TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Advanced Plumbing Systems is working in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity to develop the Depot Neighborhood, a net-zero, affordable housing community, and the first of its kind in the nation. The goal of this project is to create a sustainable future – ecologically, socially, and financially for ten families in Northern Michigan. Buildings are constructed with energy efficient materials, such as hybrid water heaters, and supplemented by solar panels, so that all energy consumed on site is generated by sustainable means.
On November 28th are excited to be part of a project that is setting a national standard for community development and sustainability,” said Jason Hillier, a master plumber with 17 years of experience, and owner of Advanced Plumbing Systems -the company holding the plumbing contract on all ten houses. To-date APS has donated over $8,100 in labor and material on the first three houses. What sets this project apart from most is that companies not officially part of the project are also stepping up to support it. American Copper and Brass, a plumbing wholesaler for APS, acknowledges the importance of the project, and as a result has also donated the cost of some supplies.
On each house, APS is installing hybrid water heaters. Although cost of each heater is substantially higher than a standard electric water heater, hybrid water heaters have a 97 percent efficiency rating on the Energy Factor (EF) scale, a scale by which all modern day appliances are rated. By comparison, on average, electric water heaters are ranked no more than 93, and gas heaters range from 80-90. Hillier commented, “In the short run its cheaper to install lower efficiency heaters, but in the long run, it costs more to the families, and ultimately the community, if these houses are not constructed on a responsible, sustainable premise.”
Just before the three families moved in, ground was broken on two additional houses. APS has already completed the underground drainage system, and partial water system, for these two houses, and is waiting for construction on the shell of the houses to be completed before they start on the interior plumbing systems. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. For more information on becoming a homeowner, contact Habitat for Humanity., 2014, three of the ten houses were completed with families moving in that day.
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