Building affordable & green can make a homebuilder rich

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A homebuilding challenge was issued Thursday to fill some to critical needs in south Mississippi. Contractors can win up to $50,000 if they build affordable homes that are good for the environment.

The Mississippi Home Corporation launched the contest to reward homebuilders who grow a greener Mississippi.

Gary Smith is a certified homebuilding inspector. He knows that "building green is smart. Building green is affordable." And now, building green through a program called "Growing a Greener Mississippi" can be profitable

Bill Sones heads up the Mississippi Home Corporation, the group behind the "Growing a Greener Mississippi" campaign.

"For us, green building really works on two levels, efficiency, which primarily affects the homeowner, and renewability, which impacts our environment," he said.

Members of the Mississippi Home Corporation held a news conference to announce that they will pay $50,000 to a builder who designs and constructs the greenest, and most energy efficient house in Mississippi. There's only one catch. That house must cost less than $175,000. "Green housing is affordable housing," said Sones.

Qualified inspectors will work with builders every step of the way to make sure the houses they construct meet strict green guidelines. If they do, Gary Smith said Mississippians will be able to buy green homes "that help them save water, live more comfortably in cleaner air, save money through lower maintenance costs, and will encourage the public to save our planet's natural resources."

The inspector emphasized, "The homes we build today will impact our children and our grandchildren."

If they're built properly, they'll also impact the environment in a very positive way.

The Mississippi Home Corporation contest is open to any homebuilder in the state. For a new home to qualify for the "Growing a Greener Mississippi" top prize, a construction permit must be obtained after February 1. And the home must have its occupancy permit by November 10. Second and third place prize money will also be awarded.