DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Each year, the Housing Innovation Awards honor the top builders in the country who are leading the Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) movement. It’s an exciting time for us not only because we get to pay homage to some of the best ZERH partners across the country, but also because it marks a time where we can look back and see how far we have come. So, let’s take a brief trip down memory lane…
2013—The inaugural Housing Innovation Awards were held at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California. The first year featured 21 winners and four grand winners across four categories (Affordable, Custom, Systems, and Production). The awards were also held in conjunction with annual awards from Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and Building America Top Innovations.
2014—The second year of the Housing Innovation Awards also marked the first of four consecutive years (including 2017) of partnering with the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance’s (EEBA’s) annual conference. Held in St. Louis, Missouri, the awards ceremony again featured both DOE ZERH builders and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR builders. DOE honored 23 ZERH builders, presented the first ever “Most Homes Certified” award, and gave an honorary “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Jerry Wade (Artistic Homes) from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2015—With significant growth of the DOE ZERH program, both in the number of builders involved and the number of homes being certified, the 2015 Housing Innovation Awards were solely focused on DOE ZERH builders. At the EEBA conference in Denver, Colorado, the 2015 awards honored 24 ZERH builders. An exciting addition to the 2015 awards was that each of the award-winning homes was featured on the new DOE Tour of Zero, a virtual tour that makes it easy for consumers to get a look inside the homes to see what makes them so special. The event also included a “Legacy Award” presented to John Wesley Miller from Tucson, Arizona. 2015 also marked the introduction of a new “Multifamily” award category.
2016—Held for the third year in a row at EEBA’s annual conference, the 2016 awards took place in Dallas, Texas. This year also featured the introduction of another new award category, splitting the “Custom” category into “Custom Spec” and “Custom Buyer.” 2016 saw the highest number of applicants in the history of the Housing Innovation Awards, a testament to how far the program had come since 2013. Overall, DOE honored 34 builders across five different categories (Affordable, Custom Buyer, Custom Spec, Multifamily, and Production). In 2016, the ZERH program also launched a consumer-oriented video, “The Home of the Future…Today.”
As you can see, as the program has continued to grow, so have these special awards. Each year, the competition gets tougher and tougher, and our judges are forced to make incredibly difficult decisions. Competing against the best of the best isn’t easy, but it also makes the Housing Innovation Awards mean that much more. The 2017 Housing Innovation Awards featured the highest number of applicants in the history of the program, and as a result, this year’s awards competition includes “Honorable Mention” homes, to be included on the DOE Tour of Zero along with the award winners.
The 2017 Housing Innovation Awards will honor 24 builders from across the country along with grand winners in each of the five categories (Affordable, Custom Buyer, Custom Spec, Multifamily, and Production). Check out who the winners are by visiting the http://bit.ly/housing_awards where you can also access the official DOE Press Release. Grand winners will not be announced until the awards ceremony, which will be held at the EEBA High Performance Home Summit on October 11th in Atlanta, Georgia.
For registration information, please visit http://summit.eeba.org/.