Several Waxahachie residents passing by Gingerbread Village on Brown Street have commented on the unique way a particular house is being built.

The walls, which at first glance, resemble large styrofoam panels, went up first, with the rafters coming later.

Dennis Chavious, a building contractor from Grand Prairie, is building the house with the help of a crew of a dozen people and a crane.

“The top panels are 8 inches thick and the side walls are 4 inches thick,” Chavious said. “The panels, which are made of polystyrene, are covered on both sides with cement board, which reinforces the panels to give them enough strength to withstand 200 mile per hour winds.”

Chavious said the cost to heat and cool the house is 50 to 70 percent lower than conventional homes. Every room has a vaulted ceiling and because there is no wood in the exterior panels, there is no mold and no danger of termite infestation.

“I can take a crew of men and have the roof on the house in a single day,” Chavious said, noting no dry walling is necessary because the panels are ready to tape and bed.

Asked about the cost of building the paneled house, Chavious said the materials were no more than 5 percent over the cost of a conventional home.

“The cost would be quickly offset because of the savings on utilities,” he said.

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