Houston is a city where the residential home building industry is dominated by tradition. There are good traditions and bad traditions. And, unfortunately, the traditional Houston approach—wood framing, fiberglass insulation, ventilated attics, etc.—I feel, lies in the bad tradition category. Traditional builders will tell you that they are building what the buying public demands. And, to a point, that is correct, but you could argue that the buying public doesn't demand better because they don't know better exists and therefore aren't looking for it. The buying public sees the moldings and finishes and “flow” of the home. What's behind the sheet rock doesn't usually get on the home buyer's radar when the decision to buy is made. The purchase cost of the house, but not the living cost of the house is considered. It's only later; when they get the utility bills, that they feel the sting of the lack of efficiency of the traditionally built home. Tradition is also felt when homeowners are faced with tens of thousands of dollars in repairs after a hurricane, or termite or rodent infestation, or HVAC system or duct replacement.

There is a better way to build and, in our opinion, a best way to build for the U.S. Gulf Coast. Here is what we believe it is and how we got there.

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