Houston Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Its ‘Greenest’ Home Yet

HOUSTON (Nov. 05, 2010) – Like most new Houston Habitat for Humanity homebuyers, the Abu family is waiting with anticipation for their brand-new, 4-bedroom home to be completed so that they can move in and start enjoying the benefits of living in a well-built, roomy, neighborhood-oriented environment.

The dedication will be held on Saturday, November 6 at 10 a.m., at 9814 Hydroville Court (please use 8801 Sterlingshire Drive at Mesa Road for mapping).  A number of public officials, sponsors and leaders in the green-building movement have been invited to attend.


For the Abus, the benefits will include some of the most technologically advanced—yet affordable—green building materials available, which will provide the family with reduced energy costs and a significantly healthier environment in which to raise their children.


This Houston Habitat “Green Build” home, located in northeast Houston in the Milby Park subdivision, is the result of a partnership that includes: GE Energy, sponsor of the build; Green Mountain Energy Company, provider of a donation through its Big Texas Sun Club for an Alternate Technologies solar hot water heater; and New Living, a Houston-based retail store focused on sustainable and healthy building material.


“Providing support for something like this ‘Green Build’ home is secondary to being part of a bigger community effort,” said Lance Hall, head of GE Volunteers in Houston. “On behalf of the GE Volunteers, I would like to thank Habitat for Humanity for giving us the opportunity to partner on this rewarding project.”


According to Houston Habitat Executive Director Algenita Davis, “Houston Habitat for Humanity has long been recognized for our achievements in building energy-efficient affordable homes, including two National Energy Star® Home Builder of the Year Awards.  This ‘Green Build’ is the next step in our dedication to environmentally-friendly affordable home building, and we are confident that Houston-area donors and sponsors will join us in our commitment.”


Green Mountain Energy Company, Texas’ first competitive retail electric provider to offer cleaner energy, donated an AE-32 Solar Hot Water Heater to the Abu family’s Habitat for Humanity House.  Green Mountain donated the hot water heater through its Big Texas Sun Club®, a unique program in which Green Mountain’s Texas customers can choose to support solar energy development and education in Texas by contributing an additional $5 on their monthly Green Mountain electricity bill.  This is Green Mountain’s 26th solar donation through its Big Texas Sun Club.  Three additional Houston Habitat homes will also receive solar hot water heaters, thanks to Green Mountain.


“Green Mountain is proud to partner with a fine organization like Habitat for Humanity that helps provide housing to low income people,” said Mark Lamping, vice president of Sales, Green Mountain Energy Company. “Donating solar hot water heaters like this one for Abu family through our Big Texas Sun Club helps us give back to the communities where our customers live, work, shop and play.


New Living, a local green building and home store and Certified B-Corporation, supplied non-toxic, VOC-free NOVOC paint, low-VOC sealants and recycled cabinetry at-cost to ensure that the home’s interior is a healthy, safe and environmentally-friendly living space for the Abu family.  “Too many people think that building with green and healthy materials is more expensive than using conventional products,” said Jeff Kaplan, President of New Living.  “We started New Living to prove that simply isn’t true – protecting the environment and taking care of our families’ health is a right for all people, regardless of income,” he added.


According to Construction Manager Jerry Kovaly, Houston Habitat for Humanity has, for many years, emphasized energy efficiency as a key objective in affordable home building.  All Houston Habitat building specifications include:  high-efficiency air-conditioning units; Energy Star-rated appliances; OSB sheathing (preferable to plywood because of its strength); Dow Energy Star-rated underlayment, radiant barrier roof decking; two-foot roof overhang to reduce heat penetrating side windows and walls; and double-pane, tinted windows wrapped in Weathermateâ.


This fall, Houston Habitat for Humanity has completed or begun construction on three additional “green” homes, thanks to the generous support of Calpine Corporation, Houston Dynamo star Brian Ching and Pride International.


About Houston Habitat for Humanity

Since 1987, Houston Habitat for Humanity, along with thousands of sponsors and volunteers, has built more than 830 affordable homes for purchase by hard-working, low-income Houstonians. Qualified Houston Habitat homebuyers agree to a no-interest mortgage and contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” in lieu of a down payment. Partner families are also provided with classes on money management and home maintenance.  More information about Houston Habitat and its “ReStore” discounted building supply store is available online at www.houstonhabitat.org or by calling 713-671-9993.


About GE Energy

GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ge.com.


GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With nearly 85,000 global employees and 2009 revenues of $40 billion, GE Energy www.ge.com/energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.


About Green Mountain Energy Company

Green Mountain, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 “to change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. and in 2009 was ranked the “Highest in Business Customer Satisfaction with Retail Electric Service” by J.D. Power and Associates2. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of clean electricity products from renewable sources such as wind and water, as well as a variety of carbon-offset products. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 11.3 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. For more information, visit GreenMountain.com. For information on Big Texas Sun Club visit https://www.greenmountainenergysunclub.com.

About New Living

New Living is more than just a store. The driving idea behind New Living is to make the green building and green living movement accessible and affordable for everyone. The goal of New Living to be a community store that encourages new thinking, ideas and helps foster a local green economy. It is New Living’s mission that everyone deserves healthy, safe, clean spaces. New Living seeks to extend this right, while having a direct economic, social and environmental impact on its community.