Residential Builders was born in 2008 to build the house you see on our
website. In late 2007 I began the search for a better insulation and (to
make a long story short), ended up partnering with Texas A&M University to
build a real world application of what we think is the 'right' way to
build a house in 2008- an entire 'Building System' if you will. Over the
previous year we had developed our Building System and study design which
emphasizes strength, system synergies, durability, comfort, safety,
efficiency and yet, is not deaf to the constraints of cost. We were ready
to go and we needed a builder.
Subsequently, I interviewed eight well
known builders in the Houston area, some of which designate
themselves to be 'green' builders and all of good solid reputations.
Each one was professional and clearly knew what they were doing,
but none embraced the idea of this Building System. Of those that
said they would do it, the cost promised to be more than $300 PER
SQUARE FOOT- far too much for me to build and certainly not
that can be widely purchased. A house at
that price would be like driving in a limousine; yes people think
it's nice, but nobody is rushing out to get one. Based on our
knowledge and research, we felt we could prove our Building System
can be done for a cost that is competitive with today's higher end
Unable to come to an agreement with any
builder here in town, I formed Durable Residential Builders and
pressed on. After discussions about this with Todd Rice of Rice
Residential Design, he put me in contact with Jim Kuchenbrod. Jim's
experience of 30 years in every aspect of the building industry,
including building 38 previous ICF houses made him the perfect
person at the perfect time. Jim came and interviewed with us,
thinks like we do, sees the potential, feels the excitement, and
agreed to move from Florida to join the company and, in time, became
But that only addresses the building costs.
The financial payback of such a house as this is the operational costs.
We have preliminary evaluations that indicate the house may well
have an electric bill that is one-tenth a
like sized traditionally build house. The home owners
insurance estimate puts the cost of insurance for our house to be as
much as seventy percent less than
it's neighbors. From a personal safety point of view, with the
impact resistant windows (true laminated hurricane windows) and
reinforced concrete walls, and metal roof, alarms and
backup generator, the home leaves little to be desired, Each system
has been addressed, everywhere we could systems work together (for
example the dehumidification process puts the water in the garden
and heat off the compressors heats water) they do. The air quality
and humidity control should be superior and promises not to dry out
the house in the winter. Additionally, all the paints and floor
finishes are low VOC. Furthermore, everywhere we could we
considered not only the materials, but how (and where) the chosen
materials are obtained and made- from an earth friendly perspective.
Our Goal is to build a house anyone would want to live in with as
much of a view toward our impact on the planet as possible. We build
strong, build efficient, build durable and build as green as
possible. Built to last generations- as we see it: a house not replaced
is the greenest house of all.
Safety, strength, comfort, at a
competitive price. That is Durable Residential Builders: building
LEED certified, HERs rated, Fortified, Builder's Challenge homes.