Yavapai College Resi-dential Building Technology (RBT) Program of Chino Valley, Ariz., was named 2010 EnergyValue Housing Award (EVHA) Builder of the Year during a January award ceremony in Las Vegas. Yavapai was selected as the company that best typifies energy value and reflects the EVHA goals. It’s the first time a non-traditional builder has won. In making the selection, the judges took into account Yavapai’s consistently exceptional home construction and its leadership in outreach to current and future builders.

Although not a traditional building company, Yavapai College RBT is at the forefront of the residential construction industry. By “doing everything right,” as the EVHA judges put it, Yavapai not only creates stellar-performing homes, but it is guiding future builders in the application of sound building science principles. This year, the program’s proven process led to the construction of a truly net-zero energy home. EVHA judges were in awe of Yavapai’s submittal that went “above and beyond in almost every aspect of design and construction.” The program starts from the beginning with “very good site and building design in accordance with the site conditions” that includes considerable energy analyses conducted by students as a learning tool.

According to its vision, Yavapai “teaches students to design, build, or manage residential construction that results in well-crafted, durable, healthy, affordable, safe, comfortable, energy- and resource-efficient, environmentally responsive houses.” Students make design choices based on building science principles learned in the classroom and gain invaluable practical experience while incorporating those materials and methods on the jobsite.

But the school’s work goes beyond the classroom as it conducts extensive outreach to the community. This is one element judges take into consideration when choosing the Builder of the Year—what the builder does within the industry to promote energy efficiency to both the building community and the public.

Outreach is a major focus of the Yavapai program. By hosting an open house, Yavapai’s students were able to share what they had learned about the latest research, products, and technology with the community and local building association.