Tulsa's building community is continuing its partnership with Tulsa Habitat for Humanity on a groundbreaking project that it hopes will shape the future of Habitat homes. The Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa (HBA) broke ground yesterday on its second Home Builders GreenBlitz project. In just one week, members of the Association will aim to construct the first-ever green-certified Habitat home using exclusively American-made products.
Construction kicked off with a blessing and wall raising at 1031 E. Zion St. in Tulsa. The home is scheduled to be completed and dedicated on Saturday, Oct. 27., when the keys will be presented to home buyer Tamika Brown, a single mother who has completed the Tulsa Habitat for Humanity program.
Every product being used in the construction of the GreenBlitz home is manufactured in America, from screws and lumber to windows and light fixtures. The team worked together with local distributors and searched around the country to locate manufacturers for cost-effective, high quality materials made in the USA. The goal was to showcase American-made products and maximize the project's impact on the economy.
"It was recently reported that if every builder in America used 5 percent more American products, 220,000 jobs would be created," said John Madden, a certified green builder from Tulsa, Okla. and chairman of the GreenBlitz project. "When Tulsa builders heard the report, we made a collective decision to rise to the challenge by using more American-made products in our individual businesses and to promote the concept among the building community and the general public alike. Expanding the GreenBlitz project for Habitat for Humanity to be 100 percent American-made was the perfect opportunity to further the initiative."
In addition to American-made components, the new home will feature advanced technology such as a geothermal heating and cooling unit and advanced insulation products that will lower operating costs and help with resource conservation. These and other high efficiency, environmentally-friendly features will qualify it for the PSO Energy Star Homes Program and will be certified to the National Green Building Standard by the NAHB Research Center, making it the second green-certified Habitat home in Tulsa.
"This project is a great opportunity for our local building industry to give back to a fellow citizen, however, we are most excited that our efforts will truly go beyond today," said Bill Butts, president of the HBA. "Our goal is to create a more cost-effective, efficient option that can be adapted for all Habitat home buyers across the country, and at the same time, support American manufacturing in a way that will maximize home building's impact on the economy."
To complete the project, more than 100 volunteers from over 60 local building companies will tap into their professional talents. The build will be one of the fastest projects ever for Tulsa Habitat, and for most of the area's builders. Most traditionally built homes take a minimum of 60 days to construct, but volunteers will be working 12 hours per day to squeeze a typical construction schedule into one week. The speedy timeline is commonly referred to by Habitat for Humanity International and Builder Associations as a "blitz build".
"The objectives of Habitat for Humanity and the Home Builders Association are very similar, we strive to make homeownership attainable for all," said Paul Kane, CEO of the HBA. "This project has been a great team effort, and we are extremely proud to be able to help one more family achieve the American dream and have a place to call home."
The Home Builders GreenBlitz project was funded through monetary, labor and product donations by members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa.