Drury University, MO Sustainable Habitat for Humanity

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Drury University, MO, US

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Type: Program

Status: Launched in 2007

Source File: http://www.drury.edu/multinl/story.cfm?ID=21706&NLID=325


Students learn about giving, building, environmental issues and more through hands-on work

In 2008, Drury University’s Sustainable Habitat for Humanity House achieved Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, meaning the home has achieved the highest level of environmentally responsible and sustainable standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Drury’s Sustainable Habitat House is just the 37th Platinum LEED-certified home in the country and the third in Missouri, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The residential sector contributes greatly to climate change and is responsible for 21 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions,” said Michelle Moore, senior vice president of Policy & Market Development, U.S. Green Building Council. “Green homes like the Drury University Sustainable Habitat house are an immediate and measurable way individuals can make a difference for the environment, and this Platinum project will serve as an example to the community of the benefits of building green.”

Amy Pinegar and her children moved into the home at the end of May. The house is located in Habitat for Humanity’s Legacy Trails subdivision north of Springfield. “It has been an amazing experience working with Drury students and professors to turn the idea of creating an affordable sustainable residence into an actual Habitat home,” Codutti says. “We learned a lot throughout the process, and I know it meant a lot to Amy that the students were so eager to involve her during all stages of the project.

“This house may look different from the other homes in the Legacy Trails subdivision, but it's a great visual representation of what Habitat is trying to do with the community as a whole. Legacy Trails is a low-impact development, designed in partnership with Greene County to show developers the affordability and long-term benefits of environmentally friendly infrastructure. The sustainable house follows the same principle, so being the first Habitat affiliate to be awarded platinum LEED certification is a testament to our community's desire to serve as a model for leadership in energy and environmental design.”

A few of the sustainable highlights in the home:

  • The home was oriented to take advantage of the sun and prevailing winds in the area.
  • Sun angles were calculated to collect solar radiation in the winter and shade in the summer.
  • The yard is landscaped with native plants, which are drought resistant and require little maintenance.
  • Rain water is managed through rain gardens and pervious concrete that allows water to soak into the soil.
  • The roof has 30 solar tubes, which power 70 percent of the home’s domestic water and radiant heat.
  • Appliances and light fixtures are Energy Star compliant and plumbing fixtures are low-flow.

In the fall of 2007, construction began on Drury University's Sustainable Habitat for Humanity house. Architecture students designed the home as part of the program's design/build course, and also worked on the construction and saw the positive impact the house had on a Habitat for Humanity family. Volunteers spent more than 5,000 hours working on the house and Drury used every opportunity to teach volunteers about the home and sustainability whether those volunteers were Drury chemistry students or local fifth-graders.