Energy- and Resource-Efficient Homes Provide Top Value
Three EnergyValue Housing Award (EVHA)-winning builders are providing exceptional value to their customers through energy- and resource-efficiency, according to the NAHB Research Center.
2007 EVHA winner Grupe Company incorporates state-of-the-art technologies, such as soy-based spray foam wall insulation, tankless gas water heaters, PV roofing tiles and a cooling system that brings in outdoor air during cool nights, for $70 a square foot.
California’s combination of high electricity rates, financial incentives for renewable energy systems, and strict energy codes have contributed to increased market acceptance of energy efficiency. Yet Grupe has gone above and beyond local norms as stewards of the environment. For example, in 30 years of business, the company has planted more than half a million trees, built more than 400 acres of lakes and opened more than 200 public parks. Those, in turn, have added tremendously to the value of its communities.
Bob Ward Companies, one of the first gold winners of the EVHA in 1996, built a demonstration home for its 2007 winning entry. Like Grupe Homes’s entry, the home features state-of-the-art technologies such as PEX plumbing systems, solar hot water and a PV solar power system at an affordable cost.
The builder is trying new technologies and techniques in order to continue to provide customers the value they’ve come to expect. “Our home buyers, who are very cost-conscious, are pleasantly surprised to know that there can be a complete package of energy-efficient features in a home in their price range. For them, this is real added value,” says Linda Veach, president of the Baltimore-based company. A recent local electricity price hike of more than 70% has helped spur interest in efficient homes in the builder’s market.
Building in a region with some of the lowest electric utility rates in the nation, Idaho's Holton Homes, now in its fifth year as a 100% Energy Star builder, has demonstrated that interest in energy efficiency doesn’t have to be driven by price or local market conditions.
The builder stands out from the crowd with advanced energy features that include 2x6 walls framed with advanced-framing techniques, R-21 spray foam insulation, 16 SEER air conditioners, gas tankless water heating and whole-house ventilation.
“We are committed to finding new ways to bring cutting-edge energy saving technology to the average home buyer,” the company says.
For more information about the EnergyValue Housing Award or to obtain a 2008 application, click here (www.nahbrc.org/evha).