2010 EVHA Gold Winners Cite Industry Education for Success
Twenty winners of the EnergyValue Housing Award were honored last month in a ceremony at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, including Yavapai College's Residential Building Technology program, which received both the EVHA Builder of the Year and People’s Choice awards.
Hailing from 15 states, the winning builders represented custom, production, affordable, multifamily and factory-built homes. They attributed their success in incorporating advances in building science into highly marketable homes to education through conferences, training programs and teaming up with knowledgeable industry partners.
Winning the gold prize in the affordable category, Yavapai College teamed up with the local Habitat for Humanity in Prescott, Ariz., to build a net-zero energy home. According to program leader Tony Grahame, Habitat “took a chance and gave us almost complete control of the project.” Students were responsible for making crucial design and construction decisions that resulted in a truly affordable and highly energy-efficient home that has set the standard for future Habitat projects.
Connecticut builder Nelson Construction partnered with the Department of Energy’s Building America program to develop its gold-winning production home. “We had to take some risks and get out of our comfort zone,” said Chris Nelson, the company’s president, “but it wasn’t that difficult. We’re not going back.”
Nelson said the new home has been well received by “a bit more educated” consumer who values energy efficiency. Winning the EVHA , as well as other awards, has bolstered the company’s confidence and credibility. “We are absolutely going to market our achievement,” said Nelson.
In the Pacific Northwest, Portland (Ore.) Habitat for Humanity worked with many partners to win a gold medal for an affordable home that combines state-of-the-art green design with common-sense energy efficiency measures. According to Carmen Schleiger, the Habitat affiliate’s director of housing development, the home was a step up in energy efficiency from the Energy Star homes they had been building for years.
“Winning the award is a big incentive for us to continue in this direction,” Schleiger said. Working with the “super” partners in this project, she remarked, “taught us a lot and encouraged us to do some new things,” such as enclosing the heating system in conditioned space and using the rainscreen approach to the attachment of siding, which the organization will incorporate into future homes.
Mark Ginsberg, senior executive for the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, served as master of ceremonies at the awards presentation. Bruce Case, president of Case Design/Remodeling — Professional Remodeler magazine's 2010 Remodeler of the Year — presented the keynote speech. Case’s appearance coincided with the announcement of an existing homes category for the 2011 EnergyValue Housing Awards.
For a list of winners, details about the winning homes or to download a 2011 EVHA application, visit www.nahbrc.com/evha.