Habitat Homes in Waukegan among Greenest

Article excerpt

Byline: Mick Zawislak mzawislak@dailyherald.com

Habitat for Humanity Lake County has been building affordable homes since 1989, but it just starting to delve deeply into

green construction.

Two affordable homes being built side by side on 11th Street on Waukegan's far south side will be certified as meeting the U.S. Green Building Council's most rigorous Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design standard.

Both will have the same floor plan and appearance. The difference is the one at 1517 11th St. will use insulating concrete forms as a new construction method for the nonprofit housing ministry.

Habitat has built 130 homes in its history, but it didn't go green until 2009.

"Last year, doing the first one was a big step because we had a lot to learn about the process," said Julie Donovan, executive director.

"Each year we try to tackle a few extra things where we can try to continue using techniques and materials that

are better."

Representatives from the Portland Cement Association were on site Thursday erecting the concrete and foam wall systems, which are said to require an estimated 25 percent less energy to heat and cool than comparable frame houses.

The walls of one of the homes will be made of cement as an energy-saving measure. The home has been designated as the 2010 showcase project to coincide with USGBC's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Nov. …