Construction has begun on the first Habitat for Humanity home in Summit County that will be certified for its energy-efficient design. The project is associated with the University Park Alliance, a nonprofit group working on development of a 50-block neighborhood surrounding the University of Akron.
The future home of university employee Sharon Smothers is on Johnston Street.
The certification is called “LEED,” for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The third-party verification assures compliance with goals for energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emission reduction and other issues.
University Park Alliance made a $90,000 donation to Habitat to finance construction of the home and will provide a $10,000 down payment assistance loan.
UPA Executive Director Eric Anthony Johnson said the project is part of the group’s “Anchor Institution” strategy, referring to the fact that institutions such as the university employ more than 14,000 but only about 18 percent live in the alliance region.