Blue Ridge Habitat Home Design Wins National Award | Winchester Star

WINCHESTER – Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity was honored for designing homes for low-income individuals and families that rival the quality of commercially produced single-family homes selling for $300,000 and more.

The Winchester-based chapter at 400 Battaile Drive received the prestigious Best in Durability award at Habitat for Humanity International’s annual Affiliate Conference April 11-13 in Atlanta.

“This award demonstrates our commitment to the importance of ensuring the homes we build are quality homes,” said Kim Herbstritt, executive director of Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity. “We put a lot of effort into ensuring that our homes are sustainable.”

Herbstritt said more than 1,100 Habitat for Humanity International affiliates were eligible for the prize, which was awarded to Blue Ridge Habitat based on the quality of home designs submitted to the competition.

The winning entry was selected by “an independent jury outside the scope of Habitat International which was created by an engineering group from Simpson Strong-Tie”, a California-based company that designs and manufactures products for the construction industry, Blue Ridge said. Habitat Director of Development and Marketing Kimberly Wilt. “This is a great victory for our organization.

To be considered for the sustainability award, Wilt said, Blue Ridge Habitat submitted a design by Kerri Ann Kite of Winchester for a home built by Habitat at 516 Fremont Ave. which is “better able to resist damage from normal conditions, normal use and natural conditions”. aging.”

“What we want to do is make them affordable with very, very low maintenance,” Greg Shanholtz, director of construction and safety at Blue Ridge Habitat, said of the homes the organization built. non-profit. “For the exterior, we use a 50 year old [roof] shingle, 30 year siding, vinyl trim components, Azek composite decking. …Inside the home, we use WaterSense plumbing fixtures, Energy Star qualified electrical appliances, and American Woodmark cabinetry. We also use LED lighting inside and outside the houses.

“The ability to reduce upkeep costs allows our families to have funds to do other things, like explore educational opportunities for themselves and their children,” Wilt said.

Additionally, Shanholtz said the new Habitat homes are built to withstand the elements and include crawl spaces that improve air circulation, reduce opportunities for mold and provide room for the installation of water heaters.

“It’s a great package we’ve put together, comparable to any other manufacturer at Winchester,” Shanholtz said.

“What we’re doing here, overall, is striving for excellence and making sure the work we’re doing is solid, solid, and impactful,” Herbstritt said.

Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity, which serves Winchester and Frederick, Clarke and Shenandoah counties, builds single-family homes for low-income individuals and families. It reduces construction costs by using volunteers and the people who will move into the houses to do much of the work.

Since its inception in 1997, Herbstritt said his organization has built or renovated 84 homes in the northern Shenandoah Valley.

“Over 95% of the homes we build are new construction,” Wilt said. “We build quality, durable and long-lasting homes for the lifetime of the owner.”

For more information about Blue Ridge Habitat for Humanity, visit

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