Habitat for Humanity - 4-Star Rowhouses

Vital Stats
Location: Renton
Star Level: 4-Star
Checklist: Single-family
Verifier: Evergreen
Site and Water131
Energy Efficiency113
Indoor Air Quality100
Material Efficiency64
Total Score458.7

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Located in Renton's Benson Heights neighborhood, a 4.51-acre lot is being developed by Habitat for Humanity as housing for low-income families. The nine units that were recently completed are part of a larger 41-unit development which will be built with a heavy reliance on volunteer labor. From foundation formwork to final touches, volunteers are involved in helping keep construction costs down and maintain the units' affordability. Consisting of a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom units, homeowners are pre-selected based on their income (60% or less than the average median income in the area) and their willingness to partner and spend 500 hours building their future homes.

Habitat's mission is to build affordable, sustainable, low-impact housing. Besides achieving a 4-Star certification from Built Green, Habitat also certified these units through the Washington Department of Commerce's Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard and the EPA's Energy Star program. Beyond a healthy interior with low VOC and GreenGuard products, NAUF (No Added Urea Formaldehyde) millwork, and FloorScore certified flooring, Habitat is retaining more than two acres of undisturbed land and providing a garden area for the homeowners. Habitat has fostered a sense of community in this small development where the children are often seen playing together.

Built Green highlights include:

Site and Water

  • Over two acres of undisturbed land retained
  • Wetland preservation and protection provided by Habitat
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping with no turf grass
  • WaterSense plumbing fixtures
  • Covered front porch

    Energy Efficiency 

    • EPA ENERGY STAR certified units
    • Less than 3.15 ACH50 blower door test results
    • Continuous rigid exterior insulation
    • Ductless heat-pump
    • HE gas tankless water heater
    • All energy star appliances
    • Energy Star washer and dryer

    Health and Indoor Air Quality

    • Low VOC paint, caulks, and adhesives
    • No carpet in the units
    • No Added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF) millwork
    • Kitchen exhaust fan limited to 230CFM
    • Roof overhangs all around the building

    Materials Efficiency

    • Use of local materials
    • FloorScore certified laminate flooring
    • High recycled content insulation 

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      Use pervious surfaces to reduce rainwater runoff