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Drury Builds Sustainable Habitat House

A new Habitat for Humanity House in Springfield is possibly the first of its kind in the nation. KSMU's Michele Skalicky has more.

It stands out from other houses in the neighborhood with its unique angles and unusual landscaping. This house, in the Legacy Trails Subdivision in north Springfield, is a sustainable house, not the first habitat house in Springfield to be built with the environment in mind, but the first to possibly be given the LEED platinum certification—the highest possible.

The house was designed and built by students in the Drury University School of Architecture. Drury associate professor of architecture and project manager Traci Sooter says they decided to make their house sustainable because it's the right thing to do.

In fact, Sooter says there are things you can do when building a home to be sustainable that don't cost money such as using passive ventilation and passive solar. Those are things Drury students incorporated into their project.

The home's other eco-friendly features include pervious concrete, rain gardens, a 100% recyclable, hail-resistant and self-healing roof, highly efficient windows, siding with 50% recycled content, energy star appliances and mulch that's simply ground-up wood construction waste.

Sooter hopes the home's unique design will attract attention.

Anna Codutti, director of development for Habitat for Humanity has taken notice. She says the organization will likely incorporate more energy-efficient features into its homes in the future.

Drury broke ground on its sustainable house last fall. Early this year, 5th year architecture students took over the project from 3rd-year students who worked on it the year before. Tyler Hellwig is one of those 5th year students.

The building began in earnest in February, and the house is expected to be fully complete in the next week or so.

Sooter says they'll find out in about 2 weeks if they home gets to boast a LEED platinum certification. Meanwhile, she's excited for the homeowner who should see economic benefits from living in a sustainable home.

Single mom Amy Pinegar and her kids move into the house this weekend. When she visited the house late last week, she hadn't seen it in a few days, and since then, much of the house had been completed...


For KSMU News, I'm Michele Skalicky.