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Posted on: August 1, 2012

Pierce County breaks ground on Energy Star-certified housing

Energy Star

Wednesday Aug 01 2012 3:31 PM

With one ceremonial dig in an empty lot, County Executive Pat McCarthy kicked off construction of a new community in Pierce County - The Woods at Golden Given. Volunteers, contractors and community partners will now begin developing this $6.2 million, 30-unit sustainable community.

This unique community will feature cottage-style residences gathered around a central open space with natural areas and trails. The seven-acre property is located in a wooded area outside of Midland.

"This is Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity's most ambitious project to date. We would not be able to take on a development of this magnitude if it weren't for the partnership with the Pierce County Department of Community Connections," said Maureen Fife, Chief Executive Officer of Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat. "The Woods at Golden Given will help bring affordable housing in Pierce County to a new standard, proving that it is possible to build housing that is simple, decent, affordable, and an asset to the greater community."

All houses at The Woods will be Energy Star certified and receive a four-star rating through the Master Builders Association's Built Green program. In addition to affordable housing, the project will include:

• Street improvements along 104th Street
• Sidewalks, crosswalks and connecting foot bridges• 40,000 square feet of open space
• Sports fields and basketball courts• 30 raised garden beds
• Rain gardens to control storm water drainage• Meeting rooms, barbeque facilities and a common house which can be used by homeowners to host meetings and events

Nearly one-third of this property is protected wetlands. In addition to meeting high sustainability standards for construction, plans call for landscaping with indigenous plant species to reduce the need for fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.

"We've worked to accomplish a site design that minimally impacts the environment. The Woods preserves the natural habitat by saving 50 percent of all existing trees on the property and improving the existing wetlands in the area," said Corey Lew, Capital Projects/Community Development Supervisor at Community Connections. "Pine and birch trees removed from the site will be milled, returned and used as materials for the houses on the property."

Community Connections provided technical assistance for contractor bidding, facilitated the land acquisition and the environmental review, and invested significant public dollars to the project. Other financial partners contributing to Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity to support The Woods development include: The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), United Way of Pierce County, and the Ben B. Cheney Foundation.

For more information about the project, or to volunteer, contact Tracey Sorenson, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, (253) 627-5626.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Scott Kinney, Pierce County Community Connections(206) 445-2210

Tracey Sorenson, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity
(253) 627-5626

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