Shelby County Habitat set to break world record

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 3, 2002

A house isn’t built in just one day &045; unless, of course, that house is being built by Shelby County Habitat for Humanity, in which case it would be more in the neighborhood of three and a half hours.

On Dec. 12, Shelby County Habitat for Humanity will attempt to break a world record for the fastest-built Habitat for Humanity Home.

A group of skilled craftsmen from Associated General Contractors (AGC) will try to build the Habitat House in less than three and a half hours, breaking the record of three hours and 44 minutes set by an affiliate in New Zealand.

The 12,000 square-foot home will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms and be complete with a front and back porch, said Mark Davis of Shelby County Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian organization which builds simple, affordable houses for people in need of adequate shelter.

Members of the Young Constructors Forum, a subgroup of Associated General Contractors, will build the house on behalf of Habitat for Humanity in the New Hope Village in Montevallo.

Alabama Power, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Bell South and AMICA Insurance are among some 73 sponsors who have contributed to the project.

While the house will be built in a matter of hours, months of preparation have gone into the project.

Project Manager Chad Calhoun led the efforts, meeting the unique challenge of developing an engineering timeline for the job.

&uot;On a normal construction job this would be done by a daily/weekly timeline,&uot; Calhoun said. &uot;We’ve modified this down to a minute by minute schedule.&uot;

Calhoun works for Brice Building Co., one of 38 AGC-member companies participating in the project.

Davis said the rules allow the group to prepare the site by pre-building the foundation, the sub-floor system, walls and trusses.

When the clock starts, the walls, roof, windows and porches will be put together in a scheduled time period of one-and-a-half hours.

Davis said Steel City Crane has donated a crane to lift the roof off the ground and place it on top of the house.

The next hour and a half will be used to complete the interior walls, cabinets, sinks, doors, electrical, plumbing and painting of the house.

The remaining 30 minutes will be used for the lights, door fixtures, floor covering, landscaping, curtains and final cleaning.

Once the house is completed and inspected, single mother Bonnie Lilly of Montevallo will be able to move into her new home.

As a recipient of a Habitat for Humanity House, Lilly is required to give 300 hours of sweat equity, a requirement she has already fulfilled working on another Habitat house in New Hope Village.

New Hope Village is a subdivision in Montevallo developed by Shelby County Habitat for Humanity.

Doug Demmons, executive director of Shelby County Habitat for Humanity said he hopes the event will increase awareness of the organization and its mission.

&uot;This is unusual for an affiliate our size to take on a project like this,&uot; Demmons said. &uot;We average building about two to three houses a year.

&uot;Hopefully this will give us the publicity so that we can build more houses each year.&uot;

The event will be broadcast live over the Internet on the Habitat for Humanity webpage, and shuttle services will be provided to those who would like to attend the building of the &uot;World’s Fastest House.&uot;

Construction will begin at 11 a.m., and parking will begin at 9:00 at the University of Montevallo baseball field.

Shelby County inventor Mark Davis promotes Habitat for Humanity all over the world.

He came back from New Zealand around two-and-half-years ago with the desire to break the record.

&uot;I said, ‘We’re going to break that record in Shelby County.’ I came back with this idea and worked to find the resources and the right people to come together,&uot; Davis said.

&uot;It is through God’s blessings that we have been able to do this.&uot;

Davis brought back a videotape of New Zealand’s record build to prove it could be broken.

He has been showing the tape to the construction team for inspiration.

&uot;These guys have been watching that tape like football players preparing for a big game,&uot; Davis said. &uot;They keep watching it and analyzing it to get ready.&uot;

Weather permitting, Davis’ vision will be realized on Dec. 12. If rain prevents construction, the group has set aside Dec. 13 and 14 as alternative building days.

Habitat for Humanity was founded by Millard Fuller in 1976.

Since that time, the organization has built more than 125,000 homes worldwide.

Fuller will be on hand for the record-breaking build and will also be at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store on Valleydale Road and Highway 119 to sign copies of his new book, &uot;Building Materials for Life&uot; from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Those interested in attending the &uot;World’s Fastest House&uot; should e-mail a request to Shelby County Habitat for Humantiy at