Guest Post: Grand Traverse Region and Dow

The Dow Chemical Company wanted to celebrate HFHM's 20th Annual Awards Banquet by giving away $20,000. We proposed a blog contest, focusing on the impact of Dow products on the families who we serve. Periodically, we will share the entries we received. This week's blog post is from one of the three contest winners. 

“I never imagined that I’d see so many volunteers and organizations come together to make this dream a reality. I feel truly blessed by this experience, because I have worked side by side with some of the most selfless and giving people,” said Jodi Packer, homeowner of home number 6 of the Depot Neighborhood located in the heart of Traverse City, Michigan. 

The Depot Neighborhood is Habitat for Humanity Grand Traverse Region’s Net Zero Energy housing community that is designed to provide families with a sustainable future – financially, socially, and environmentally. Just like Habitat GTR created the innovative Depot Neighborhood to address the lack of affordable housing in our local community, our friends at DOW Chemical Company are constantly working to create innovative solutions for the greater global community. This shared commitment to innovate is one reason why we value our partnership with DOW so greatly. DOW has not just donated tons of important building materials such as their Styrofoam brand insulation, Styrofoam brand sill seal, and Weathermate house wrap; but they have directly contributed to making affordable housing a reality for low-income families in the Grand Traverse Region. 

Whenever we build a home, we seek to build it in a way that is not only leading industry standards but we also seek to build homes that can be held to a higher standard. We strive to build responsible homes in order to protect

 the future of our planet and to better care for our Habitat partner families. We know that we will accomplish that goal when we have the ability to put quality products into our homes. DOW’s generosity through donating their products allows us to do that. For partner families like the Packers and the Ormsbees (pictured right) who are a part of our Depot Neighborhood, the benefits of living in a Net Zero Energy home have a very real and powerful impact. Our Depot Neighborhood houses have the ability to be completely Net Zero Energy homes in that they produce as much energy as they consume. While achieving true Net Zero status is no easy task, many of our partner families experience very low utility bills. While not having yet achieved true Net Zero status, the Ormsbee family pay roughly $10/month for utilities whereas before becoming a Habitat partner, their utility fees were close to $300/month.  Having this advantage allows our Depot Neighborhood families to focus that monthly utility savings on more important things like buying new school supplies for their children, strengthening their family’s financial outlook, or supporting local businesses. We’re glad to be a part of that positive change and we’re thankful DOW is as well. 

Innovation like this is only possible with proper planning, careful design, and trust in the products we use. We know that the products we receive from DOW are trustworthy and can be relied on to perform exceptionally. With all the variables that factor into a home reaching Net Zero status, the dependability that we have in their product is a very comforting feeling.  

Grand Traverse Region
Traverse City, MI