A special training workshop for builders, the On-Site Field Training & Workshop for New Home Construction, took place on February 18, 2020. It included 3 hours of classroom instruction and continued after lunch on two jobsites: one with a home in the framing stage and one in the completed stage.
BUILT TO SAVE™ is a voluntary high-performance home program for builders which certifies new homes using independent third-party home energy Raters that inspect and test homes in the program and predict their energy efficiency.
Innovative Construction’s founders, Pedro and Lourdes Vargas, along with their son, Jonathan, are veteran energy efficient builders. The company was honored last year as a Leading Energy Efficient Builder and won the Rio Grande Valley Builders Association’s “Most Energy Efficient Award” for their entry in the 2017 Parade of Homes. That Parade entry also won several other awards for excellence in construction, including the most prestigious award—“Best of Show.” In both the 2018 & 2019 Parade of Homes competitions, the company was again recognized for their excellent craftsmanship with the “Best Model” award in the Over $400K category (2018) and in the $351K to $400K category (2019).
In the short period since its formation, Waldo Homes has earned a reputation for building some of the finest homes in the Rio Grande Valley. Over the years, this family-owned company has been recognized by their peers in the industry with awards for excellence in construction with their entries in the Rio Grande Valley Builders Association’s annual Parade of Homes.
Villanueva Construction is proud of its 30+ year history of helping people achieve their dream of owning a home—and not just any home, but a home they can be proud of. Since its founding in 1985 by Martin Villanueva, this family-owned business has earned a reputation for building extraordinary homes with an outstanding value. With lots starting in the $25K range and homes in the $140’s, home ownership is within reach for most buyers.
Luis Rangel, owner of RanMar Construction, is a relatively new builder who, from the beginning, adopted high-performance home building as a standard of construction. While many companies build homes only to minimum code, RanMar Construction is not among those. Especially since in many Valley cities, city minimum code requirements do not comply with the State’s mandatory compliance to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code.
Founded in 2013 by Emigdio Villanueva, Jr. and his sons Emigdio Villanueva, III and David Villanueva, Villa Homes has quickly distinguished itself as a company that constructs fine quality homes with features and details that other companies consider as upgrades.
Divine Custom Homes, established in 2008 by Olga Treviño, has been an ENERGY STAR® Partner since 2009 and a BUILT TO SAVE™ member since the program’s inception. Over the years, Olga and her team have consistently received special recognition from two utility companies: Magic Valley Electric Cooperative and AEP Texas, for their loyal commitment to exclusively building high-performance homes.
The benefits of the BUILT TO SAVE™ program for homebuyers that include savings on utilities, better indoor air, and enhanced home comfort are rooted in the whole-house systematic approach to good building science.
Choosing the right insulation and ensuring that it is properly installed is critical for homes in the Rio Grande Valley.
When we purchase a new home, healthy indoor air is something we assume we will get, but that may not always be the case. According to the EPA, Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors where, most often, the concentrations of some pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher than is typically found in outdoor air.
Affordable Homes of South Texas, Inc. (AHSTI), received the 2019 “Most Homes Certified BUILT TO SAVE™ Award” for building the highest number of BUILT TO SAVE™ certified homes in the Non-Profit Builders’ division.
The BUILT TO SAVE™ program is one available to builders that provides homebuyers the proof they need to know that their home was quality-built and is guaranteed to be more energy efficient than a similar home built only to current national code.
For most of us, buying a new home is the largest investment we will ever make. And we do so with the expectation that we will get a good return on our investment should we decide to sell. For that to happen, we are hoping and betting that the home will appreciate in value. While there is no sure way to predict home values in the future since much depends on external factors, like when you sell and where you live, building or buying a home that is certified as a high-performance home is a great way to hedge your bet.
Not all homes are constructed equally. Sure, some may look the same, and both may appear to be of high-quality energy efficient construction, but how can a homebuyer be sure that the home is truly what it is represented to be? The only way to be sure is to ask for proof—a certificate that officially recognizes the home as a high-performance home.
During the last few years, Villanueva Construction has been a serious leader in building high-performance homes. For two years in a row, the company was recognized for building the most homes in the BUILT TO SAVE™ program, a high-performance home program sponsored by Magic Valley Electric Cooperative.
Divine Custom Homes was once again recognized by AEP Texas for building the home with the highest kWh savings from among those entered in its High-Performance Homes Program for 2018. The award is not new to Olga Treviño, the company’s builder/owner, having received it last year, as well.
The Rio Grande Valley’s only 100% ENERGY STAR® Partner that includes airPlus, BUILT TO SAVE™, and GreenBuilt RGV certifications on every home they build.
The 2018 High Performance Home Workshop was held on Thursday, Oct 25th, at the United Way of South Texas facility in McAllen. Builders attending the workshop learned new strategies for differentiating themselves from those building to minimum code, and, more importantly, how energy efficient certifications provide the utmost in value for homebuyers: compliance with state code law, utility savings, homes that are healthier and more comfortable, reduced cost of home ownership in the long term, and future selling advantages with higher resale values.