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Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver partners with EPA to build greener homes

Release Date: 09/14/2011
Contact Information: Contact: EPA: Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (303)312-6077. Habitat contact: Robyn Burns (720)496-2712

Groundbreaking at first ENERGY STAR, WaterSense and Indoor airPLUS labeled residence in Golden, Colo.

(Denver, Colo.-Sept.14, 2011) Today in Golden, Colo., ground was broken at the first ENERGY STAR, WaterSense and Indoor airPLUS affordable home in the nation. This Habitat for Humanity duplex will be the first home to be built to a trio of EPA new homes programs that sets standards for energy efficiency, water efficiency and healthy indoor air in residential home construction.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver (HFHMD) has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by committing to use the new ENERGY STAR Version 3 guidelines, as well as Indoor airPLUS, and WaterSense specifications in all future home building.

HFHMD is the first affordable homes builder in the nation to partner with EPA on these three programs, as well as the first Habitat affiliate in the nation to do so. This partnership is likely to expand to all Habitat affiliates and by example, to many homebuilders across the country. This duplex will be the first of over 40 homes to be built by Habitat in 2012.

“With this and future building projects, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is setting the example that healthy and efficient homes are not a luxury – they’re a necessity in these tough economic times,” said Jim Martin, EPA’s Regional Administrator. “These homes will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, save thousands of gallons of precious water resources and keep toxic materials out of the environment.”

"Habitat for Humanity understands the importance of building high-quality, healthy and sustainable homes that families can live and thrive in well into the future," said Heather Lafferty, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. "That's why our affiliate has focused on building green, energy-efficient homes which have been ENERGY STAR tested for more than a decade. These measures help save homeowners hundreds of dollars each year on utility costs, while also providing them with a healthy living environment."

About Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver:

Habitat for Humanity is a homeownership program for low-income families. It engages the community in building high quality, energy-efficient homes which are sold to hard-working families in desperate need of stable, affordable housing. Qualified families purchase Habitat homes with zero-interest loans and make mortgage payments based on 25 percent of the family's income. Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver has built 450 homes throughout its 32-year history of building in Denver. For more information about Habitat for Humanity, please visit


Compared with standard homes, ENERGY STAR certified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating-delivering $200 to $400 in annual savings.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is building this home to ENERGY STAR's new more rigorous Version 3 guidelines which are 15% more energy efficient than the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) and come with additional efficiency features that make these homes 20-30% more efficient than a typical new home. For more information visit:


WaterSense labeled homes are designed to use 20% less water, indoors and out; resulting in cost savings of $600 a year. A WaterSense labeled home can save a family of four as much as 50,000 gallons of water a year – enough to wash more than 2,000 loads of laundry.

Since its inception in 2006, the WaterSense program has helped Americans save 125 billion gallons of water and $2 billion in utility bills. For more information visit:

Indoor airPLUS

We spend up to 90% of our time indoors. This means that the indoor environment can have a significant impact on our health. EPA studies have shown that levels of air pollution inside the home are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels.

There are significant possible health risks of breathing indoor air pollutants like mold, radon, carbon monoxide, pesticides, combustion gases and other toxic airborne chemicals.

Homes built with Indoor airPLUS incorporate more than 30 design and construction features to help protect you against these pollutants, such as moisture and mold control, radon resistant construction, improved heating and air conditioning design and installation, advanced air filtration, fresh air ventilation, combustion safety, insect barriers and steps to reduce levels of chemicals in the home. For more information visit: