By Iris Richmond. Stepping up its commitment to Habitat for Humanity, WCI Communities plans to build seven Habitat homes throughout Florida this year. The homes, to be built by WCI employees and Habitat affiliate volunteers, will feature "green building" elements.

At a cost of roughly $50,000 per home, construction is underway in the seven Florida counties where the luxury home builder, based in Bonita Springs, operates. The homes will meet the state's green building standards, with elements such as a centrally located water heater, insulated water pipes, fluorescent lighting, and fans in the laundry room.

"We believe that buyers today expect builders to be much more sensitive in their construction, and that this emerging trend soon will overlie the entire industry," says WCI's Ken Plonski, vice president of public relations.

"Habitat is encouraged by this partnership," says Neville Eastwood, director of construction and environmental research of Habitat for Humanity International. "Because it is challenging to incorporate green features in an affordable way, we hope that future partnerships with builders at a local level will consider the same standards."

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, July 2002