Habitat for Humanity ‘Behind the Build’ event set for Friday in Gravette

Group aims for Benton County structure to be highly durable, energy efficient

Cindy Acree (right), executive director Habitat for Humanity of Benton County, Inc., listens as Angela Sockrider speaks Monday, November 9, 2020, during a Habitat for Humanity of Benton County ground breaking event for a new home for Sockrider at 808 N. 31st Street in Rogers. Check out nwaonline.com/201126Daily/ and nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery.(NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk)

GRAVETTE -- Habitat for Humanity of Benton County will partner with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association's Build with Strength coalition to build a unique, affordable home.

The project represents the first Habitat Benton County construction that will use insulated concrete forms, a sustainable, noncombustible concrete building system that will reduce upfront expenses and onsite construction time while maximizing the structure's durability and energy performance, according to a news release.

A "Behind the Build" event will held at noon Friday on the project site at 1185 Dallas St. S.W.

“Faced with an affordable housing crisis, Habitat Benton is doing all that we can to build affordable homes without sacrificing the structures’ durability,” said Debby Wieneke, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Benton County. “We’re grateful for the partnership with local and national contributors that has allowed us to bring this new way of building into our community.”

The event will feature a meet and greet with Habitat for Humanity of Benton County officials and the sponsors of the build, a tour of the property and the opportunity to learn more about concrete and insulated concrete forms construction, according to the release.

"We are proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity Benton County and support their efforts to build strong and resilient housing in their community," said Gregg Lewis, the association's chief communications officer. "Build With Strength is committed to showing why low-carbon concrete and ICFs are able to build resilient, sustainable and affordable housing across the nation."

Cindy Acree was Habitat for Humanity of Benton County executive directer before she retired in April. She said structures built this way are more energy efficient and sustainable.

"It will enable them to build a house much quicker," she said.

Gravette Mayor Kurt Maddox, who was a builder from 2005 to 2013, said this kind of build is better insulated and more sturdy.

"It seems like it will be a neat thing," Maddox said.

Other housing also is going up in the city, Maddox said. A 109-home subdivision is in the planning stages and planned across from Pop Allum Park, Maddox said.

"We have not been able to keep up," he said of home building in thee city. "As soon as the houses are built, they sell."

The project is part of a wider initiative between Build with Strength and Habitat for Humanity International to construct 50 sustainable concrete homes in 50 states in five years. The partnership currently has 76 homes in various stages of construction in 33 states in just under 2½ years, according to the release.

Founded in 2000, Habitat for Humanity of Benton County Inc. has built approximately 81 homes in partnership with Habitat homeowners and the community. The homes have served approximately 253 individuals. Visit https://habitatbentoncountyar.org to learn more.

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is celebrating 90 years of representing the producers of ready mixed concrete and the companies that provide materials, equipment and support to the industry, according to the release.

Build with Strength is a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and works with communities, lawmakers and industry employees to advocate for safer, sustainable building materials, according to the release.