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Energy Value Housing Awards Recognize Several High Performance SIP Homes

January 12, 2011 – During an awards ceremony held at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida, the NAHB Research Center recognized twelve of the nation’s leading energy-efficient builders and remodelers with the Energy Value Housing Awards (EVHA). Now in its 16th year, the EVHA challenges builders to elevate standards for energy-efficient construction. Winners are selected from projects in three climate regions (Cold, Moderate, Hot) and five categories (Affordable, Custom/Demonstration, Multifamily, Production, and Existing Homes).

This year’s winners included three members of the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) that successfully improved the energy efficiency of their projects by using structural insulated panels (SIPs). SIPs are composed of insulating foam sandwiched between two structural facings, creating an effective thermal barrier that can save homeowners up to 50 percent on heating and cooling costs.

Builder Ted Clifton of CVH, Inc. received an EVHA Gold Award in the Existing Homes category and was selected as the Remodeler of the Year for his energy-efficient retrofit on a single-story home in Oak Harbor, Washington. The EVHA judges were impressed with Clifton’s use of energy modeling during the planning process to ensure the customer received “terrific bang for the buck” in terms of energy efficiency.

Clifton increased the energy efficiency of the home by 66 percent through building envelope and HVAC upgrades, including the installation of R-15 Retrofit SIPs (R-SIPs) to the exterior walls. Similar to conventional SIPs, R-SIPs consist of structural sheathing laminated to insulating foam, providing a solid nailing surface for exterior finishes. These improvements earned the home a HERS index of 74 and helped it qualify for the Builders Challenge, ENERGY STAR and Washington State Built Green programs.

Clifton claimed a second Gold Award for a 2,400 sq. ft. custom home in Greenbank, Washington. The home’s high performance building envelope includes R-25 SIP walls, an R-40 SIP roof, and an R-25 insulated concrete form (ICF) basement. Heating is provided by an in-floor, hydronic radiant heating system powered by an air source heat pump. The home achieved a HERS Index of 57 and qualified for the Builders Challenge, ENERGY STAR and Washington State Built Green programs.

Ferrier Custom Homes received a Gold Award for best custom home in a hot climate. The Fort Worth, Texas builder is no stranger to the EVHA podium—2011 marks their seventh consecutive award. Judges have been continually impressed with the company’s meticulous construction management process and “excellently crafted homes.”

The winning entry, dubbed the Zero Energy Casita, combines several new technologies like SIP construction alongside turn-of-the-century aesthetics, which includes salvaged materials from buildings 80 to 100 years old. With onsite generation from a 2.4 kW wind turbine, the home has a HERS Index of 30. Like the majority of the homes that Ferrier builds, the home is certified under LEED for Homes, the National Green Building Standard, Builders Challenge, ENERGY STAR, and Green Built Texas.

Olympia, Washington-based builder Scott Homes grabbed a Silver Award for a unique custom home in a moderate climate with an attached Accessory Dwelling Unit. Judges praised the home as “a simple house done well,” with airtight SIP walls, high performance windows, and R-50 ceiling insulation. Heating and hot water for both living units is provided by a single geothermal heat pump, giving the home an impressive HERS Index of 51. The home meets the Builders Challenge, ENERGY STAR, and Washington State Built Green programs.

To read more on the winning entries, visit the EVHA website.

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