Habitat for Humanity constructed its first home featuring all pressure-treated framing and sheathing in New Orleans. The raised floor design for this home of 940 sq. ft. called for 8,500 board feet of Southern Pine materials that were kiln-dried after treatment (KDAT).

Since 1983, the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity has built more than 50 homes throughout the metropolitan area. Executive director Jim Pate notes that, considering the threats of Formosan termites and flooding, a raised floor foundation system and pressure-treated Southern Pine framing are the solutions to a challenging building environment. During 2003, Habitat built 14 project homes in New Orleans, all using the raised floor system.

Using volunteer labor — college students, women’s groups, retirees — the homebuilding process takes about twelve weeks. Once the site is cleared and a reinforced-concrete grade beam is in place, crews of 10 volunteers build concrete block piers to support pressure-treated Southern Pine 6×6 sill beams. Next, a crew of up to 20 arrives to install 2×10 Southern Pine floor joists 16″ on center, and a plywood subfloor. With minimal building skills on hand, construction manager Valarie Smith appreciates the simplicity of building a raised floor home, noting “…it’s not rocket science!”

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 150,000 homes, providing shelter for some 750,000 people in 87 countries worldwide. Visit www.habitat.org.