For the past seven years, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Program, originally DOE Challenge Home, has played a lead role in pushing the US new home construction market towards more efficient, more comfortable, and more durable homes. Launched in 2003, the program hit 1,000 certifications in 2016 and has nearly doubled the number of certified homes every year since. In 2020, the program has now achieved another significant milestone as both Thrive Home Builders (Denver, Colorado) and Mandalay Homes (Prescott Valley, AZ) have each surpassed the 1,000 certified homes mark.
Certified Zero Energy Ready Homes not only reduce the country’s energy consumption, but provide American homeowners with a superior homeowner experience. Through third-party certification, these homes meet the federal government’s most rigorous guidelines for new home construction to ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability. While developing a program aimed at building better homes is a necessary first step, it takes leaders in the industry to commit their businesses to building better homes that help American homebuyers, the economy, and the environment.
Thrive and Mandalay have been in lock step from the start. They both certified their first homes in May of 2013 and earned their first Housing Innovation Award in the same year. Thrive, which was New Town Builders at the time, was awarded the Grand Award in the Production Home category that year and has won this distinguished award every year thereafter. In that same year, Mandalay took home the top prize in the Affordable Home category, and together the two have earned a Housing Innovation Award every year including 14 Grand Awards and 5 Most Homes of the Year Awards. All of their award-winning homes are featured on the DOE Tour of Zero.
While Thrive Home Builders and Mandalay Homes have experienced tremendous success as businesses, they have also had a major impact on improving housing in their local markets and beyond. As they have continued to improve and fine-tune their products, both of these builders are selling homes at prices that are competitive with code-built homes in their respective markets. Other builders are finding they need to raise their game related to the efficiency and performance of their homes to stay competitive. But more than simply forcing others to keep up in their local markets, these two builders have inspired other home builders across the country to reach higher. Through their leadership and success, both Thrive and Mandalay have consistently proven that Zero Energy Ready Home is good for business.
Congratulations to both Thrive Home Builders and Mandalay Homes on their incredible achievements. As the Zero Energy Ready Home program enters its eighth year, builders like these two leading the charge provide great confidence the program will continue to grow and offer more Americans the chance to “Live Better.”
Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Program provides certification for homes with high levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability.
Sam Bowles is the Communications Director at Zero Energy Ready Homes.