Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa welcomed a Tuscaloosa woman to her new home Wednesday afternoon, also marking the completion of a massive and innovative partnership to produce an home that is "going green."

This home is the 91st home completed by Habitat Tuscaloosa since the April 27, 2011 tornado that ravaged large parts of the city. This is the third home in their "Operation Transformation" job training initiative, a program in which Habitat purchased 40 lots in early 2021 and partnered with the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy to provide job training for high school students seeking a construction trade.

Habitat Tuscaloosa partnered with Mercedes Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) and members of the National Ready Mix Concrete Association for the project, which helped build Habitat Tuscaloosa's first concrete block home made with low-carbon concrete, a more economic substitute.

This home was awarded to Lorraine Davis. She spoke briefly, thanking Habitat and its parterres for their overwhelming generosity.

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"I just want to thank everybody for coming out today celebrating me," Davis said. "I'm just so thankful to God and I'm so thankful to each and every one of you for helping."

MBUSI sponsored the home and provided the majority of the volunteer labor. Before they arrived on the site, CarbonBuilt, Blair Block and the National Carbon Capture Center built the concrete block frame. To do this, they embedded carbon as well as reduced the use of cement in the mix, which reduces the carbon footprint of the concrete blocks by over 60%.

"We have a goal of having one concrete home in each of the 50 states across this beautiful country in the next five years," said Mike Philipps, President of National Ready Mix Concrete Association. "This is our first one in Alabama and we're very pleased to be here."

Representatives from all three organizations reaffirmed their commitment to the environment at the ribbon cutting Wednesday. Ellen Potts, Executive Director of Habitat Tuscaloosa, said Davis' house is up to the standard of all of her organization's homes.

"This built to the FORTIFIED Gold standard" Potts said. "It has a tornado safe room that is poured concrete, and is built to the FEMA standard. We're excited we can offer you that kind of peace of mind."

Davis' home was stocked with a full pantry courtesy of First Presbyterian Church, along with several gift baskets full of household items like and toiletries courtesy of MBUSI.

Habitat Tuscaloosa is actively accepting new applicants to receive these new homes. Anyone interested in applying should visit their website here.

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