling, and Upcycling at the Habitat Store

Everyday we process hundreds of used donations at our Habitat Store, resulting in well over a 1,000 tons of hardware, housewares, furniture, books, clothes, and much more, being diverted from landfills each year.

Not only do we give these donated items a second chance by selling them at an affordable price to our community, we are also deeply committed to the proper disposal of unsellable items. By properly sorting cardboard, rags, scrap metal, wire, and wood, we now profit from our waste — which means more money going to building affordable housing here in Whatcom County. To Learn more about the store that builds homes, click below.

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