— By ROB LYON Smith Mountain Eagle — Efforts to build “sustainable green homes” and more energy efficient buildings appear to be growing and a Smith Mountain Lake company is a leader in that trend.
PD&M, Inc. General Contractors of Moneta, a builder of custom homes at SML for the past 29 years, was recently recognized for building one of the 10 most energy efficient homes in Virginia in 2011.
The 4,800-square-foot home, owned by Andrew and Cindy Rountree, is located in the Wirtz area of Smith Mountain Lake.
The award was presented by EarthCraft Virginia, the administrator for one of the country’s largest sustainable (green) building programs.
Eddie Fort is president of PD&M. “I have a team of dedicated subcontractors and suppliers who have embraced my vision of building beautiful sustainable homes,” he said. He also thanked the Rountrees “for sharing my vision and allowing PD&M to build their home.”
EarthCraft was developed in Atlanta and has adapted the building standards to fit homes built in the southeastern part of the U.S., Fort explained. The concept is also coupled with the Energy Star program “that lends a lot of credence and credibility” to the idea, he said.
“The (Rountree) home was the fourth most efficient overall out of more than 1,000 homes considered,” Fort added.
Fort said the beauty of building green/sustainable homes is that most all of the features that make it that type of structure are not seen or are very subtle. From special insulating material to the use of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) products to air tight window frames to strict standards for heating and air conditioning units, the homes are designed for comfort and savings.
“This elite level of construction provides clients with significantly lower utility bills, enhanced indoor air quality and a more comfortable, lower maintenance, longer lasting home,” said Fort.
Industry experts say homeowners can recover the added costs of green features within 3 to 5 years, Fort said.
Fort said the market for green/sustainable homes is growing and the clients he works with are educated about many of the practices used.
Fort said since joining the EarthCraft program in 2009 all of their homes have been awarded either Gold or Platinum status. “We have been one of the leaders in sustainable building here at the lake and this award validates our vision.”