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New Group to Build Green Homes for Vets

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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A new San Diego-based non-profit group will build and remodel barrier-free, environmentally friendly homes that meet the needs of disabled veterans.

The organization, Green Beach, will also operate a store for new, surplus and recycled construction materials to help fund their effort. Organizers are also seeking these materials for sale or for the building effort.

Green Beach, which marked its grand opening on Veterans Day, is joining forces with the San Diego community to help disabled veterans return to an independent and high-quality lifestyle, while promoting a clean environment.

When designing barrier-free homes, special features are incorporated based on the veteran’s specific injuries. This increased functionality is integrated into the home design, allowing a more independent lifestyle and providing the best living experience.

Designs may include ramps or no-trip thresholds at entryways, wider doors and hallways, fully accessible bathrooms, and cabinets and cooking surfaces built at comfort-appropriate height levels. Other design considerations take into account the need for special equipment such as physical therapy machines, pulleys for moving veterans and other technologies.

“The Green Beach mission is so important because it reassures our disabled veterans that we are a grateful nation working to repay their selfless sacrifice,” said Dan Mazzella, the group’s executive director.

The homes will also feature the latest green technologies, such as solar electric energy, tankless water heaters, cotton insulation, OSB plywood, low- or no-VOC paint, Energy Star-rated appliances, and LEED certification where possible.

Landscaping includes drought-tolerant or native plants with low spray and drip irrigation, along with solar irrigation controls. Green Beach has chosen its first home recipient: Lance Weir and his assistance dog Satine. The group is currently scouting a location and expects to complete the home within a year.

To help fund this initiative, Green Beach is opening a store for new, surplus and recycled construction materials. The store, called The Exchange, will be open to contractors as well as the public, with profits going toward the purchase of home sites. The Exchange will also help provide needed building supplies for the planned homes. Both contractors and the public are encouraged to shop and donate surplus or recyclable building materials to help.

Green Beach’s mission is to provide green homes that meet the special needs of disabled veterans. To learn more, visit greenbeachamerica.org.

   

Tagged categories: Green building

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