AT A TIME WHEN THE HOME building industry is stepping up its efforts to address rising fuel and energy costs by improving the energy efficiency and performance of new homes, the EnergyValue Housing Awards (EVHAs) present an opportunity for environmentally responsible builders to share their best practices and be recognized for their efforts.

The NAHB Research Center recently announced the open application period for this year's competition, which honors home builders who voluntarily integrate energy efficiency into the design, construction, and marketing of their new homes. Now entering its 13th year, the EVHA program challenges builders to elevate standards for energy-efficient construction while creating an opportunity for them to improve their business practices and educate consumers about successful approaches to energy efficiency.

Each year, the competition is judged by a panel of energy-efficiency experts in the fields of engineering, construction, design, and marketing, as well as past EVHAwinners. Applicants are evaluated based on energy value, design, construction methods and processes, marketing and customer relations efforts, and participation in voluntary energy programs. David Simon, president of operations for the 2007 EVHA Builder of the Year, Veridian Homes in Madison, Wis., says, “The EnergyValue Housing Award is a key driver for improving our homes, as it provides an opportunity for benchmarking, networking, and evaluating the best energy-efficient design, construction, and marketing practices.” Award categories for 2008 include affordable, custom, factory-built, production, and multifamily housing in hot, moderate, and cold climates.

The EnergyValue Housing Awards are open to all U.S. home builders whose primary occupation is constructing homes and/or developing real estate. Winners will be announced at the 2008 International Builders' Show, in Orlando, Fla.

The EVHA program is coordinated by the NAHB Research Center in partnership with the NAHB Energy Subcommittee and the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. To learn more and apply, visit