Neosho Habitat homes feature innovative building material

·2 min read

Sep. 17—NEOSHO, Mo. — An upcoming project for Habitat for Humanity will feature student assistance and an innovative construction technique.

Neosho Area Habitat for Humanity recently announced that two houses are under construction in the 400 block of Park Street. The homes are built using insulated concrete forms, and in addition to normal volunteers, students from Crowder College's building technology program are helping to build the structures.

Insulated concrete forms have become a popular building option because of how they offer better energy efficiency and durability. The forms lock together in a modular manner, similar to toy building bricks, to make up the walls of the house.

The procedure has found heavy use in low-rise commercial and more energy-efficient residential buildings because it meets more stringent building codes and can stand up better to hazardous weather, officials say.

The two houses being built in Neosho represent the first Neosho Habitat homes to feature the forms, according to a news release. Using them is part of an initiative to build 50 sustainable concrete homes in 50 states over five years. Since that initiative, in partnership with Build with Strength Coalition, launched in February 2021, 46 homes have been built in 27 states.

Nathan Fent, director of career and technical education at Crowder, said in the release that the project has given students a hands-on opportunity with the building innovation that he said was "the future of energy-efficient American home building."

An open house has been scheduled to allow community members an up-close look at the construction. Attendees will also be able to participate in a block-signing ceremony, a variation of a Habitat for Humanity tradition of signing wooden structures with supportive messages for the recipient. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at 414 Park St.

The Build with Strength Coalition is part of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

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