Friday, June 20, 2014

August 17, 2013 - How Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley Builds Green

Hello Green PMI and welcome to all interested in sustainability!

We are updating our green blog after some time due to a change in leadership and roles. Although our blog hasn't been active, we have been. Here is a past event.

Topic: How Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley Builds Green
Speaker(s): Hans Reuvecamp, Catherine Pinkas, PMP

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley builds homes that are not only affordable, but also sustainable. Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley builds using comprehensive green design. Many people think of solar panels when they think of green building, but the reality is that it encompasses much more. Green building is a whole house design that takes into account energy efficiency, smart use of building materials, water usage, and much more. Habitat for Humanity EB/SV builds green to take better care of the environment, Habitat homeowners and volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity EB/SV was the first Habitat affiliate in the Bay Area to begin building green in 2000 and have completed over 60 green homes in the area. As one of the leading Habitat affiliates in affordable green building in the U.S. we plan to continue innovating the way that affordable housing can be built green. Habitat homes have been certified through California’s GreenPoint Rated system and some through the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system, demonstrating that Habitat for Humanity EB/SV is building to stringent national green building standards.

The presentation detailed how Habitat for Humanity EB/SV determines what types of green design activities are possible.  Specific constraints and challenges were highlighted.  We learned how Habitat trains volunteers to build green and how to build with a volunteer team.  Safety guidelines for unskilled volunteers and materials recycling programs were reviewed.  Decisions about the costs of building green and the constraints of funding were outlined. 

After the presentation, the group was invited to consider other green building practices that could be incorporated into Habitat’s current practices. The ideas were summarized and given to the construction development team for consideration.  It was an engaging event intended to help project managers understand the constraints involved in construction in a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization.

Speaker Bio(s): Hans Reuvecamp is the Vice President of Construction at Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley (EB/SV). Catherine Pinkas has served as a Past Board Member and Chair of the Family Resource Committee at Habitat for Humanity EB/SV. She is currently an Instructor of Project Management at UC Berkeley Extension.

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