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Styrofoam being used in Ruskin homes to save energy

Posted at 3:16 PM, Feb 26, 2020

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Workers in Ruskin are building the walls of houses with Styrofoam in Hillsborough County.

“You stack the blocks like virtual foam Legos, what they are going to do next is pour in concrete, it’s tighter, you don’t lose air through the walls,” said Mike Morina, Executive Director, of Florida Home Partnership.

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The nonprofit organization is constructing seven net-zero energy homes, which means over the course of a year they will produce as much energy as they will use.

“This isn’t rocket science, this isn’t anything new, it’s using available technology,” said Morina. “They’ll never really have an electric bill of any significance.”

The roof will be lined with solar panels and recycled metal that's expected to last for more than 30 years.

“They won’t have to worry through the life of their mortgage,” said Morina.

And those who will be moving in are the ones that need the savings the most. Families living at or below 80 percent of the medium income will be moving in.

“We’re talking about nurses, teachers, firemen, policemen, people that work so hard for us every single day and protect us and right now they are in the rental market,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman

These homes were made possible through a $150,000 investment from Wells Fargo as well as a HOME grant from Hillsborough County.

Working together with these community partners, Florida Home Partnership hopes these homes become a growing trend.

“We are trying to build quality, sustainable, affordable housing that will last for a long time and be more affordable for the owners over the period they live there,” said Morina.

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