WAUKEGAN, ILL. (July 7, 2009) - Exelon employee volunteers and Habitat for Humanity Lake County kicked off construction today on an energy-efficient home that will be the first Habitat for Humanity house in Illinois to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The "blitz build" in Habitat's Carter Crossing subdivision in Waukegan, Ill., will be completed in just 20 days, start to finish, in recognition of the Lake County affiliate's 20th anniversary.
"We're proud of the work Habitat for Humanity has done in Lake County in the past 20 years to help address the community's affordable housing needs, including the building of 120 homes for struggling, working families," said Julie Donovan, Habitat for Humanity Lake County executive director. "As we look toward the future, we will provide leadership in sustainable, energy efficient development through partnerships with companies like Exelon."
As one of the nation's largest electric and gas utilities, Exelon is committed to helping customers and the communities it serves adopt energy efficiency to address climate change. Along with the County of Lake, Exelon is one of the two major sponsors of the project. Approximately 12 Exelon employee volunteers were on hand today to get construction underway on the affordable, energy-efficient home, including framing walls. Exelon employees will volunteer throughout the 20-day build.
"Exelon and its family of companies are working hard to help customers reduce their carbon footprints and energy bills through easy, low-cost solutions," said Steve Solomon, Exelon director of corporate relations. "Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity Lake County is just one of our many initiatives to support energy efficiency as a cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and address future energy needs."
Habitat for Humanity Lake County selected the Brown-Crite family - Lateashia Brown-Crite and her children Idris (age 15), Irielle (age 13) and Imari (age 8) - as the partner family that will live in the LEED-certified home. The family will contribute 500 hours of labor to the construction of their home or other Habitat needs.
The Brown-Crite family has had to move three times in the past seven years because of poor housing conditions. They already recognize the financial and environmental benefits of energy efficiency, but living in the first LEED-certified Habitat home in Illinois will help them do even more to live in a sustainable way. Brown-Crite said that she plans to use the money she saves on utility bills to save for her children's college funds.
"Habitat for Humanity has shown me that with partnership, hard work and dedication, my family can have a safe home," said Brown-Crite. "My children will know the importance of a better living environment."
The Brown-Crite home will be built in accordance with LEED guidelines and is expected to receive a Gold-level LEED rating. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is the internationally recognized green building certification system. LEED provides third-party verification that a building is designed and built in a sustainable way that improves performance in the areas of energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Exelon's support for the 20-day build is part of Exelon 2020, the company's strategy to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020 - an amount greater than the company's 2001 carbon footprint and equivalent to taking more than 3 million cars of the road.