How We Build - Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento


Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento builds GREEN because we believe we have a moral and fiscal responsibility to our families and our community to design and build our homes in an environmentally responsible way.

LEEDing the way

HFH Greater Sacramento joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2009 and has built 21 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified homes to date. The USGBC LEED system awards points for energy efficiency and sustainability and has recognition levels at Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Our Mahogany Street home in Del Paso Heights earned HFH Greater Sacramento the honor of being the 7th Habitat affiliate, of over 1,500 nationwide to achieve the coveted Platinum ranking.

The average energy consumption for all of our LEED certified homes is $10/home from our local utility service provider SMUD. We just completed our first all-electric net-zero home, located at 4025 32nd Street in the Oak Park community. So far, the homeowner has not paid for electricity.

In 2010, we were awarded “Achievement in Excellence” by the US Green Building Council for our LEED program. In 2011, we finished among the top 3 finalists in the nation for “Affordable projects of the Year” at the USGBC Summit.

For more information on LEED building, visit the U.S. Green Building Council website at

Green Building Strategies and results

Our goal is to build homes that are energy efficient today and that will remain energy efficient in the future, with ratings that are at least 20% to 25% higher than current California Title 24 standards require. These homes will include photovoltaic solar systems on the roof to supplement electricity. The onsite solar power source can reduce electricity bills by as much as 70%.

Standard Green Features may include:

  • Certain Teed roofing shingles
  • Hardiplank horizontal siding (recycled cement-based siding)
  • Dow exterior tight building wrap
  • On-Demand Rinnai or hybrid efficient electric water heater
  • 30 year dimensional composition roof with ridge vent system
  • Upgraded interior all compact fluorescent lighting fixtures (CFL) to maximize energy efficiency
  • Ply Gem Style Line, argon-filled, low E, energy efficient windows (Energy Star rated with a U factor of .30)
  • Low flow 1.5gpm plumbing fixtures, 1.1/1.5gpf Dual Flush toilets, 1.5gpm shower heads
  • Energy efficient HVAC-FAU system with 92% efficiency and 100cfm exhaust fan system
  • Tight duct HVAC installation on mechanical system with Duct Blast HERS test
  • 12 to 14 SEER condensing unit
  • Interior and exterior paint with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Recycled aggregate base with fly ash special concrete design mix for all flat work
  • Tile flooring and recycled carpet with low or no VOC’s
  • Trusses with Energy Heel that allow more room for insulation in the attic
  • Radiant barrier above ceiling, plus R-38 cellulose-based insulation, R-19 insulation in walls
  • Innovative advanced 2″x6” framing design
  • Drought tolerant or xeriscape landscaping with native garden planting scheme in front yard
  • Photovoltaic solar system with high efficient panels (2.5 KW System)
  • Smoke alarm with carbon monoxide detector in every room
  • Standard security alarm
  • Sustainable designed site, with LEED efficiencies incorporated in the Infrastructure