Texas homebuilder makes commitment to LEED for Homes (video)
Photo courtesy of Frankel Building Group.
A homebuilder in Texas completed 28 custom homes, all built to LEED for Homes standards.
That's why Houston's Frankel Building Group garnered top honors as "Outstanding Single Family Builder" In the 2015 LEED Homes Awards.
Twenty-six of those are either already LEED-certified or are on the path to certification.
In announcing the awards, USGBC noted, "At the forefront of sustainable residential building, Frankel Building Group continues to show its commitment through the design and construction of LEED-certified homes. Frankel Building Group puts an emphasis on homeowner education and continues to promote the LEED program in its market."
Despite a lack of consumer demand for LEED certified homes the firm, led by its chairman and founder Jim Frankel, and his his sons Kevin and Scott, who share the titles of co-president and principal, decided to build green because it is the right thing to do, according to the company's website.
FBG made a commitment several years ago to position the company at the forefront of the home building industry by building new homes to be LEED certified. The move was not in response to client requests – there was zero demand.
Read about other LEED for Homes winners.
The Frankels decided to build to LEED guidelines because the guidelines are so strict. There are no licenses for builders in Texas. Anyone can call themselves a builder. But “LEED approved” means someone else is vouching for its performance. So they brought in a verifier to confirm that they are building correctly. They started 10 spec homes, all LEED, in one month and made their entire 58 Lot neighborhood built to LEED standards just to prove a point. They wanted to challenge the market, buyers, realtors, bankers, and appraisers – to show that building LEED homes in a competitive price per foot is possible.
Frankel Building Group became the first custom home builder in the country to adopt the LEED for Homes program and build to its standards across the board. Today, FBG remains one of only two custom home builders that have built every house to LEED certification standards. The Frankel team continues to educate homebuyers about the importance of building LEED homes and promote green building practices.
In addition, Frankel was one of several firms doing business in the Houston area receiving USBGC LEED Homes Power Builder status. That designation recognizes "an elite group of developers and builders who have exhibited an outstanding commitment to LEED and the green building movement within the residential sector." Among Homes Power Builder companies doing business in Houston are the Houston-based Dinerstein Companies and AMLI Residential.
In building green homes, FBG places an emphasis on energy and water efficiency, use of resources, and innovative design. Buyers of green homes can save on energy and water bills while living in a cleaner, healthier indoor environment. And together the buyers and green home builders help sustain the environment for future generations.
Read more about LEED and other green building certifications.