Kent County Habitat for Humanity renovates space for new HQ using green techniques

Deborah Johnson Wood

Habitat for Humanity of Kent County has constructed 65 LEED-certified affordable homes in Kent County since the organization built the first one in the United States back in 2006.

Now the nonprofit has applied the same green philosophy to the rehabilitation of its future Grand Rapids headquarters, shooting for Silver LEED-NC in renovating the former Adelante High School, 425 Pleasant St. SW.

Half of the 9,000-square-foot building is contemporary open offices for the departments that oversee housing construction, family services and fund development. The other half contains executive offices and an 84-seat multipurpose conference center.

"Our current building is humble to say the least, we've always made do," says Chris Hall, director of construction. "To be able to design a building around how we work, we anticipate we'll be able to carry out our mission much more efficiently."

Inside, the eco-friendly features include high-efficiency HVAC systems and skylights that allow natural light to flood the workspace. Outside, two rain gardens will keep stormwater on-site.

"On the property behind the building, we will put in a nursery to grow plants we can use for landscaping the (Habitat) homes," says Mindy Miner, fund development associate.

Hall says Habitat's existing building, which is kitty-corner from the new facility, will become a storage warehouse for lumber and construction supplies.

Some of the current offices will become a bunkhouse-style room where out-of-town student and other volunteers can stay overnight on cots. The space includes an existing kitchen and showers.

Hall says construction of the new facility will run about $880,000. He says a $3 million capital campaign includes funding to add a loading dock and other updates to the existing building.

Christman Construction is the general contractor. Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber is the project architect and engineer.

Source: Chris Hall, Mindy Miner, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Development News tips can be sent to [email protected].
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