Thirteen of the nation's greenest builders now have the hardware to prove it. On Feb. 13, the NAHB Research Center announced the 13th annual EnergyValue Housing Awards (EVHA) at an evening reception during the International Builders' Show. The big winners of the night were Aspen Homes of Colorado, which was named Builder of the Year, and Veridian Homes, which took home Gold and Silver awards.

The EVHA recognizes best-in-class energy-efficient building practices, in addition to educating the housing industry and the public about emerging and advanced technologies that can be used and marketed by mainstream builders. According to the NAHB Research Center, EVHA winners are selected because of the innovative framing methods, insulation, and appliances that result in high efficiencies; paying careful attention to air sealing, ductwork, resource efficiency, and ventilation as well.

Additional criteria include applying energy-saving practices such as high R-value insulation in ceilings and walls, solar power systems, creative uses of passive solar design, geothermal heating, and Energy Star appliance packages.

Judging for the awards was completed by a panel of energy-efficiency experts in the fields of engineering, residential energy, construction, design, and marketing.

Aspen Homes of Colorado caught the attention of the EVHA judges with its 100 percent commitment to Energy Star and Built Green participation, guaranteed energy bills, and the use of wind energy.

Awards were given to builders in affordable, custom, production, and multifamily markets for hot, moderate, and cold climate regions. The 2008 Gold award winners are:

  • Aspen Homes of Colorado -- Loveland, Colo.
  • Cherokee Investment Partners -- Raleigh, N.C.
  • Ferrier Builders -- Fort Worth, Texas
  • Fireside Home Construction -- Dexter, Mich.
  • Stitt Energy Systems -- Rodgers, Ark.
  • Veridian Homes -- Madison, Wis.
  • Wilshire Homes -- Houston

The 2008 Silver award winners are:

  • The Cohousing Co. -- Nevada City, Calif.
  • Community Housing Partners -- Christiansburg, Va.
  • John Wesley Miller Companies -- Tucson, Ariz.
  • Pardee Homes -- Los Angeles
  • R Godfrey Homes -- Glen Rose, Texas
  • Sustainable Development -- Salem, Ore.
  • Veridian Homes -- Madison, Wis.

Michael Luzier, president of the NAHB Research Center, told an audience of more than 100 people made up of recipients, industry insiders, and media that the efforts of 2008's honorees are a "major significance" to the home building industry.

"EVHA winners are pioneers in their fields, and the level of innovation and home design this year is outstanding," Luzier said. "Clearly, the home building industry's efforts to expand energy efficiency and green building have taken hold and will continue to make a positive difference for future generations."

Bob Jones, vice president/secretary of the NAHB, who quipped at the presentation that he remembers when green was just a carpet color, also praised the 2008 winners by saying that their efforts will "save the planet for generations unborn."

"You're the people who make a difference in the industry," Jones added.