Thank you Builders Association of Northern Nevada (BANN) judges and Frame Architecture for honoring the Haven® sustainable home design in two categories of the 2015 BANN-er Awards; Best Custom Home Under $250,000 and Best Use of Green Products. We felt that this is a great time to reflect of the process that enabled Greg Bischoff to transform his idea into the complete set of building plans needed to get the first model Haven® built!
In 2010, when Greg first believed he had a viable idea for an affordable, hyper-efficient, durable, sustainable home, the first step was to partner with an engineer qualified and experienced enough to validate Greg’s theory. This structural engineer would do the calculations necessary to show if and where the structure could be inherently strong and hold up to extreme environmental conditions. An exhaustive search for an engineer with experience in geodesics and unique structures lead us all the way to Klamath Falls, Oregon and Dr. Nabil Taha, a professor of engineering at Oregon Institute of Technology and owner of Precision Structural Engineering (PSE). PSE serves projects in 48 states and has participated in projects all over the world. It was Dr. Taha who first told Greg that he was on to something remarkable as well as unique. With the structural engineering calculations from Precision, we were able to build our first prototype.
The 2012 Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NCET) Governor’s Cup and Lt. Governor’s Cup gave us the funding to make that all possible. The sustainable home prototype was built at the first Envirohaven facility, an old warehouse by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). That prototype enabled us to make modifications to our design and proved our concept. We were ready to move on to build a real model home, but needed a complete set of architectural drawings (plans) in order to get prices from the various subcontractors and material suppliers who offered to contribute to Northern Nevada’s first holistically sustainable home. We met many of you at this time.
Jeff and Frame Architecture came into the picture through a friend and colleague, Greg Haupert, Regional Director of Business Network International (BNI). Greg is a master at referring good people to good people. We hoped that within his huge network, he could refer us to an architect who is at the top of his class and up to the task. He approached Jeff for us. Jeff took one look at the Haven® and told us that he was extremely intrigued with the idea as well as the challenge. Drawing the geometric hybrid took a high level of skill with his drafting program as well as a superior understanding of geometry. We sincerely appreciate Jeff’s dedication and enthusiasm for creating our drawings, without which, we could not have gone on to build real Haven® homes for real people.
The BANN-er Awards are a humbling recognition for all of us at Envirohaven™. BANN is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). They represent the interests of the building industry on a local, state and federal level, but BANN is also committed to education.
One of our primary goals here at Envirohaven™ is to help educate homeowners, prospective homeowners and other builders about the need to raise our bar higher for what sustainable home and green really means. Many of the innovative concepts as well as products used to build the Haven® can be applied to conventionally shaped designs in order to create more efficient use of materials and space while diminishing the need for expensive maintenance and non-renewable energy to keep the home comfortable. Designing, building, and testing not only the materials we are currently using, but the many materials that didn’t make the cut, has helped our affiliated design-build firm, Suncrest Builders, Inc., become a better resource for their clients looking to create any size or shape home. We are now helping other builders become better green and sustainable home builders as well.
Thank you BANN for putting your spotlight on the Haven® sustainable home this year. Your honor will help get the word out that green can be affordable and that sustainable means getting more with less.