Earlier this year,Â the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency held their annual ceremony to honor 118 companies on its list of 2013 Energy Star Partners of the Year and included Grayhawk Homes, the home builder based in Columbus, Georgia, whose production and construction standards consistently meet Energy Star guidelines. Last year, Grayhawk Homes was awarded the Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award.
Building homes that start as low as $117,000, Grayhawk Homes builds over 250 homes each year in Georgia, Iowa, and Alabama. Their Energy Star certified homes include features such as high-performance windows, efficient climate control systems, higher R-value insulation, energy efficient lighting and appliances. Solar Board insulation is a radiant barrier product that is used to reduce the heat gain and help the overall energy efficiency of building envelopes.
â€œGenerally, home builders focus ENERGY STAR certification on their higher-end production or custom homes,â€ saidÂ David Erickson, founder and CEO of Grayhawk, in a recent press release. â€œAt Grayhawk, we feel that every home buyer should have the opportunity to benefit from a more energy efficient home for their family.â€
While building energy-efficient homes can usually add to the construction costs, Erickson has been able to keep the added costs to around $300. The Version 3 guidelines that were released last year by Energy Star were more stringent, and Ericksonâ€™s purchasing manager warned that it could increase costs to as much as $900 per house. â€œThat sounded high to me, so I offered to give him a $1,000 bonus if he could get that down to $250,â€Â said Erickson, and the goal was achieved.
Gathering data from energy usage in 126 Grayhawk-built units, Erickson was able to demonstrate that they spent less than half of what comparably-sized homes paid Georgia Power. Since Erickson started building homes in 1992, his company has been recognized by Professional Builder and Builder magazines. Every year since 1996, Georgia Power has named Grayhawk Homes as the number one energy-efficient builder in western Georgia.