Habitat for Humanity's homes are
more than shelter for low income
families. Habitat for Humanity/Tucson
teamed up with the Arizona Masonry
Guild to pilot a "green build" program.
This new breed of homes are earth-friendly,
using ecologically responsible building
methods, resulting in homes that
are both healthier for the environment
and those who live in them.
of 2000, when
labor for the
homes at Balboa
Arizona . It
is the hope
of the Arizona
that this pilot
help lead the
way for other
to turn to "green
build" concepts incorporate a number of important earth-friendly building
guidelines to make a better home. Masonry products play a significant role in "green
build" concepts because they are natural products that do not deplete limited
precious resources like timber. Other than helping to save our forests, masonry
also contributes to a healthier home for its inhabitants. Masonry helps to make
homes allergy resistant by creating near air-tight homes. Homes built with masonry
are also quieter and help reduce or eliminate the build up of mold and fungus
between interior and exterior walls. Mold, mildew and fungus problems result
in an unhealthy home. Studies show that these problems contribute to chronic
fatigue syndrome, throat infections and can worsen asthma conditions.
to Habitat, aside from the "green
build" benefits, masonry was selected
because it is superior to lumber, it is a more efficient barrier against weather,
energy efficient, fire and termite resistant and is virtually maintenance free.
It will make these homes more affordable to operate, an important attribute for
the low income families that will own these homes.
Masonry Guild Executive Director,
Joan Borter says, "We have been
devoting financial and human resources
to community projects for years.
The Guild is particularly delighted
to work with Habitat and its great
corps of volunteers."
For Humanity Tucson is dedicated
to eliminating poverty housing
in the greater Tucson area. Founded
in 1980, Habitat Tucson has built
150 homes. Arizona's average income
ranks as one of the lowest in the
country, yet the population is
one of the fastest growing. Over
34,000 Tucson families spend more
than 50% of their income on a place
to live, and often live in substandard
housing. The masonry homes built
by Habitat in Tucson are 1,200
square feet, three bedrooms, two
bathrooms complete with heat pumps.
Each house meets or exceeds county
and city building codes.