Habitat dedicates third green home in Martin County, celebrates Environmental Stewardship Award

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another deserving family will soon be enjoying the benefits of a new, energy efficient and sustainable green home, thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Martin County.


On Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m., Habitat will dedicate its third green home in East Stuart, located at 804 Tarpon Avenue. The home was built for Margaret Blatch and her 15-year-old son, Travon.


As the home nears completion, Margaret Blatch is brimming with joy and hope for the future.


“I’m excited about becoming a Habitat home owner, a goal that seemed so far out of reach. This whole journey has been amazing and unbelievable. Being a Habitat home owner means there will be a lot of new responsibilities, new adventures and a new beginning,” Blatch said. “Words can’t express how thankful I am for all the help, prayers and kind words of encouragement.”


The Blatch Family contributed 300 sweat equity hours working on their home and the homes of others as a Habitat prerequisite. Through donations of funds, materials and volunteer labor, Habitat was able to build the home and sell it at an affordable price. The family will purchase the home with a no-profit loan and their monthly mortgage payments will be used to build more Habitat homes.


With the construction of three green homes in the past year, Habitat for Humanity of Martin County has proved that it’s possible to go green on a budget.

“This Habitat project in Martin County proves you can build green-certified homes with little to no additional costs,” Habitat’s green consultant, Kyle Abney of Abney + Abney Green Solutions, Inc said. “Green features such as proper orientation, using light interior colors to reflect natural light, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and adhesives, extended overhangs for shade, not installing a garbage disposal, using low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets, and xeriscaping are all utilized in this home and can be done in any home.”


The construction of Habitat’s green homes conform to environmentally sensitive standards, meeting rating requirements by the Florida Green Building Coalition. This and the other Habitat green homes in East Stuart are also in line to receive Florida Water Star certification from the South Florida Water Management District. These Habitat homes are among the first in the area certified by the district and the first Habitat for Humanity homes in the state to receive this designation.


Award Winning Efforts

Keep Martin Beautiful recently honored the local Habitat affiliate with an Environmental Stewardship Award (Nonprofit and Civic Group Category) for their green home efforts.


“It’s truly an honor to be recognized with an award from Keep Martin Beautiful,” Margot Graff, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Martin County said. “It gives us a great feeling to know we are building homes in a sustainable, energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Best of all, we’re sharing the benefits, savings and green lifestyle with our home owners.”


This project is made possible thanks to the City of Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency, which provided a $100,000 “green initiatives” grant to help finance three green homes. Habitat is partnering with Abney + Abney Green Solutions, Inc., Braden & Braden architects and HJA Design Studio which provided consultations on the construction of this and the other Habitat green homes in East Stuart.


“We are so grateful to our sponsors, volunteers and staff who helped make a dream come true for Margaret and Travon,” Graff said. “Because of their support, the Blatch Family can proudly call themselves home owners, and enjoy the utility savings that come with their energy efficient home.”


The Feb. 9 event will include a ceremonial dedication, open house and refreshments. Habitat staff and consultants will be available to answer questions about the construction, and provide information on the sustainable and environmentally friendly components throughout the home. For more information, call (772) 223-9940 or visit HabitatMartin.org.


About Habitat for Humanity of Martin County

Habitat for Humanity of Martin County is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that extends the opportunity to purchase simple, decent, affordable homes to local families who would not otherwise have that chance. The three key criteria necessary in order to make home ownership a reality for families include the need for shelter, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. For more information, call (772) 223-9940 or visit HabitatMartin.org.


About Keep Martin Beautiful

Keep Martin Beautiful is a nonprofit community organization founded in 1994. Its mission is to preserve and enhance the quality of life in Martin County through litter prevention, promotion of recycling, improvement of solid waste management practices, and beautification and community revitalization activities. KMB signature events and programs include the annual Environmental Stewardship Awards ceremony, Great American Cleanup, International Coastal Cleanup, the Adopt-A-Road program, the Adopt-A-Street program and other educational and outreach activities. For more information, call (772) 781-1222 or visit KeepMartinBeautiful.org.

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