- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Most national homebuilders offer a one-size-fits-all solution, but Brookfield Residential understands that is not ideal, especially in today’s market where buyers want more value in terms of energy efficiency and healthier environments for their families. Brookfield Residential covers the U.S. and Canada with divisions spanning Alberta, greater Washington, D.C., San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles, San Diego, Colorado, Texas, and even Hawaii.
Over its history, Brookfield Residential has delivered more than 30,000 homes nationwide and some 10,000 homes in Virginia and Maryland since 1956. For Brookfield Residential’s buyers, design is the difference. “We’re always pushing the envelope in terms of design,” says Chip Devine, chief operating officer of Brookfield Residential’s Washington, D.C., division.
The company proudly builds and develops new residential communities, offering single-family homes, townhomes, custom homes and even active adult communities. As a prominent national builder, Brookfield Residential is leading the way in sustainable housing – having already constructed hundreds of “Brookfield Blue” energy-conscious homes across the country.
“We started the Brookfield Blue concept about 2006,” recounts Devine. “Our tagline became: ‘Brookfield Blue. The greenest green is blue.’ While area builder’s touted green homes, Brookfield Residential took green living to the next level by adding renewable energy solutions and environmentally-friendly choices to our menu of energy-saving features.”
“Brookfield Residential was the first sizable production homebuilder in our region to offer solar panels, wind turbines or geothermal systems,” adds Devine. Each Brookfield Blue home includes an array of energy-saving and environmentally-friendly efficiencies such as low-VOC paint, enhanced Energy Star certified appliances, Delta Water Sense bathroom faucets and 90 percent efficiency furnaces.
The more conscious homebuilding process begins with site work, where Brookfield Residential mitigates as much environmental impact as it can. “We develop most of our communities and the lots ourselves,” says Devine. “When we break ground, we go out of our way to save trees, limit erosion and just try to affect the existing environment as little as possible.”
Stepping outside of the box and into the PureBlue Home
Today, Brookfield Residential is taking green building to a whole new level with a new standard: the PureBlue Home. Looking to carry the Brookfield Blue concept forward and create the next generation of efficient homes, the company assembled a team of some of its sharpest forward-thinking members.
The project began with no rules or limitations, just one main objective: to be innovative and to take some risks. The result is the PureBlue Home located in Prince William County, Virginia – a new concept home to set the standard for the future of Brookfield homebuilding.
Brookfield Residential’s PureBlue team has created the latest in a healthier living environment, utilizing energy-efficient features, the latest in technology, repurposed materials and sustainable construction methods. “The PureBlue Home has achieved a Home Energy Rating system [HERS] score of an impressive -1,” says Devine. “In side-by-side comparison with standard homes ranked by HERS, the PureBlue Home is off the charts in terms of efficiency.”
The PureBlue Home combines numerous systems working together as one. Some of the features Brookfield Residential’s team incorporated in the design include: porous paving, greywater storage tanks and filtration systems, structural insulated panels, Energy Star washer and dryer and other General Electric Co. Energy Star appliances, a touch-control thermostat, drip irrigation, reflective low-E house wrap and triple-pane low-E windows, solar panels, LED light fixtures, a hybrid electric hot water heater and much more.
“The house is not just a standalone building; it’s an entire system that works together,” says Marc Dalessio, production manager of the PureBlue Home. “We’re very proud of this project and it’s going to position Brookfield Residential as a leader for future green homebuilding.”
As part of the PureBlue Home experiment, Brookfield Residential has constructed traditional homes located next door, offering a side-by-side comparison and insight as to exactly how efficient the PureBlue model is. “We have something of the same scale for comparison, right next door,” adds Dalessio. “This is going to help us generate comparison data and demonstrate tangible results.”
Vibrant opportunity ahead
As more and more builders begin to incorporate greater efficiency and more unified systems, Devine says Brookfield Residential has taken an aggressive approach to leading the market, simply by focusing on innovation. The sky seems to be the limit for Brookfield Residential’s opportunity in energy-efficient, healthier housing. “We’re seeing things changing rapidly from mechanical systems to building better envelopes and all the way to more environmentally friendly landscaping with bio retention ponds,” he says. “Things are changing but we’re keeping pace.”
Ultimately, the PureBlue Home is a test lab for Brookfield Residential. Each product and method used to construct the home is being analyzed to learn which best can be incorporated into future homes. “We want to create energy-conscious living environments that our customers can feel good about,” says Devine. “That means we must provide budget-friendly solutions that deliver the best results.”
With more homebuyers looking to go green, many are finding “the greenest green is blue,” as Brookfield Residential continues its mission to create the next generation of homes.
View the US Builders Review interview with Chip Devine, Brookfield Residential VP & COO, and Marc Dalessio, production manager, at Greenbuild 2015 here: https://youtu.be/bUEZAC11djY
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