Smarter building methods are the key behind Bonner Sargent Green Homes. The company hopes to kick-start a homebuilding revolution with techniques that create energy efficient homes friendly to a homeowner’s wallet.

Waxahachie will soon see the first of these homes break ground this spring in the new Delanie Park subdivision, located in the 1200 block of Lynn Way.

Bonner Sargent Green Homes consultant Jim Sargent has been a pioneer in the field of energy efficient housing for 15 years. He has assessed the impact the homes have made on the world by studying data generated from utility bills. This data has allowed him to construct homes with a lower carbon impact.

“I learned how to build what we refer to as a high-performing home. This home that has much lower utility bills than a normal home,” Sargent said. “With that knowledge, I decided to build what is called a zero-energy home, a net-zero-energy home. That means you don’t have a utility bill to pay. You produce as much power as you consume.”

Sargent stated careful design and planning goes into building this type of home. During the construction, those pieces are put together in a coordinated manner to maximize the home’s efficiency.

For instance, if the homeowner wants to add solar panels to the house, they could end up selling power back to the electrical grid. The placement of the home on the lot is also looked at to maximize the home’s efficiency.

The Energy and Environmental Building has recognized Sargent's work in this field. He was the first person in the nation to be awarded the master-builder designation.

Bonner Sargent Green Homes have built or have homes under construction in the cities of Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, and White Rock.

Tim Bonner, president of Bonner Sargent Green Homes, shared Sargent's feelings about building smarter because homes constructed through standard methods waste a lot of energy. Bonner has specialized in eco-friendly and sustainable building field since 1999.

“Houses are gas-guzzlers for the most part in Texas. The (building) code sets forth the minimum standard, but we wanted to build something that was more energy efficient, high performance and green,” Bonner shared. “We have always wanted to build a high-quality home. You get eight-tenths of the way there just by taking your time in building a quality house as opposed to throwing it together as many builders do.”

Bonner stated he knows from personal experience how a traditional home can negatively impact a person’s finances. One home Bonner lived in had an average electric bill of $300-$400 a month. The houses Bonner Sargent Green Homes construct typically have an average utility bill of around $100 a month.

Bonner explained one common misconception is that energy efficient home is more to build and upkeep then a regular house, which it is not.

“The lion's share of what we are doing is just putting the houses together in a careful manner,” Bonner stated. “Everybody is buying the same lumber and the same roofing materials. We are all buying materials from the same places. Whether it is Home Depot, Lowes, or 84. Ultimately it is coming from one or two sources. It is about how homes are put together.”

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, a green home can be built for the same cost and sometimes less than a conventional home. The average upfront costs of 2.4 percent are recouped quickly, as a homeowner will save money for the duration of their green home’s lifespan.

It is estimated by the end of 2018 that the green, single-family housing market will represent about 40 percent of the market and 84 percent of all residential construction will have sustainable features.

But before going green, keep in mind that Sargent states it is difficult to make an existing home energy efficient.

“It is much, much harder to go to an existing home and make it high performance. When you do it from scratch you take care of the things that need to be taken care of as you build the home,” Sargent said. “It is hard to go back once all of the sheetrock is up, and all of the brick is around the house, or the siding is on the house.”

For more information, visit www.bonnersargent.com or call 214-946-1155 to reach a staff member with Bonner Sargent Green Homes.