News in brief: Party green, explore affordable housing, community EMTs on the beat

AFFORDABLE AND GREEN: As the program’s largest certifier, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has been involved in Green Built Homes since 2008, certifying 141 homes. Photo courtesy of Green Built Alliance

Certifiably green

Asheville-based Green Built Alliance will celebrate the recent certification of the 1,500th Green Built Home at its annual party on Thursday, Sept. 13, 5:30-8 p.m. at Highland Brewing Co., 12 Old Charlotte Highway. The nonprofit invites the public to share in free food, live music and a cash bar.

Formerly known as NC HealthyBuilt Homes, the statewide certification program has had more than 250 builders participate in certifying houses since its inception in 2004. With multiple levels of certification, the program offers guidelines for green building, workshops, consultation services, technical and marketing assistance, field consultation and design reviews.

As the program’s largest certifier, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has been involved in Green Built Homes since 2008, certifying 141 homes.

The program continues to evolve as building codes change and new technologies emerge. In 2016, the program added a Net Zero Ready and Net Zero Energy Certification to encourage and reward builders that push the envelope even further. So far, the program has certified five Net Zero Ready and 17 Net Zero homes.

A modest proposal for affordable housing

Urban designer Jim Kumon of the Incremental Development Alliance will present a free session on affordable housing development on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The nonprofit Alliance advocates for a return to a model of development common before World War II: duplexes and small apartment buildings and bungalow courts, sometimes in the same block as single-family homes and located close to shopping and other amenities.

A press release for the event asks: “Wouldn’t it be great if that was a choice for renters again? And even better if there was a chance for local folks to build them and earn the revenue for adding to neighborhood housing options?”

On Thursday, Oct. 11, Kumon will return to Asheville for a full-day workshop on the same topic. Sponsors including the city of Asheville, financial institutions and regional real estate and building associations are helping offset expenses for the events and will provide scholarships to the workshop for some who might otherwise not be able to afford the $200 registration fee.

Both events will take place at the U.S. Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St., Asheville. For more information on the Oct. 11 workshop, see For more information on the Alliance, visit

City to launch Community EMT program

The city of Asheville has announced a six-week pilot program to integrate the roles of public safety and medical response into one mobile team.

The Asheville Fire Department will operate two bike teams in conjunction with the Asheville Police Department’s Downtown Unit in selected downtown areas, including the South Slope.

Responders will deliver emergency medical services as well as services to connect vulnerable populations to resources such as medical care, shelters and meal programs. Team members will also respond to opioid overdoses and provide information on substance abuse resources.

Firefighters will interact with downtown businesses, residents and visitors and will gather information about downtown commercial buildings for future emergency responses to those locations.

One potential measure of the trial program’s effectiveness could be the number of 911 calls in the downtown area over the pilot period compared to previous years, which could demonstrate whether a proactive program could reduce more costly calls for emergency service.

For more information, contact Assistant Fire Chief Barry Hendren at or 828-259-5646.




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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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