Green Builders Get Accolades

Two local custom home builders won national recognition for their dedication to energy- and environmentally friendly building standards at the ninth annual National Green Building Conference.

Eye-pleasing architecture, water-saving plumbing and energy-efficient design helped Durano Construction of Bernalillo land the Single-Family Luxury Home of the Year award.

Sun Mountain Construction of Corrales won the conference's Single-Family Concept Home of the Year award.

Concept homes are judged on how the builder incorporates new technology in an energy-efficient home that has minimal impact on the environment, said Calli Schmidt, environmental communications director for the National Association of Home Builders, which organized the conference.

More than 1,000 builders from across the country attended the event, held March 25-27 in St. Louis.

Durano and Sun Mountain were among 14 builders selected for awards in categories ranging from single family homes to multi-family dwellings and green masterplanned communities.

"This is the Academy Awards of home building," said Durano Construction president D.C. Durano.

Last year, the Washington, D.C.-based association held its Green Building Conference in Albuquerque. Durano visited the Albuquerque event and decided to compete this year.

Durano is no stranger to green building. The retired U.S. Air Force officer launched his construction company in 1995 and has gradually honed his skills specializing in energy-efficient custom homes.

He is chairman of Build Green New Mexico, a group that promotes using sustainable building methods.

Durano's award-winning home is a 4,520-square-foot, $1.5-million house he built in the upscale Bosque Encantada gated community in Bernalillo.

It has blown-in insulation and special glass coatings and window overhangs to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature at minimal cost.

Roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels help generate power for the home. A Rinnai tankless water heater and dual-flush toilets help economize on water use.

Durano's home also has plenty of aesthetic appeal. It has won awards in the 2006 Homes of Enchantment Parade organized by the Home Builders Association of New Mexico.

Industry experts who served as judges at the Green Building Conference came to the same conclusion.

"In a luxury home, they're looking for items that add that certain something," Schmidt said.

Sun Mountain's 4,000-square-foot home in Corrales is built from insulated concrete forms, with timbers reclaimed from a forest fire site near Taos. Electricity comes from solar photovoltaic panels.

Award winners

Durano Construction's home in Bernalillo's Bosque Encantada gated community recently won the National Green Building Award for Single-Family Luxury Home at the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Conference in St. Louis. The 4,520-square-foot home has energy-efficient features such as:

Blown-in insulation;

Ductwork within the temperature-controlled envelope of the house;

Dual-flush toilets that minimize water waste; and

Rinnai tankless water heater.

A 4,000-square-foot custom home in Corrales by Sun Mountain Construction won the Single-Family Concept Home of the Year Award at the St. Louis conference. It features:

Solar photovoltaic electric generating system;

Insulated concrete form building construction; and

Reclaimed timbers from forest fire near Taos.

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