Bob The Builder's Blog

Fireside Home Construction Wins it's 4th EnergyValue Housing Award

Knowledgeable owners of older homes love the character and histories of their houses, but live in them resenting their high heating and cooling costs, and deeply regretting their very-valid concerns about how their homes affect indoor air quality and the environment.

Older homes, problematic when it comes to energy use and built with materials that may be unsafe, stand as testimony to the fact that green building must become a way of life for today's builders. In addition to that, "green" must become every homebuyer's greatest demand and expectation. After all, it is an activity undertaken in the interest of both environmental stewardship and the safety of the people who live in the homes we build.

If I were king, "green" wouldn't even be worth talking about. It would be a permanent, expected and sustainable change in the world of residential construction. Pun intended.

I have felt this way since I became a builder in 1996. As a result, I made energy-efficiency and environmentally friendly homebuilding pillars of Fireside Home Construction's business model from virtually the very beginning.

When I started out in this business, we barely knew what "green" was and I reflected on that fact last month when I traveled to the National Association of Homebuilders' International Builders' Show® to accept my 15th award related to green building and my FOURTH EnergyValue Housing Award (EVHA).

The EVHA honors builders who voluntarily incorporate energy efficiency in the design, construction and marketing of new homes. Winners are considered an "elite" group of builders, but in my opinion we are a group of builders just doing the right thing, the only thing that makes sense for the people who make their lives in - or around - the homes and structures we build.

At the Builders' Show, EVHA judges reported that Fireside Home Construction "appears to be doing everything it can (that is economically feasible) to design, build, and market an excellent home." The judges remarked on our attention to detail in site planning, pre-construction energy analyses, and the construction process and I was, certainly, very proud of our accomplishment.

The home that received the award included a wide variety of energy-efficient technologies:

  • Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs)
  • Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs)
  • Geothermal heating and air conditioning
  • Heat recovery ventilation system
  • Spray foam insulation
  • High-efficiency lighting

It met the standards and qualifications for several innovative energy/green building programs, as well:

  • Energy Star®
  • Green Built Michigan
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) - Platinum rating
  • U.S. Department of Energy's Builders Challenge

And, thanks to the work of my employees, the quality products from my suppliers, and the expertise of the trades craftspeople who worked on the job site, this is an extremely durable and wonderful home for its owners. They enjoy lower heating and cooling costs, maximum indoor comfort and air quality and the knowledge that their home has been recognized by many third parties for high performance as it relates to energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and overall environmental stewardship. Am I proud of our accomplishment? Sure. But I can't stop there and rest on my laurels. Building "green" is a process enhanced every day by new technologies. Fireside Home Construction is committed to learning them, using them and achieving even greater "green" gains in the future - for our buyers and for our world.

 

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