April 22, 2014
Proving once again that we do live in a special place, the New River Valley community of builders is leading the way in energy efficient new construction. EarthCraft Virginia recently unveiled their list of the Top 10 Most Energy Efficient Homes of 2013 and two New River Valley builders were heavily represented.
Green Valley Builders and Shelter Alternatives, both of Blacksburg, together were recognized for contributing six homes to this sustainable building list that represents the entire Commonwealth. Both local builders have previously had homes recognized by the organization for sustainable excellence. The remaining 40% of the homes were built in the greater Richmond and Charlottesvile areas.
Earthcraft Virginia also recognizes improvements to existing homes. Shelter Alternatives was awarded their 2011 EarthCraft Virginia Single Family Project of the Year award for an extensive remodel of a home in downtown Blacksburg, the first and only certified EarthCraft Renovation project in the region.
All of the homes acknowledged undergo extensive review and third party testing by EarthCraft and are designed with application of building science and best building practices that support a high degree of sustainability. The homes are ultimately evaluated with an energy score or HERS rating after testing. A HERS rating for a standard home built to code in Virginia is 100, so with a 27 to 49 rating range for these top ten homes , all of them can expect less than half the typical energy usage and cost of a new home in the area.
On the last glorious autumn….the view was amazing: glimmering river backlit by the blazing hills and the house set like a natural gem in all that loveliness….
....last night: playing music and hanging pictures, preparing dinner, drinking champagne; sitting in the cozy hot tub looking at the stars, watching the trains fling their headlights over the cliffs was like a sensual fantasy, almost unreal it was so shimmeringly PERFECT….
This morning the sunrise turned the cliffs opal pink (like the bathroom walls) and then the full-risen sun blasted the red wall with light; we ate breakfast not talking at all because it was too beautiful and we were too happy.
Ann G. and Rick C., November 2005