Orlando, Florida – Three members of the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) were recognized for their exemplary energy-efficient homes at the Energy Value Housing Awards (EVHA) ceremony on February 8, 2012, during the International Builders Show. Now in its 17th year, the EVHA challenges builders to elevate standards for energy-efficient construction and fosters the adoption of energy efficiency principles. Winners are selected from projects in three climate regions (Cold, Moderate, Hot) and five categories (Affordable, Custom/Demonstration, Multifamily, Production, and Existing Homes).

Of the 17 winning builders, four rose to the top of the judges’ scorecards by building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), a high performance panelized building system that helps reduce the amount of energy spent on heating and cooling.

NEXUS EnergyHomes of Frederick, Maryland took home both the EVHA Builder of the Year honors and the gold award for Production Homes in the Moderate Climate category. Their award-winning 2,710 sq. ft. home is part of a 55-unit development of net zero energy homes priced under $300,000. SIP walls are a key part of a high performance building envelope, along with spray polyurethane foam and ENERGY STAR windows. Each home also features a ground source heat pump, a desuperheater for hot water, and onsite solar generation to achieve a HERS Index of 28 (57 without solar generation).

“We spent over a year researching and analyzing all the different ways we could insulate the envelope,” said NEXUS EnergyHomes Construction Division President Mike Murphy. “We looked at batt insulation, spray cellulose, spray foam, and combinations of flash and batt, but when it really came down to it, SIPs made the most sense.”

SIPA member Scott Homes claimed their third gold award in four years for an ultra-efficient 2,066 sq. ft. home in Olympia, Washington. By building with 10-inch-thick SIP walls and a 12-inch-thick SIP roof, Scott Homes achieved remarkably low blower door test results of 0.65 ACH50 and a HERS Index of only 39, without any solar generation. In addition to SIPs, the home features a ductless split air source heat pump, a heat recovery ventilator, and triple pane low-e windows.

“Building with SIPs allowed us to have an affordable home that was over-the-top in energy efficiency,” said homeowners Matt Cooper and Eileen Ryan. “It does cost a little more to build with SIPs, but it costs considerably less to live in a SIPs home. Our electricity bills average $35 per month.”

Coupeville, Washington builder Clifton View Homes/Zero Energy Plans took home a gold and a silver award for two custom homes. The gold award was given to a 1,000 sq. ft. home in Mitchell, Oregon with a complete SIP building envelope, a ductless split air source heat pump, a heat recovery ventilator, and triple pane low-e windows. Taking full advantage of the sunny climate, the home uses a solar thermal system and a 5.6 kW photovoltaic array that provides 100 percent of the home’s energy needs, including charging an electric car. The solar generation system brings the HERS Index from 44 down to -15.

Clifton View Homes earned a second award for their 1,469 sq. ft. home in Coupeville, Washington constructed with a combination of insulated concrete forms (ICFs), SIPs, and a conventional wood frame attic. The home achieved a HERS Index of 55.

Production builder La Miranda Homes chose SIPs for its 1,950 sq. ft. Tucson, Arizona home that claimed the gold award for Production Home in a Hot Climate. The SIP building envelope combined with an energy recovery ventilator and hydronic heating and cooling system pushed the home to a HERS Index of 20 (40 without solar generation).

For more information on the EVHA winners, visit the EVHA website.