Green Builder® Media Announces Winners of the 6th Annual Home of the Year Awards

Green Builder® Media Announces Winners of the 6th Annual Home of the Year Awards

Home of the Year Award Winner a Straw-Bale, Net-Zero Masterpiece.

Multimedia from this Release

Dreamtime Farm Photo by David Palermo

Green Builder Home of the Year Awards

December 2013 issue of Green Builder magazine

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: Green Builder Home of the Year Awards

CONTENT: Press Release

Seattle, WASH, December 10, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Green Builder Media, recently announced the winners of its 6th Annual Green Builder Home of the Year Awards. Our judges chose eight outstanding projects displaying the best and most cutting-edge green residential building found across North America today. 

This year’s Grand Award Winner hails from Santa Ynez, Calif. Dreamtime Farm is a 2,500-square-foot, net-zero gem designed by Paul Poirier + Associates and built by Semmes & Co. Builders. The home features a graywater system, formaldehyde-free cabinets, a solar hot water system, LED lighting, and use of 24-inch straw-bale walls, a so-called alternative building system that is becoming mainstream in areas of the country. In fact, two of our eight winning homes this year were constructed from straw bale.

“Rice straw has a high silica content, which makes it resistant to rot and termites,” explains builder Paul Rose of Semmes & Co. Builders. “Also, seismic studies have proven that straw-bale construction performs very well in earthquakes.”

Other finalists recognized include:

  • Sonoma Farmhouse, Sonoma, Calif.—Straw bale beauty featuring solar, solar thermal, geothermal, a 20,000-gallon cistern housed in an old swimming pool, and a subterranean heat sink.
  • Chicagoland’s First Certified Passive House, River Forest, Ill.—Forget HVAC: Check out this house’s wall-mount mini-split heat pumps.
  • New Harmony Community, Davis, Calif.—An affordable multifamily project featuring solar, xeriscaping, and attention to indoor air quality and noise mitigation.
  • REHAU Montana ecosmart house, Bozeman, Mont.—This educational eco-home features overlapping interactive technologies (SIPs, ICFs, geothermal, radiant cooling panels, and solar thermal) and will be monitored when the homeowners move in to see how it performs in real life.  
  • Ecohome Kenogami Passive House, Quebec, Canada—This passive house features water harvesting, durable exteriors to protect against wildfires, and PV with battery back up.
  • Passive Park, Seattle, Wash.—This compact infill project is so energy-efficient that, theoretically, a hair dryer could heat the house.
  • The Specht Home, Thaxton, Va.—A modest mainstream 1,800-square-foot home delivers an average $40 a month energy bill, borne out by a year of performance data.

Read more about these award-winning homes in the December 2013 issue of Green Builder magazine and online at Want to know more about these houses or repurpose our article? Email You can also get the Green Builder Media app from iTunes for only $1.99 for a single issue or $15.99 for a 1-year subscription.

About Green Builder Magazine

Green Builder® magazine is the building industry’s leading magazine focused on green building and sustainable development. Green Builder offers practical, cost-effective information to a community of the most advanced building professionals across the country. The magazine’s nationally award winning editorial team blends top-quality visionary content with sophisticated design to generate an unforgettable publication that addresses the most important issues of our time.

About Green Builder Media

Green Builder® Media, LLC is the leading media company in North America focused on green building and sustainable living.  With a comprehensive suite of print and digital media solutions, demonstration projects, case studies, online training, and live events, Green Builder Media assists building professionals in preparing themselves for the new green economy and helps homeowners understand how to live more sustainably.  For more information about Green Builder Media or Green Builder magazine, visit or contact Heather Wallace at