We are proud to say that this year Greenhill Contracting was among the Winners for Innovation in Custom Homes (Spec). Below is the article from the DOE website.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) presented the 2017 Housing Innovation Awards to 24 of the nation’s leading builders yesterday at the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance’s High Performance Home Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Overall, 26 award-winning homes were selected from five categories: Affordable Homes, Multi-Family Homes, Production Homes, Custom Homes (Buyers), and Custom Homes (Spec).

“Housing Innovation Award winners represent the top 1% of builders across the country who successfully demonstrate they can meet the federal government’s most rigorous specifications for high-performance homes,” said Sam Rashkin, chief architect at DOE’s Building Technologies Office. “Zero Energy Ready Homes are designed to provide a whole new level of home owner experience, including ultra-low utility bills, ensured comfort, comprehensive water protection, whole-house fresh air delivery, high-capture filtration, contaminant control, and enhanced durability.”

“These winners are leading a national movement to Zero Energy Ready Homes, providing better places for Americans to live, stronger communities, and a more economically and environmentally resilient nation,” said Rashkin.

The 2017 Housing Innovation Awards featured the highest number of applicants in the history of the Zero Energy Ready Home program. From among these applications, an esteemed panel of judges had the difficult decision of selecting winners and grand winners in each of the five categories. Additionally, the judges selected a select number of homes as honorable mentions, which will be featured on the DOE Tour of Zero, a virtual tour of Zero Energy Ready Homes across the country.

A complete list of the 2017 Housing Innovation Award Winners is provided below. Visit DOE’s website to learn more about the awards. Winning homes from previous years can be viewed on the DOE Tour of Zero.

2017 Housing Innovation Award Winners

Winners for Innovation in Affordable Homes

  • Capstone Homes, Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley, Hickory, North Carolina
  • United Way of Long Island, Huntington Station, New York—Grand Winner

Winners for Innovation in Custom Homes (For Buyer)

  • Alliance Green Builders, Ramona, California—Grand Winner
  • BPC Green Builders, Staatsburg, New York
  • Clifton View Homes Inc., Anacortes, Washington
  • Ferrier Custom Homes, Dallas, Texas
  • Garden State Modular Homes, Lavallette, New Jersey
  • High Performance Homes, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Imery & Co., Chamblee, Georgia
  • SD Jessup Construction, Tobaccoville, North Carolina
  • Mantell-Hecathorn Builders, Durango, Colorado

Winners for Innovation in Custom Homes (Spec)

  • Addison Homes, Greenville, South Carolina
  • Amaris Homes, Afton, Minnesota—Grand Winner
  • BrightLeaf Homes, Brookfield, Illinois
  • Charis Homes, Uniontown, Ohio
  • Greenhill Contracting, Gardiner, New York—Grand Winner
  • Thornhill Custom Homes, Dallas, Texas

Winners for Innovation in Multi-Family Homes

  • Revive Properties, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Thrive Home Builders, Lone Tree, Colorado—Grand Winner

Winners for Innovation in Production Homes

  • Charles Thomas Homes, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Garbett Construction, Sandy, Utah
  • Health-E Community Enterprise, Richmond, Virginia
  • Mandalay Homes, Prescott, Arizona
  • Revive Properties, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Thrive Home Builders, Denver, Colorado—Grand Winner

Winner: Most Homes Certified

Mandalay Homes, Prescott, Arizona

There are builders who construct one extraordinary home a year and then there are those who construct many of these homes. In 2017, Mandalay Homes had the distinction of building the most homes meeting the rigorous Zero Energy Ready Home specifications.

Honorable Mentions

  • Bellingham Bay Builders, Custer, Washington
  • Celebration Green Design, Guilford, Connecticut
  • Clifton View Homes Inc., Snohomish, Washington
  • Dwell Development, Seattle, Washington
  • E2 Homes, Windermere, Florida
  • Greenhill Contracting, New Paltz, New York
  • Insulsteel Constructors, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Seville Consulting, Decatur, Georgia
  • TC Legend, Custer, Washington
  • Passive Dwellings, Hillsdale, New York
  • Unity Homes Inc., Walpole, New Hampshire



NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) — Homes being built in this Hudson Valley cul-de-sac offer prospective buyers wooded lots, pretty views and — oh yes — the promise of thumbing your nose at the power utility.

These “zero-net energy” homes will feature thick walls, solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems, meaning families should be able to generate more energy over a year than they consume. These homes under construction 70 miles north of New York City have costly green features. But the builders believe they are in tune with consumers increasingly concerned about the environment and fuel costs. 


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Oct. 22, 2010Huffington Post

New Paltz – Interest in greener buildings has skyrocketed in the last decade. From commercial properties taking steps to add green spaces on their rooftops to home builders and do-it-yourselfers making residential buildings more sustainable, the push toward greater energy efficiency in construction continues to gain momentum…..albeit at a pace far below the optimal.

Particularly with regard to home building and renovation, I frequently talk with people who want to turn their houses into net-zero-energy (NZE) or near-NZE living spaces, meaning that over the course of a full year, the residents consume no more energy than the home itself produces. Sounds tough, right? Maybe even downright impossible, especially for residents living in colder climates that demand home heating for six or more months each year?

Take it from me, I’m living proof that an NZE home is possible, even for someone who lives in the unpredictable climate of upstate New York, where temperatures can drop to 10-below zero in January and soar to over 100 in August. And as someone who moved here from the southwest, I wondered what kinds of challenges these seasonal changes would present someone aiming to achieve high energy efficiency in their home.

Because I’ve had a lifelong interest in sustainability, I wanted to build a house that reflected my beliefs. Fortunately for me, I found an innovative, skilled builder named Anthony Aebi who had a similar dream: to create a repeatable, cost-effective approach to achieving zero energy in a development he’s creating called Green Acres in New Paltz, NY. I eagerly signed up to become the first resident. Green Acres now has five occupied homes and we can find no other examples in the world of a NZE development that has proven its claim. Read more »



Imagine this fantastical occurrence: A letter arrives from your local utility company, with your name addressed. You see it, and smile.

Wait, wait, there’s more to this hypothetical than just the opening scene to some kind of macabre B-movie script. This is no ordinary envelope, and what lies within is hardly your everyday utility bill. It is, in fact, that holiest of holies: a check. They are giving you money. Ah, to dream, perchance to break even.

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Wwhile many contractors might be gun shy to build houses with the real estate crash and skyrocketing fuel costs, Anthony Aebi, owner of 25 lots on 10 acres of land behind Bontecou View Drive in New Paltz, is gung ho and going green. Not only is Aebi going green he’s going for “zero energy” — the highest state and federal ranking for energy-efficient homes.

“I just built a 4,000-foot zero-energy house in Esopus, very high-end, and it received the only perfect score for Energy Star ratings in New York State,” said Aebi, who has teamed up with architect David Toder to design zero-energy homes at a New Paltz development called “Green Acres.”

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Esopus — Anthony Aebi built his $1.6 million green home for the status-conscious American. The three-story, 4,500-square-foot luxury house has hardwood oak floors, a jacuzzi in each of the three full bathrooms and a deck that overlooks 13 acres of woods.

Except for the solar array on the roof, and the sculptures made from logs and rocks on the site, few could distinguish the house from any other McMansion dotting our hills and valleys. Few would know it is considered one of the greenest in the Hudson.

And that, Aebi said, was the point.

“The idea was “let’s put a house together big, show it can be done, and if it can be done easily enough, show people who have money, ‘OK, build your mansion, but you can make it zero-energy,'” he said.

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Consumers struggling with oil or other energy bills might look wistfully upon an Esopus dwelling, the first in the state to become certified with a net zero energy rating.

The rating, from the state’s Energy Star Labeled Homes program, does not mean no energy is used. It is. And bills for such homes are expected during the year, but so are refunds, ultimately resulting in the equivalent of no fees. That is quite an accomplishment, especially in a home that exudes luxury and comes with a price-tag of $1,055,000.

Esopus builder Anthony Aebi (pronounced “Abbey”) refers to the three-story, 4,000 square-foot edifice that he completed more than a year ago as a mansion. Amenities include bathrooms with Jacuzzis, granite kitchen counters and maple cabinets with brushed-nickel door pulls. Timber from the 15-acre property enhances the home, including red-cedar trim in bathrooms, wide pine flooring in bedrooms and maple shelves in closets.

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How would you like to get a check back from Central Hudson instead of paying them thousands in utilities this year? If you lived in Green Acres in New Paltz, that could happen to you. Green Acres is a Net Zero Energy housing development nestled amid a conventional housing development at the base of the Shawangunk Ridge.

Zero Energy Homes, or houses that produce as much (or more) energy as they use sounds like the stuff of science fiction. For years many people have thought it impossible, and builders speculated they would be unaffordable, but recently they have become a reality.

“The myth that zero energy homes are impossible in the Northeast, or cost prohibitive, has been broken,” says homebuilder Anthony Aebi. “I’ve found that it wasn’t a problem.” Aebi is the owner of Greenhill Contracting, and builder of Green Acres in New Paltz, NY.

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