Pardee commits to energy.

By Iris Richmond

Every one of the 2,500 homes built by Pardee Homes this year will be Energy Star compliant. The decision by Pardee, the Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co., makes it the first production builder to standardize company wide on the energy-savings program, according to the EPA. (Visit for more on the program.)

"The [marketing] reach of the program is subliminal at this point, but we think it shows buyers we are a builder with a conscious," says executive vice president Hal Struck.

The cost to make a home 30 percent more energy efficient than California's model energy code requires ranges from $400 to $1,200. But Struck says buyers, particularly young ones, aren't deterred by the higher price.

The company markets these features under the ComfortWise name. The elements of the program include mechanically engineered HVAC, tighter ducts, and "smart" glass. A host of other options ? everything from tankless water heaters to solar panels ? are also available in upgrades. Integrating the program took three months with little effect on production cycle time, says Struck.

"Our company has been touting the positive responses we've received to other [Weyerhaeuser] subsidiaries," says Struck, referring to Winchester Homes, Quadrant Corp., and Trendmaker Homes. "It wouldn't surprise me if they climbed on board."

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, June 2002