Habitat for Humanity Multifamily

Allen Construction is part of a project team that built a new, 12-unit affordable housing project for Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County. The project architects, Ed DeVicente and Ryan Mills of DMHA Architecture & Interior Design, have designed the buildings to be as green as possible. The project is the first affordable housing project in Southern California to meet the rigorous Passive House Institute US standards. The project is also certified through the Santa Barbara Contractors Association’s Built Green Program at the 4 Star Level. These green homes provide safe and affordable housing for 43 people, including 20 children, who currently live in substandard housing in Santa Barbara. To learn more about this project, visit the Habitat for Humanity website.

Groundbreaking for the project took place in December 2012. A community “first wall raising” took place on June 20, 2013. The project was completed in November 2014 thanks to many contributions of time and financial support from the Santa Barbara community. (Photographer: Jim Bartsch.)

The project’s passive house features include the following:

  • Super-insulated building shell: A thermal blanket surrounds the homes, enhancing comfort and reducing energy use.
  • Energy-efficient doors and windows: These increase comfort and allow the sun’s free heating energy in.
  • High-efficiency framing: This increases comfort and decreases energy use.
  • Heat-recovery ventilation: This provides continuously filtered fresh air.
  • Air-sealed building envelope: This eliminates drafts and keeps temperatures constant.
  • Simple radiant heating system: This provides comfortable heat for the few times a year it is needed.

Green features of the project:

  • Echo Solar Hybrid system: This provides electricity and hot water for each home.
  • Low-water-use plumbing fixtures
  • Recycled-material flooring
  • Low- or no-VOC finishes
  • Water detention system: This captures rainwater and allows it to slowly recharge the groundwater.
  • Low-maintenance, low-water-use landscaping
  • Permeable paving on-site

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