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Habitat for Humanity unveils 1st all-electric homes

The homes are all-concrete and all-electric, which will save homeowners money on things like construction, utility bills and insurance.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Habitat for Humanity of Kent County unveiled the organization’s very first all-concrete homes Thursday. This will not only benefit the new homeowners, but everyone else, too.

It’s all on one lot, but will eventually become three, brand new, single family homes in the Baxter neighborhood of Grand Rapids. 

They all were built incorporating a new construction process called ICF, which stands for insulated concrete forms.

Homes typically have just a concrete foundation. In this case, the entire structures are made up of concrete, making the homes more sustainable. 

“We’re really talking about a concrete foundation and walls in the home that really is part of a new way of being energy efficient but also we’re really talking about carbon output, right? So, we’re really looking at homes that don’t emit carbons, really as part of what Habitat does for environment sustainability and stability,” said Bev Thiel, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Kent County.

She also told 13 ON YOUR SIDE that this new process does not affect the cost of building the home, which can be around $250,000-$300,000.

These will be all-electric homes with a 40-60% reduction in energy use, and because they’re noncombustible, they’re also cheaper to insure. 

This construction process looks and sounds a bit different than you might expect. Instead of hearing them hammering away at nails, the process involves stacking up foam blocks. It’s quieter, safer and faster.  Families could be moving in as early as January.

Several West Michigan businesses made significant donations to make this project possible. That includes Consumer Concrete Corporation, which donated all of the concrete.

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