Two local Asheville green builders were selected to receive the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) prestigious Housing Innovation Award this year. Asheville joins cities such as Denver and Seattle with multiple award winners this year.
The award recognizes U.S. builders deemed experts in the field of high-performance, energy-efficient homebuilding and whose homes have met the rigorous requirements specified by the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program. Similar to Gold or Platinum level certified homes under our own Green Built Homes program, these high-performance homes are so energy efficient—often 40 to 50% more efficient than typical new homes—that they can easily offset most or all the energy they consume with renewable energy.
“President Biden is determined to execute the boldest climate agenda in our nation’s history,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm during the ceremony announcing the winners. “That path runs right through the stock of our 129 million residential and commercial buildings. Right now, our buildings use roughly 40% of the nation’s energy, 75% of its electricity, and account for a little over a third of our carbon emissions…Through energy efficiency improvements, we can eliminate waste, lower our bills, reduce pollution, make people healthier, and create tens of thousands of jobs.”
Red Tree Builders, a past Green Built Alliance member, was recognized with an innovation award in in the custom homes on spec category. Company president, Brandon Bryant, remarked “We are honored to have been one of two companies in Asheville to receive this award. It is exciting to be part of such an innovative region and it is our hope to raise industry standards across the nation. The leadership and innovation from the Asheville area are incredible to be a part of and we look forward to what the future holds.”
Meanwhile Deltec Homes, a Green Built Alliance member, was recognized with an innovation award in the custom home for buyer under 2,500 square feet category. Deltec Homes went on to be named the grand winner in its category during the recognition ceremony at the EEBA conference in Denver, Colo. Deltec Homes had previously been named a DOE innovation category award winner in 2019 for a home in Mills, River. NC.
Deltec President, Steve Linton, said “Winning a category award is fantastic. Being named a grand winner shows the company’s true commitment to changing how the world builds. Having multiple winners from Asheville just furthers our belief that Asheville is in the vanguard leading the nation in better environmental stewardship. With our 50 plus years in business, we are proud to represent Asheville on the national stage among some of the most accomplished builders.”
Adds Sam Ruark, Green Built Alliance Executive Director, “In our 20-year history, we have seen the increasing interest in better earth stewardship here in western North Carolina. As advocates for the role that high-performance homes can play, we celebrate that two local companies have been recognized nationally.” He adds “We hope that the national recognition of these two companies accelerates the leadership that Asheville and western North Carolina can show in building homes that are better for the environment.”
Since 2013, the DOE Housing Innovation Awards have honored the very best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes by recognizing forward-thinking builders delivering American homebuyers with a better homeowner experience. Only a select group of top builders in the country met the extraordinary levels of excellence and quality specified by the U.S. Department of Energy, but as the market for residential zero energy (ZE) buildings continue to show growth across the United States, it is exciting to see that builders in Western North Carolina are leading the way.