The NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership team proposed this study to gain insight into the business, sales, and construction processes of successful high performance builders. The knowledge gained by understanding the high performance strategies used by individual builders, as well as the process each followed to move from traditional builder to high performance builder, will be beneficial in proposing more in-depth research to yield specific action items to assist the industry at large transform to high performance new home construction. This investigation identified the best practices of three successful high performance builders in the upper Midwest. In-depth field analysis of the performance levels of their homes, their business models, and their strategies for market acceptance were explored. All three builders commonly seek ENERGY STAR certification on their homes and implement strategies that would allow them to meet the requirements for the Building America Builders Challenge program. Their desire for continuous improvement, willingness to seek outside assistance, and ambition to be leaders in their field are common themes. Problem solving to overcome challenges was accepted as part of doing business. It was concluded that crossing the gap from code-based building to high performance based building was a natural evolution for these leading builders.
Practices and Processes of Leading High Performance Home Builders in the Upper Midwest