BOULD low-income housing project creates green ‘learning laboratories’ for building professionals
BOULD tackles the issues of unemployment, low-quality housing and environmental awareness with one innovative program, launching green careers and making healthy homes available to all. The Denver-based venture partners with 1,500 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the United States to turn the nonprofit's affordable housing projects into green "learning laboratories" educating the next generation of professional builders.
In this video, Jim Payne, BOULD's director of business development, explains how the group is working to get students out of the classroom and into real-world building situations while simultaneously increasing the quality of low-income housing. The program has already built 27 homes and trained more than 200 LEED-certified professionals.
"There are jobs out there, but there's not a trained workforce in the green building industry," says Payne. "BOULD provides 50 hours of on-site experience and a letter of attestation."
BOULD aims to eliminate substandard housing for low-income families who simply don't have the money to build a green home. With a green home design, homeowners save about 40 percent per month on utility bills, equating to about $50,000 over the life of a mortgage. These homes also emit 60 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than ordinary houses. BOULD homes are constructed using recycled materials and are built to stand the test of time.
BOULD is one of 10 finalists in the Points of Light and Village Capital Civic Accelerator program, which provides funding, mentorship, entrepreneurial eduction, peer support and brand awareness to promising civic ventures. Two startups will be selected by their peers to receive an additional $50,000 investment.
My name is Jim Payne, and I am the Director of Business Development, for a company called Bould. The mission of Bould is to make, ultimately green building affordable and accessible to all people. We partner with low-income housing developers, like Habitat for Humanity is our biggest one. We transform their green projects into LEED-certified homes and then we turn into a live, living laboratory, where we can get students out of traditional classrooms on to these job sites.
They get out there, they swing the hammer. They get to tackle documentation. They get a holistic approach of what it takes to build a LEED-certified home, for a really great low-income family. The civic component of Bould is three-pronged, we really want to attack three core issues. The first is unemployment. There are jobs out there. There's not a skilled workforce in the green building industry. The second is housing quality. We're looking to eliminate sub-standard housing.
Low-income families, they don't have a lot of money to build a great home and then all of a sudden, they get even further behind, because their utility bills are so high. With this folks are saving on average about 40% a month on their utility bills, which equates to about $50,000 over the life of a mortgage. Then, the environment is our third. These homes are putting about 60% less emissions into the atmosphere, than ordinary homes are and we've been using more recycled materials, and they also are built to stand the test of time.
We built 27 homes, currently for low-income families, and we've also trained over 200 professionals in this business. One of our greatest success stories is having a young man named Anders, go through our program. Right afterwards, he was hired immediately by the Green Rater. The person who comes out and puts that seal of approval on the house, and actually rates the home, and that was a total slam dunk for us.
We got to build an incredible home for this low-income family and then this young guy got hired on immediately and got the job that he was seeking. This is our generation. We want to make an impact. We don't want to leave the earth for our children in worse shape than we found it and we want to make improvements, to shift the world in the direction we think it needs to go.