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Habitat for Humanity helps family environment

first_imgAfter years of running into life’s walls, Dennis and Sheri Ziesemer recently saw their fortunes turn.Now they’re helping build walls.The two Camas-area residents have spent much of this year volunteering with Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, working their way toward a new home of their own. The end result will offer at least some relief to a couple that’s endured more than its share of struggle.The Ziesemers navigated the Habitat application process in 2011 with reserved expectations. Life seemed to deliver them one setback after another, from major medical problems to financial difficulties. Recent history didn’t suggest much reason for optimism.But by fall 2011, they found out they were qualified and approved.“It was kind of jaw-dropping,” Sheri said. “You’re hitting brick walls left andright, and then all of a sudden … that brick wall is one you can climb over? Really?“I almost didn’t believe it.”Their soon-to-be new home isn’t your typical Habitat project. The Ziesemers will move into the Planet Clark Emerald House, a partnership with Clark County designed to showcase a series of environmentally friendly features.The $129,000 project, located just off Northeast 99th Street, will use 60 percent less energy than a typical home, according to the county. It will use 60 percent less water and collect all of its own storm runoff through native vegetation on the property. Natural sunlight and specially insulated wall and roof panels will help keep the house warm in the winter.The project aims to provide a real-life example of green building that local developers can learn from, said Mike Selig of the county’s Community Development department. Other local builders have tackled projects with similar goals in mind. That’s because seeing something in person gives more insight than any meeting or conference could, Selig said.last_img read more