“I like working for a purpose.”

Amanda Albert, 37, Eco Builder

Louisiana native Amanda Albert was lured to Greensboro more than a decade ago for an AmeriCorps post with Habitat for Humanity. Today, Amanda serves as Habitat’s construction supervisor; teaching and managing crews of volunteers who help build affordable homes for local families.

“I like working for a purpose. It’s not just building houses that is exciting, it’s building houses for a person that wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford a healthy home otherwise,” she says.

Amanda’s career spurred her interest in ecologically-friendly building techniques. She’s spent much of the last five years learning how to build sustainable homes, with locally sourced materials and natural products, like straw-bale insulation. This year, she has been actively leading a straw-bale construction house build in Utah, for and with low-income families.

You might experiment with new recipes or DIY projects at home, but Amanda takes that to a whole new level. She and her boyfriend built a beautiful, green and energy efficient treehouse guest cottage made from sustainable materials such as cork shingles and locally sourced cypress post beams. The cottage project – which she calls The Roost – was featured on an episode of the FYI network program He Shed, She Shed in May.

“We wanted to experiment with different types of building that were more energy efficient, used more local resources, and used more natural and healthy resources in ways that I haven’t really seen in Greensboro yet,” she said.

Her passion for sustainability has also led to a partnership between Habitat and the Greensboro Permaculture Guild to teach new homeowners how to grow their own food. Guild members now volunteer to design and install landscaping at Habitat homes.

“The idea is to provide a landscape that will work for the homeowners and provide permanent food like berries and fruit trees,” she says.

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