Advances in Energy Efficiency = Customized Plans and Options

With years of building energy star certified homes under our belt and having been a pioneer of our local HBA’s Built Green program, it’s fair to say that Devoted Builders has real experience in energy efficient and sustainable home building in the Tri-Cities area; and with this experience comes knowledge. Valuable knowledge that comes from working on different styles of homes, built on different topographies in different areas, for owners with different energy efficiency and sustainability desires and resources.

We live in an innovative time in terms of advances and options, so what frontier is Devoted Builders tackling next on the energy-efficiency front? Customization!

No two people or families live in homes the same way. No two houses are built in exactly the same spot and no two houses need the same type of energy efficiencies built into their home. However, the process of selecting and implementing energy efficient systems, features and technologies in new home construction doesn’t have to be complicated to be exceptional.

We are focused on finding the right energy efficiencies for each home we build based on the needs and budget of the family and the location and orientation of the home. Here are some examples of how we might customize the energy efficient functions in a custom-built home:

  • For the couple who is out of town a lot and doesn’t want a lot of landscaping upkeep, we might install native landscaping utilizing rock and outdoor lighting for drama and interest.
  • For the family who is always on the go, forgetting to turn off lights, lock the door, and maybe even forgetting to turn off the oven, we might install a smart home hub that allows the homeowner to lock doors, turn off the oven, and turn off lights via an app.
  • For the person who rents out their home while they are snowbirding and doesn’t want to run up the heating bill, we might install a high-efficiency furnace and make sure the building envelope is tightly-sealed with additional weather stripping and insulation.
  • For the home that is positioned high up on the hill to take advantage of both the morning sun and the evening sunsets, we might install specialty tinted windows that do an exceptional job of allowing in the light, keeping out the UV rays, and keeping the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We can even install automated blinds which enhance the energy efficiency of the heating and cooling system.

We take great pride in being able to utilize this knowledge to curate specially designed energy efficiency/sustainability plans that not only save owners money and conserve energy but create comfort and protect their investment for years to come.  Give us a call at (509) 947-5670 or send your questions to us at

Innovative Building Material – I.C.F. Construction

Through the years, man has relied on many types of materials to build shelters – brick, wood, mud, straw, and yes – even concrete.

But while one might picture a cold and unwelcoming institutional dwelling when thinking of concrete construction, it might surprise you to know that not only is concrete versatile and when combined with other materials, is very warm and inviting. It is also on the cutting-edge of energy efficiency, and is a building material that is perfect for the weather we have here in the Tri-Cities.

I.C.F. – Insulated Concrete Forms – are a great match for our climate extremes here in the Tri-Cities because, as its name says, they are very insulating. This helps homeowners use less energy to heat their homes during our cold winters. It might surprise you to know that they also do a better job of keeping a home cool in the summer because the thick wall regulates the temperature more evenly.

An additional bonus? Because the walls are more air-tight than their wood-built counterparts, the dust that plagues most stick-built homes (and becomes very bad in the wind here in the Tri-Cities), is significantly less in an I.C.F. home. In fact, a resident of Mediterranean Villas (an I.C.F. community in Pasco) reported having left for six months and returned to a virtually dust-free home!

So how does it work? Basically I.C.F. Construction is a series of lego-type foam blocks that stack on top of each other and lock into place, allowing concrete to be filled in the center. Then stucco or siding can be applied to the outside and drywall applied to the inside, just like a regular house. I.C.F. offer space to run not only plumbing but also electrical conduit.

Not only do homeowners of I.C.F. homes report they are much more comfortable (and outside noise-free!) than a stick-built home, the energy savings are very dramatic. David and Carol Myers who own an I.C.F. home in Mediterranean Villas reported that when they owned a comparable-size traditionally-built home, their energy bills would be up to $175 in the winter. However, since they moved to a Devoted Builders-built I.C.F. home, their highest winter energy bill was $66. Watch the video here:

You’ll probably be hearing a lot about I.C.F.s in the years to come.  If you’re considering a building project, you may want to consider insulated concrete form construction. For additional information and to learn more about this innovative, energy efficient way of building, please contact Jennifer Cowgill at (509) 947-5670 or Jessica Johnson at (509) 947-2230. You can also watch our videos here to learn more!