ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer, right, presents UT-Battelle's donation to Stan Johnson, founder and executive director of SEEED. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

UT-Battelle Donates $186,000 to Support SEEED’s Green Construction Program

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s managing contractor, UT-Battelle, presented a donation of $186,000 to Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development, or SEEED, to support the nonprofit’s third green solar home as part of their Green Construction Program.

“We are committed to serving the communities that we live in,” UT-Battelle CEO and ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer said. “Our partnership with SEEED has provided a tremendous opportunity to share our scientific expertise, and we are excited that our support will help make this green solar home become a reality.”

Streiffer joined SEEED for a groundbreaking ceremony in Knoxville, Tenn., at the home project site. He recognized SEEED’s efforts in creating housing equity while encouraging the distribution of clean energy benefits to the community.

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been a valuable supporter of SEEED through the volunteerism of its employees, and we’re very grateful for this generous financial contribution from UT-Battelle,” said Stan Johnson, founder and executive director of SEEED. “Together, we’ll make a difference for a family, for the workers we’ll train in green building methods, and for the larger community as we rise together.”

Participants broke ground on SEEED’s latest project site. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

SEEED is a registered 501(c)3 seeking to provide young adults pathways out of poverty through career readiness training, environmental education and community engagement. As part of their Green Construction Program, SEEED develops green solar homes that are sold below market value to low-income families, creating equity and giving them the opportunity to build generational wealth. Currently, two homes have been built, and SEEED seeks to construct about 10 more over the next three years.

ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer, left, talks with Stan Johnson at SEEED’s groundbreaking ceremony in Knoxville, Tenn. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Along with the monetary donation, researchers with ORNL’s Buildings and Transportation Science Division offered technical guidance towards developing best practices for green building design based on experience with the energy impact of building materials and equipment used in constructing the home — with the goal of reaching net-zero energy consumption.

SEEED will leverage ORNL’s expertise in the energy-efficient design of high-efficiency materials and equipment. The home’s design will include advanced techniques such as 2×6 framing combined with an insulated concrete form basement (a feature that will boost the amount of insulation), a solar panel system with battery storage, a high-efficiency heat pump water heater and HVAC system, low-energy LED lighting, and energy-efficient appliances.

From left, Rick Blackburn, CEO of Blackburn Consulting and SEEED Fundraiser Committee Chair; Christian Tillman, Green Construction Crew; Richard Consoli, Vice President of Knox Worx; Randy Boyd, President of UT and CEO Of Boyd Foundation; Jerome Johnson, Project Manager, Co-Founder and Director of SEEED Green Construction; Stan Johnson, Executive Director of SEEED; Andrew Jackson, Treasurer of SEEED Board; Roosevelt Bethel, SEEED Green Construction Forman; Stephen Streiffer, CEO of UT-Battelle and Director of ORNL; and Isaiah Sheadrick, SEEED Green Construction Crew. Not Pictured: Andrea Bailey, Executive Director of The Aslan Foundation. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL scientists are participating in another SEEED project for better understanding of urban microclimate change, and they are lending time and expertise to development of SEEED’s Edible Forest Program, or EFP. The Edible Forest supplies fruit trees, vegetables and herbs to the community at the epicenter of a 2-mile radius food desert. The EFP hosts community events and a bootcamp for young adults, providing them with skills in sustainable agriculture.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.

By Natori Mason. Fact Sheet

Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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