In effort to highlight the educational opportunities and marketing benefits of SIPA’s Registered Builder and Registered Master Builder programs, we’ll be regularly profiling SIPA members who complete the programs. Pennsylvania-based Bridlewood Builders was the first SIPA member to become a SIPA Registered Master Builder, earning recognition on the SIPA website and throughout the industry.
Construction Partners LLC has been building and remodeling homes across Minnesota and South Dakota since 1974. Their experience with structural insulated panels (SIPs) dates back to 1992, when they forged a relationship with Extreme Panel Technologies of Cottonwood, Minnesota.
Company Vice President Mike Dandar explains that building high performance custom homes is now a major portion of the company’s business. Rising energy prices have made SIPs and insulating concrete form (ICF) basements key product offerings when they deal with today’s energy-conscious consumers.
“Building with SIPs and energy efficiency has become our niche, and it is really growing,” said Dandar.
Construction Partners is a true family business. Mike Dandar is the second generation—his father started the company and his two sons are current employees. For 39 years, the family business motto of quality construction is echoed on every project they build.
“We treat every project like it is our own home,” said Dandar. “If one of my employees asks me ‘how would you like me to do this?’ I tell them ‘If it was your home, what would you do?’”
Dandar is currently leading the company as it expands into the commercial market, starting with a complete remodel of the 30,000 sq. ft. historic Boyce Greeley building in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Built in 1901, the four-story brick building will soon house retail spaces on the ground floor, followed by offices, two floors of apartments, and finally a new SIP sunroom on the roof for apartment residents.
It was this project that motivated Dandar to pursue the SIPA Registered Master Builder Certification.
“I could see that architects were becoming more and more interested in SIPs, and I wanted to raise the level of our expertise,” said Dandar. “When architects call for a project to be built with panels, they aren’t going to ask for anybody to put these panels up, they are going to ask for a SIPA Registered Master Builder.”
“It is one more thing to put on my website and advertise when I do home shows,” he added.
For Dandar, the SIPA Registered Master Builder designation displays the quality and experience he and his crews have earned over years of building with SIPs. His attention to detail and quality are evident in the Dethlefs Residence, a 3,000 sq. ft. SIP home in Verdi, Minnesota. Built with a SIP foundation, 6-inch SIP walls, and a 12-inch SIP roof, the home achieved stunningly low blower door test results of 0.31 ACH50. Without any solar panels, the HERS Index was 47, making it than 53 percent more efficient than a home built to today’s building codes.
To date, the homeowners have averaged only $35 per month in heating costs on propane fuel; and air conditioning costs are estimated to be only $50 for the entire summer.
Dandar credits the home’s performance to his constant drive to improve energy efficiency.
“With every house, I am always trying to raise the bar from one project to the next in terms of efficiency of the home,” said Dandar. “SIPs are for everyone, everyone can do them, but there is something that separates us from the other guys. I attribute it the classroom time I spent with Al Cobb, Joe Lstiburek, and others.”
Learn how to become a SIPA Registered Master Builder or find a list of Registered Master Builders in your area through the SIPA membership directory. See some work from Construction Partners LLC below:
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