Creating Environmentally Sustainable Housing
NPHS has been designated as a Green NeighborWorks organization by NeighborWorks America, and is committed to integrating green environmental sustainability strategies to their development projects. NPHS is the first nonprofit to have their headquarters run on renewable energy using solar panels and receive a LEED Silver certification in the Inland Empire. As part of their Green Building Strategy, NPHS’ goal is to integrate environmentally sustainable or energy efficient components to at least 90% of their projects. NPHS oversees all projects, coordinates contractors, develops project scopes, and integrates green upgrades to the majority of their new and rehabilitated property that will be sold or rented. NPHS’ strategy includes installing energy and water efficient appliances, windows and fixtures, tankless or demand-type water heaters, drought-tolerant landscaping, and solar panel systems.
Benefits of Green Building Strategies
By integrating “green” components into its housing rehabilitation and new construction projects, NPHS is helping the environment as well as saving homeowners money on utility costs. NPHS installs energy and water efficient appliances and fixtures that are EPA Energy Star/WaterSense certified in all of its construction projects. Carpet installation is minimized throughout each home and substituted with eco-friendly flooring to reduce the amount of air toxins and indoor air pollutants. In addition, NPHS integrates drought tolerant gardens into its landscape designs. Below are some examples of NPHS’ “green” building projects.
Green sustainable building incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a home. Green building offers specific benefits to the homeowner and the environment:
- Lower utility costs
- Improved occupant health & productivity
- Reduced energy consumption
Integrating Renewable Solar Energy
In partnership with NeighborWorks and Grid Alternatives, NPHS is able to install free solar panel systems in 10 new or redeveloped qualified home projects to conserve energy and save homeowners money on their monthly electricity bills. The desired outcome is to decrease the cost of housing expenses for LMI homeowners to create sustainable housing. This program is available to income-qualified homeowners in targeted geographic areas.
In an effort to offer solar panels to all homeowners, NPHS has recently launch the Sojourner Solar Financing and Installation Program. As a social enterprise of NPHS, Sojourner’s mission is to create sustainable homeownership by providing the opportunity for homeowners to be part of the solar economy. Sojourner offers high-quality, top of the line solar panels designed and installed by professional solar integrators. By “making solar affordable” and passing down the savings, homeowners can benefit from energy cost savings as well as other benefits from owning solar panels. Click Here for more information on Sojourner Solar.
Other Green Design Features
NPHS utilizes other low-cost green design features in their development programs, such as orienting new construction projects in a way that maximizes natural daylight through dual pane windows and skylights. NPHS also insulates hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and incorporates CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting) throughout each home. All new construction projects have a programmable thermostat and all rooms have Occupancy/Motion Sensors in order to conserve energy when rooms are not in use.
To maximize water conservation, NPHS replaces the lawn with a drought-tolerant garden in all home rehabilitation projects. Native, low-maintenance plants that require little water and are compatible with drip irrigation systems are included in our landscape designs.