Scott Homes, Inc. earned the prestigious Gold Award in the 2012 national EnergyValue Housing Award® competition. The EVHA®, a program of the National Association of Home Builders, honors builders & remodelers who voluntarily incorporate energy efficiency in the design, construction & marketing of homes. The 2012 award is the third EVHA that Scott Homes has received.
“We are so pleased to be recognized by EVHA again this year,” Scott Bergford says. “For almost 30 years, we have continuously applied the latest in building science and efficiency innovation to build better and better houses right here in Olympia. I am proud of the work we’ve done on this house.”
For homeowners Eileen Ryan and Matt Cooper, the home-building experience was an adventure. “Matt and I went to Scott looking for the most energy efficient house our budget would allow,” says Eileen. “Scott was really informative and enthusiastic (when ISN’T Scott informative and enthusiastic — ed.) about getting us to our goals – past our goals, actually. He gave us much more than we hoped for.”
“This building project came at an interesting time,” Scott says. He had been looking for an opportunity to experiment with building a house using thicker SIPs than usual. Scott wanted to see if he could build home that was more efficient but cost less to build. “Matt and Eileen seemed interested; they asked a lot of questions and did their research. It was exciting when they called and agreed to be part of the project.”
Once the owners were on board, Scott Homes worked closely with resources at Puget Sound Energy, Washington State University Energy Extension Program, NAHB, the Thurston County building department, and the local EcoBuilding Guild to address the potential performance of this experimental house.
“This was the first house that we know of built like this,” Scott says. “We utilized the resources available to us through our local experts to make sure this house was going to be built properly and be healthy for the homeowners as well.”
Now completed, the 2100 sq. ft. Craftsman-style home has energy efficient features galore: triple-paned windows, on-demand hot water system, a ductless heat pump, fresh-air intake system, efficient lighting, wall and floor insulation with an R-value of 38, and roof insulation of R-49. The owners also accepted Scott Homes’ recommendation to have electrical conduit wired into their garage for possible future solar panels. Even with all the high-efficiency features, Ryan and Cooper paid only about 5% more to build their home than they would have for an equivalent-sized, conventional custom stick-built house.
The investment is paying off handsomely for Ryan and Cooper. It costs around $3.22 a day to operate the entire home, including water. WSU Energy Extension estimates that the owner’s investment in efficiency will pay for itself in 5 to 7 years at current energy prices. “The low energy bills are great. Our home is amazingly comfortable – and it’s beautiful!” says Ryan. “We didn’t have to sacrifice aesthetics or comfort to have a really high performing home.”