Case Studies

Efincia

Efficient and affordable home solutions to match budget requirements

Based in High Point, North Carolina, Efincia, which includes Efincia Construction LLC and Efincia Engineering PC, is on a mission to design and build extremely energy efficient and affordable homes. Focusing on apartments, townhomes and duplexes, the company offers a recipe for energy-saving success. Efincia estimates the total cost of ownership, factoring in the occupant’s living habits to determine projected energy costs. Through this approach, Efincia’s small, yet experienced team is empowering homeowners to take charge of a more efficient, healthy home.

Newly incorporated in 2015, the Efincia companies bring years of design and engineering experience to the table and in-house services that span the full range of residential and multifamily design-build. The company performs all drafting and design, general contracting and specialty trades in-house such as electrical, plumbing and HVAC installation.

Efincia

“I am a licensed professional engineer (PE) and LEED AP and we have our general contractor’s license,” says Eric Dickinson, founder and president of Efincia. “Most builders, especially in the energy conservation market, do not perform all of these tasks in-house. My background — and that of my staff — allows us to provide technically advanced designs that are based on scientific building principles.”

An engineer by trade, Dickinson spent his early career as an engineering manager for a major electronics manufacturer. “In 2003, the company I worked for shut down seven of its U.S. plants and more manufacturing was outsourced to China and Mexico, so I started to look for another option,” he recounts.

Applying his engineering skills, Dickinson went to work for a multifamily developer in North Carolina, but began to realize his interests were in the energy efficiency arena. “I wanted to do vertically integrated, efficient homebuilding,” he says.

As a LEED AP, with a specialty in building design and construction (BD+C), Dickinson decided to put his skills to work and incorporated Efincia Construction in 2015. “I’ve always had a passion for high-performance structures and the ability to provide customers with cost-effective solutions for meeting their budgetary needs,” he says.

Helping homeowners control costs

From the starter home to baby boomers looking to scale down and live on a fixed income, Efincia offers solutions that meet these specific budget needs. Several of the company’s recent residential projects showcase the fact that an energy efficient home can be affordable and within reach.

“We completed an 1,800-square-foot home in Oak Island, North Carolina,” details Dickinson. “Not only was this home the first on the island to have the 13d residential fire-sprinkler system, it also has a monitoring system that surveys every major electrical appliance in the house.”

In this home, residents can view energy usage from their cellphone or mobile device and see how much energy their dryer is using or how much their electric range is costing them to operate — all the way down to critical home systems such as heat pumps and air handling units.

Efincia’s projects also address indoor air quality. “We installed a 150-cfm energy recovery ventilator to pump fresh air into the home, too,” says Dickinson.

Downsizing and saving

Major markets for Efincia are baby boomers and customers who are looking to move out of their larger family home and step into a smaller duplex or townhome. In Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, the company is developing a 14 unit community, which includes a two-bedroom, two-bath, two-car garage plan and a three-bedroom, two-bath and single-car garage option, specifically for this baby boomer demographic.

“The goal with these downsizing units, which are about  1,500 square feet is to get the home heating and cooling bills to average only $25 or less a month,” says Dickinson. “So far we have had a lot of great response from the local community and realtors.”

A tight-knit team

In the homebuilding business, Dickinson relies heavily on his team and relationships with subcontractors and suppliers. “I’ve worked in environments where the relationship between a sub and a general contractor is very adversarial and it makes the whole project difficult,” he says. “I pride myself in pulling the right team together, one that works hard and where everyone is able to pick up the ball and run with it. To me, this is the most satisfying part of the construction process.”

“The goal is a win-win,” says Dickinson. “The customer wins, suppliers win and you win. These are the kind of projects we want to work on and create. This helps us complete our mission: ‘Build high-performance homes to save our customers money.’”

Bringing Efincia’s message to the greater building community, Dickinson will be attending the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo this year for the first time. “We hope to put a few more tools in our tool bag at Greenbuild in order to further our mission of energy savings and green building,” he says.

With the ability to deliver more pieces of the project puzzle in-house and an eye on efficiency, Efincia is helping homeowners find affordable solutions by taking control of the total cost of ownership.

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Spring 2018

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