Efficient Energy Farmworker Housing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Efficient Energy Farmworker Housing

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PASCO, Wash.- A new energy efficient housing project is nearing completion in Pasco.

Drywall is going up in many of the units, and now they're testing the buildings. 

They have to pass a rigorous energy efficiency test before they're certified at one of only a handful of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design sites nationwide.

They're testing the air ducts today on a few select units.

The goal is an Energy Star Seal.

"We seal off our returns, we seal off all the entryways, and we pressurize it with this duct blaster, and this tells us how much CFM of leakage our duet is leaking," said Jason Lynch with Apollo Sheet Metal.

But ducting isn't the only concern.  Insulation and lighting, it's all built to LEED standards.  There are no gap's in the insulation, nowhere for air to flow in and out.  It's practically airtight.

Only 26 sites nationwide are up to LEEP code, and in no time, Tepeyac Haven will be one of them.

"If you build a state building in Washington State, then you have to have a silver rating, but for homes, it's a new thing," said Lori Sanders with Energy Incentives, Inc.

Catholic Charities started the project.

It will house agricultural workers, and in the end, the hard work will help many residents who struggle to make it.

"The population we're serving is a population that's very vulnerable, and very at risk and very much in need of wonderful housing like this," said Rob McCann, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Spokane. 

The housing is open to anyone that works in the agriculture industry.  It's only the second farmworker housing project Catholic Charities has put up in Eastern Washington.  They hope to have the first people moving in around June.