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Where the Rubber Meets the Road in Building Products (April 24, 2013)
Healthy Building Network Leadership Awards
Each year the Healthy Building Network recognizes organizations that have demonstrated leadership in accelerating the transition to healthier building materials. In 2004, HBN recognized the efforts of Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity International
Our recognition starts with the Director of Construction and Environmental Research of Habitat for Humanity International, Neville Eastwood. In 2000, Neville and other senior staff members met with representatives from Greenpeace and HBN to discuss the potential of eliminating PVC plastic from Habitat Homes. The result of that meeting was a commitment to build a model PVC-free home that used the healthiest build materials, while using the standard design and budget for a typical Habitat home. Neville and the entire Habitat leadership team stood by the project, despite criticism from PVC industry, which contributes substantially to Habitats programs.
For the initial commitment, sticking to their principles in the face of criticism, and seeing through to completion the PVC-free home constructed by the New Orleans Affiliate, we present to Neville Eastwood and Habitat for Humanity International, our 2004 Healthy Building Leadership Award.
Habitat for Humanity, New Orleans Affiliate
In 2003, Greenpeace and HBN brought a proposal for a PVC-free Habitat Home to the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity's New Orleans Affiliate, Jim Pate. Jim took on the project with all the enthusiasm we could have hoped for. Working closely with Bruce Hampton, an architect experienced in green design for affordable housing, Jim was able to keep the project on schedule while meeting all of our healthy building goals. And when the inevitable criticism came, Jim stepped to the forefront to defend the project and remind everybody that the essential point being made was that it is possible to provide decent housing to all Americans, regardless of their income level.
For getting the job done, we present Jim Pate and the New Orleans Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity with our 2004 Healthy Building Leadership Award.
Habitat for Humanity, South Puget Sound Affiliate
The South Puget Sound Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is also near completion of a PVC-free house that is in many respects the bookend to the project we undertook with the New Orleans Affiliate. In New Orleans, Habitat demonstrated that it was possible to green the standard Habitat Home, the result being a house that to the untrained eye looks just like the other houses on the street built by Habitat, even though it is much more energy efficient and built with far less toxic materials than usual. In Olympia, Washington, the South Puget Sound Chapter collaborated with green building experts, local suppliers, and students at Evergreen University. Starting from scratch they designed the healthiest, most energy efficient model home they could working within the standard Habitat budget. The result will be a gorgeous PVC-free home that would be the envy of the private real estate market, but which just happens to provide decent housing at a price that's within reach of those who need it most.
For their initiative and collaboration in this effort, we recognize Jerry Fugich and the South Puget Sound Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
Pentagon Renovation Program
Environmental Building News
American Society for Healthcare Engineering
New York Department of Environmental Conservation