There's a little less sod in the yard, but that's what helped certify Habitat for Humanity's latest Suffolk house as its first LEED home.

On Saturday, the nonprofit's Suffolk affiliate will dedicate an East Patchogue house that got the gold LEED certification, the second highest level in green building for homes.
It's the future space of Cynthia Albinowski, John Hunter Jr. and their two children, Kimberly and John III, who have been living in a cramped, not-so-great apartment in Amityville, local Habitat officials said.

For years, the Suffolk and Nassau affiliates of Habitat built their homes to Energy Star standards, but what's new at the East Patchogue home are the low-flow faucets and more mulch beds with drought resistant plants. Both save water and water bills.

"We're just getting points for everything we've done for years," said Cindy Zeis, construction supervisor for Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk.

In July, Nassau built its first LEED-certified home.

Habitat officials have to balance cost of materials and the family's cost of maintaining the home each month with the cost of reaching LEED status. For example, Zeis said, they used vinyl siding, which didn't help in the certification but will free the homeowners of a lot of painting and maintenance chores. But affordable homes also mean affordable monthly maintenance and utility bills, officials said.

Work on the home started in March and was done by students at Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville and volunteer congregants from more than 40 Lutheran churches across the Island, including St. Paul’s Lutheran Church from Amityville, whose volunteers are seen here.

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